Sunday 19 January 2020

Pepper Ireland CEO Doddrell steps down to head global drive as KKR deal looms

Pepper's Paul Doddrell
Pepper's Paul Doddrell

Gretchen Friemann

Pepper Ireland CEO Paul Doddrell will leave his post within the next month to spearhead the financial services company's push into North America as the Australian firm makes a play for greater global clout.

The move comes as US buyout giant KKR tightens its grip on Pepper, which provides lending, advisory and asset services.

In May KKR made a A$656m (€442m) bid for the non-bank lender and last week the company's board urged shareholders to accept the offer. The takeover is expected to conclude by the end of November.

Mr Doddrell, a UK banker, oversaw Pepper's expansion into Ireland in 2012 when the company snapped up GE Capital's residential loan book in the aftermath of the banking crisis.

He has been appointed group managing director, shared services and is expected to assume his new role as head of Pepper's global back office operations in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada by the end of summer.

"I'm very excited about this new position, the role the new operations will play in supporting the ongoing growth of Pepper and the platform it will provide us with in North America," Mr Doddrell said.

He will remain on the board of Pepper Ireland. His successor here is understood to have been selected, but the appointment is subject to Central Bank approval. The new Canadian operations are aimed at "enhancing efficiencies and cross-border collaboration between Pepper's growing business units across the world and facilitating the ongoing growth and development of Pepper globally", a spokeswoman said.

A spokeswoman described the new operation as "a platform to enter the North American market and to leverage Pepper's expertise in providing best-in-class loan servicing to customers".

Under Mr Doddrell's stewardship the company's Irish business has forged into commercial and residential lending, and as of last month, had some €150m worth of home loans either drawn down or in the pipeline.

Pepper Ireland also manages about €18bn worth of assets and is a principal player in the nation's loan servicing industry.

Meanwhile, KKR this week dismissed speculation that its takeover of Pepper will result in any disposals, including of the Irish unit.

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