Business Irish

Monday 19 March 2018

Former Ryanair finance officer unexpectedly quits role with finance firm Stellwagen

Howard Millar
Howard Millar
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

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

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 – have also resigned from their roles this week, it’s understood.

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

Contacted this morning, Mr Millar declined to comment. It’s not known at this stage what the three executives’ future plans are.

Mr Millar, who’s still a non-executive director at Ryanair, joined Stellwagen just over a year ago.

He’s also the chief executive of Stellwagen Capital, a finance arm of the group.

The loss of the three executives is a significant blow to Stellwagen and Acasta.

Mr Coughlan has previously worked with AerCap subsidiary AeroTurbine. He began his career at Shannon Aerospace.

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 that Dublin-based Stellwagen Capital intended to complete "at least" $1bn a year of deals and will raise an additional $250m in capital later this year as it "disrupts" the aircraft financing market for commercial jets.

Mr Millar said he would be "disappointed" if Stellwagen Capital doesn't have at least $2.5bn of assets under management by the end of this year. It currently has $1.6bn.

Stellwagen was acquired by Acasta Enterprises for $270m last year. As part of that deal, Acasta also committed $100m to Stellwagen Capital's senior loan investment vehicle.

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