Dynamic duo Abbott and Pitt crumbles after resignation

The dynamic duo accredited for helping launch Future Mortgages and Beacon Homeloans is no longer, following Brian Pitt’s resignation from Beacon.

The director of sales and marketing resigned from Beacon last week following reported quarrels with fellow director and long-time business partner Mark Abbott. Friday May 26 was his last day and he is reported to be taking a holiday before starting his next challenge.

Abbott and Pitt have had intertwined career histories. It was through the dynamic duo and Mike Culhane that Friedman Billings Ramsey launched Future Mortgages, which grew from small roots and an initial 100m funding line and was sold to Citigroup in 2001 for around 45m.

In 2003, Abbott, Future’s chief executive, and Pitt, Future’s sales director, left the sub-prime lender and regrouped to take a near-50% stake in the financial services firm Beacon Capital Holdings run by Simon Goldthorpe and George Kahn, with Abbott in the role of non-executive chairman of Beacon Capital Holdings and Pitt a director.

Two years later they launched standalone sub-prime lender Beacon Homeloans with a 100m funding line in place through Bayerische Hypo-und Vereinsbank AG.

Although the German lender is its biggest investor, both Abbott and Pitt have equal shareholdings in the company and it is believed that Pitt will retain his share.

One industry source says: “It’s a controversy – it looks as if Brian has been shafted. I hope Mark knows what he’s doing.”

However, Andrew Townsend, financial director at Beacon, says there is nothing untoward in Pitt’s departure and it was an “amicable agreement”.

Pitt was not available for comment.

Townsend says although Pitt won’t be replaced at board level, the company is being reorganised. Clive Wilson is moving across from the packaging business to head the sales side of Beacon. The firm is also looking to recruit a head of marketing at executive managerial level.

John Prust, director of sales and marketing for Lehman Brother’s UK businesses, has strenuously denied rumours that he will succeed Pitt at Beacon. Several industry sources say Prust was spotted having a t鳥-鳥 with Abbott at Beacon’s head office and is believed to be considering changing alliances.

But he says: “There is no foundation to this rumour and no possibility of me leaving my current role. To suggest I might be interested in any other position at this time is unsupported.”