(Press Association) Troubled subprime lender Provident Financial has announced the death of its executive chairman, four months after she took up the role.
In a statement, the company said Manjit Wolstenholme had “passed away suddenly” on Thursday November 23.
The 53-year-old was tasked with leading a revival at the company after chief executive Peter Crook quit in the face of heavy losses and a string of profit warnings.
Provident has appointed senior independent director Malcolm Le May as interim executive chairman as it continues to hunt for a new CEO.
Mr Le May said: “We are deeply shocked and saddened. The thoughts of everyone at Provident are with Manjit’s family and friends, and we extend our deepest sympathies to them.
“It was a great privilege to know her personally and to work alongside her over the last few years.
“She has shown exceptional leadership in stepping up to the role of executive chairman over the last few months.
“Manjit was known and respected for her achievements and championing diversity in British business, and we would like to pay tribute to her contribution to the business landscape.”
The firm revealed last month that it would book heavy losses at its consumer credit business this year, but claimed that it is making progress with a turnaround plan.
The group’s collections performance in September was 65%, up from 57% in August, while sales were only £6m per week lower than last year, compared with £9m during August.
As part of turnaround efforts, Provident, which has around 2.5 million customers, launched a new home credit model in July with the aim of moving from self-employed door-to-door agents to full-time “customer experience managers”.
But the lender confirmed in October that its pre-exceptional loss this year is likely to be in the range of £80m to £120m.
Shares in Provident were down 0.77% to 902p on the London Stock Exchange following the news