Provident Financial hires new CFO as it emerges from '˜very difficult' period

Provident Financial has hired Simon Thomas as its chief finance officer as it works to rebuild the business after a 'very difficult' period.

Simon Thomas is a former chief finance officer at Just Group, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Andrew Fisher, the current finance director will step down from the Provident Financial board when Mr Thomas takes up his appointment in December, but he will remain employed by the company for three months to provide an orderly handover.

Mr Thomas was previously group chief financial officer of Just Group plc, a FTSE 250 financial services company.

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In a statement, Provident Financial said: “He (Mr Thomas) has a strong financial services background, including consumer, retail banking and insurance experience. His appointment follows a thorough process conducted by the nominations committee with the assistance of a leading executive search firm.”

Malcolm Le May, the chief executive officer, Provident Financial plc said: “I am delighted Simon Thomas has been appointed as the new chief finance officer.

“I look forward to working with him as we drive Provident Financial forward.

“On behalf of the board I would like to thank Andrew Fisher for his immense contribution, not only as finance director, but also as a board member whose knowledge and insight has been invaluable to the group over many years.”

Andrew Fisher, the finance director, of Provident Financial plc said: “Over the last 18 months Provident Financial has come through a very difficult period. With the company’s capital and liquidity position restored to one of strength, I have agreed with the board that now is an appropriate time to step down as finance director.

“I would like to thank all those past and present talented colleagues who I have worked with over my 12 years at Provident Financial, many whom have become friends, and wish the company success for the future.”

Mr Thomas said: “I am very excited to be joining Provident Financial as its new chief finance officer. The company has a strong social purpose and its customers need the access to credit the company provides.”

The company lost 70 per cent of its value last year after a failed reorganisation of its home credit business led to two profit warnings, the departure of its CEO and the suspension of its dividend.