Kensington ousts Maltby

John Maltby has quit Kensington Group bagging a 310,000 pay-off, following the group’s board issuing a profit warning.

Maltby resigned from his role as chief executive last week. In an announcement to the London Stock Exchange on Friday, the group put his resignation down to the preliminary conclusions of a strategic review which confirmed it will continue to focus on the specialist mortgage market in the UK and Ireland.

However, the board also predicts that profits in the years to come are likely to be below market estimates.

In the statement, the group also reported crystallised loan losses for Kensington Mortgages hit a worrying 6.2m for the three months ending February 28.

The profit warning follows the group’s admission in February that the 17% growth it saw in 2006 was driven by its subsidiaries rather than its core business, Kensington Mortgages.

Maltby’s speedy departure has raised eyebrows in the industry and one source says his ambitions for the company clashed with the board’s.

He says Maltby was hacked off after his plan to expand the business with an international or commercial arm was rejected.

The source adds: “Kensington has not been keeping up with the pace of other lenders in terms of technology and distribution strategy. Others are overtaking it and nicking its business.”

But Ian Giles, director of marketing at Kensington, has disputed the profit warning and calls on the analysts who made the conclusion to take another look at the group’s estimates.

Maltby reportedly earned a whopping 629,000 last year including bonuses and also owns 280,000 shares worth around 2m. Speculation is mounting as to what his next career move will be.

Alison Hutchinson will take over as chief executive and also continue in her role as managing director of Kensington Mortgages.

Shares in the company tumbled by 193.5p on Friday, closing at 694.5p and valuing the company a little less than 370m.