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Latitude chairman extends term to support CEO transition

by Annie Kane10 minute read
Latitude chairman extends term to support CEO transition

The chairman of the non-bank lender Mike Tilley has delayed his retirement date to help support the incoming chief executive.

Personal lender and payments business Latitude Group Holdings Limited (Latitude) has confirmed that its chairman Mike Tilley will delay his previously announced retirement given the upcoming departure of the group’s managing director and CEO, Ahmed Fahour.

At Latitude’s 2022 annual general meeting (AGM) in April of this year, Mr Tilley announced his intention to retire from the board after the 2023 AGM.

The independent non-executive chairman of Latitude had been in his role since 2015 and has extensive experience in the financial services space, having previously served as CEO of Challenger Financial Services from 2004–08, and was formerly chairman and CEO of Merrill Lynch Australasia.


However, in August of this year, the managing director and CEO, Mr Fahour AO, announced he would be stepping down from his role “by the end of August 2023”. 

Given the change in leadership, Mr Tilley has now agreed to extend his term as chair until 31 December 2023 to “ensure a smooth transition” for the new managing director and CEO.

An international search for Mr Fahour’s successor is still underway, according to the non-bank.

As well as announcing the extension of Mr Tilley’s term as chair, Latitude also announced that one of its non-executive directors, Andrew Hoshino, would be stepping down from his position “for shareholder ownership reasons”.

Mr Hoshino, who joined the board in mid-2021, is currently a director of Nippon Wealth Limited and Easylend Finance Company Limited (a Hong Kong-based online personal loan company). It has not been disclosed what the shareholder ownership issue is in this instance.

A period of change at Latitude

The leadership changes come after a tumultuous year for the non-bank lender.

The group was fined $1.55 million for spam breaches earlier this year and is now facing a court case from the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) over allegations of misleading advertising relating to its GO MasterCard.

Structurally, the listed lender has also been going through a period of change, after announcing it was selling its insurance business, Hallmark, and seeking to acquire buy now, pay later (BNPL), instalment and credit card operations of hummgroup (Humm).

However, the two parties “mutually agreed” to terminate the acquisition arrangement in June, citing “major disruption in the financial market”. The deal had been opposed by some members of the Humm board, who believed the total consideration undervalued the company.

[Related: ASIC sues Latitude over ‘misleading’ advertising]

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