Portfolio company Lantern announces new CEO and Non-Executive Chairwoman

Portfolio company Lantern announces new CEO and Non-Executive Chairwoman

Copper Street Capital portfolio company Lantern Group announces new CEO and Non-Executive Chairwoman as it looks to next stage of its growth

Today, Lantern Group, a Copper Street Capital portfolio company and one of the UK’s market leading debt purchase and credit management companies with a particular focus on supporting customers in vulnerable situations, announces that it is making changes to its senior leadership team.

Effective 1 November 2023, Denise Crossley will move into a new role of Non-Executive Chairwoman of the Group. Paul Mason will become the new CEO to lead the Group and build on the success of the past nine years.

In that time, Denise has been instrumental in establishing Lantern’s strong brand reputation, acquiring and integrating vulnerable customer management company, Sonex Financial, while driving the growth and profitability of the Group, which is expected to achieve c.£54m in annual revenues, and £12m EBIT by the end of this year. She has overseen the growth of the team to over 250 staff and in excess of 4.5m customer accounts have been acquired. In her new role, she will continue to offer the Board and the senior management team advice and guidance on the development and execution of the Group’s strategy, while continuing to be one of the leading figures in the industry.

Paul is a highly experienced CEO, bringing significant expertise from a career spent growing consumer-focused financial services companies, including at BPO Holdings, the Student Loans Company (SLC), Saga Insurance, Creditfix, and latterly as CEO of Solvere Services, a leading Toronto, Canada based consumer debt business. During his career, Paul has founded a credit management business, held an executive role in a public limited company and, while at SLC, managed the £120bn student loan book, collecting c£2.6bn in annual repayments and managed a £500m portfolio of direct collections via an international panel. He brings particular prowess in consumer credit and scaling businesses, making him a key asset to further accelerate Lantern’s future growth trajectory.

He will work in close collaboration with Denise and CFO Andrew Kirk, and Stefan Russell, Managing Director of Sonex Financial, to ensure Lantern Group will deliver on its ambitious growth plans to be the UK’s leader in credit management, retaining its particular focus on supporting customers in vulnerable situations.

Justin Bull, Copper Street Capital and lead investor in Lantern, said: “Lantern has grown into a strongly performing business, underpinned by a quality team and a clear growth strategy. Today’s announcement will accelerate the next stage of Lantern’s success. The combination of Denise’s institutional knowledge, with Andrew Kirk’s exceptional financial management and Paul’s skillset and knowledge of scaling businesses at pace, delivers an exceptional C-Suite.”

Denise Crossley, incoming Non-Executive Chairwoman at Lantern Group and outgoing CEO, said: “It’s been a fantastic nine years growing the business into the award-winning, diverse and fabulous team it is today. We have ambitious growth targets and the Board and I believe now is the right time to bring in the additional skills needed for our team to scale the business as it enters the next chapter of growth. I want to say a big thank you to our clients, partners and, above all, our employees for all their hard work and I look forward to continuing to help with Lantern’s story in the future.”

Paul Mason, incoming CEO, said: “Lantern’s reputation in the industry is second to none and I look forward to working closely with Denise and the fantastic team she has built to help grow our market-leading offer. I’ve seen from afar how this company helps people, day after day, in often challenging circumstances. It’s an honour to succeed Denise and I look forward to being able to call on her advice and guidance in her new role.”