Tuesday 21 November 2017

Ex-Ryanair CFO Millar quits Stellwagen role amid friction

Howard Millar has quit his role as group chief operating officer of global aviation management and finance firm Stellwagen
Howard Millar has quit his role as group chief operating officer of global aviation management and finance firm Stellwagen
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Howard Millar, the former chief financial officer of Ryanair, has quit his role as group chief operating officer of global aviation management and finance firm Stellwagen.

Two other senior Stellwagen executives - Ed Coughlan, the chief commercial officer of Stellwagen's Dublin-based Seraph Aviation Management unit, and Ed Hansom, the chief risk officer at Seraph - also resigned from their roles this week. The Irish Independent first revealed the departures yesterday morning.

According to industry sources, it is believed the trio were unhappy with the strategic direction of Stellwagen, which is owned by Canadian stockmarket-listed firm Acasta. Stellwagen is the largest business within the Acasta group.

The loss of the three executives is a significant blow to Stellwagen and Acasta. Mr Millar, who is still a non-executive director at Ryanair, joined Stellwagen just over a year ago.

In response to yesterday's Irish Independent report, Acasta announced that Digicel executive David Butler, who is Irish, will take over as chief operating officer at Stellwagen Group. Mr Butler was CEO of Digicel's Jamaica operation, and resigned the role in August. Digicel is owned by billionaire Denis O'Brien.

Scott Corman, a former Credit Suisse executive and ex-managing director of financing group ECN Capital, will assume the position of CEO of Stellwagen Capital, a role that was also held by Mr Millar.

Contacted yesterday, Mr Millar declined to comment. It is not known at this stage what future plans he and the other two departing executives have.

Mr Coughlan previously worked with AerCap subsidiary AeroTurbine. Mr Hansom previously worked with Guinness Peat Aviation (subsequently Aerfi), and helped develop the Japanese operating lease market, and the aircraft asset-backed securities market. He also played a key role in restructuring GPA.

In July, Mr Millar said he would be "disappointed" if Stellwagen Capital did not have at least $2.5bn (€2.08bn) of assets under management by the end of this year. It currently has $1.6bn. Stellwagen was acquired by Acasta for $270m last year.

Irish Independent

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