Steve Haggerty blames exit from Northern Rock on strategy clash

Steve Haggerty, former commercial director of Northern Rock Asset Management, has revealed his reasons for leaving the firm after just a few months.

Haggerty joined NRAM in February but left in July because of what he says were fundamental differences over the strategic direc-tion of the business.

Haggerty was working at Crown Westfalen Bank, parent of Crown Mortgage Management, as group chief executive officer when he was approached about the job at NRAM.

He says: “All was going well at Crown when I got a call to ask if I would be interested in joining NRAM.”

Haggerty says they talked about creating a third-party servicing vehicle for UK Financial Invest-ments so there was a ready made repository for the assets of any future failing banks or building societies. The government set up UKFI in November 2008 to manage its shareholding in the banks.

He adds: “It seemed to make sense that if this were to happen then the combined Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley entity would be a good cornerstone.”

Haggerty believes what was needed was for a servicer or asset manager to work alongside UKFI to maximise the value of the assets of Northern Rock.

Haggerty says: “While there was no guarantee that the Northern Rock role would give me an oppor-tunity to pursue this model, it was worth a punt.”

In the end Haggerty concedes that there was no appetite to build anything around the combined businesses.

He says: “They preferred to accelerate the run-off of the books and therefore the demise of the businesses, which in my view would destroy value for taxpayers. I accepted that there was no role for me and so left at the end of July.”

Haggerty has now launched Bathbased consultancy Hawkesbury Mortgage Services.