Legaltech and litigation funding business ME Group has appointed Bruce Walker (pictured) as executive chairman following a corporate restructure, which sees the group prepare for growth post-COVID-19, including a significant increase in demand for litigation funding to support complex consumer disputes.
As a result of the company’s restructure, Shaun Astley Stone, who has been the non-executive chair since 2018, has agreed to remain on the board as an independent non-executive director.
Mike Davis, who has been the group’s chief financial officer since 2018, is leaving to pursue the development of his own consultancy business, while Matthew Denman has been promoted to group financial director.
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The appointments will be effective from September.
As part of the restructure, the credit functions of the group will be separate from the legaltech division, in order to remove any potential conflict.
The chief risk officer will also now be accountable to the board, rather than to the group CEO, to ensure the highest quality governance with clear blue water between risk management, credit management and the services business.
Rob Cooper, CEO of ME Group, said: “The appointment of Mr Walker will strengthen the group as it seeks to become the platform of choice in the UK for the deployment of capital to consumer litigation funding.
“Bruce’s appointment enables us to separate out our litigation funding activities from the rest of the business, and ensure we continue to have robust governance structures for the next stage of the group’s growth.
“Bruce is a highly experienced leader with a strong financial pedigree, especially in legal services, where he has an established track record in working with credit investors.
“I’ve been hugely impressed by his grasp of our complex business model and I am confident that as executive chairman with overall responsibility for our credit function including chairing the Credit Committee, Bruce will play a major part in delivering the next phase of growth.”
Cooper added: “Litigation funding is a fast growth sector in the UK but there is still plenty of headroom and we want to take advantage of increasing interest from global investors in this alternative asset class.”
Walker said: “I am delighted to be joining ME Group at the start of an exciting new phase in its journey, with strong prospects for fast growth in litigation funding, which is a relatively new asset class in the UK.
“I look forward to working with Rob and my colleagues on the board to realise the bold ambitions for the group.”
Cooper said: “I want to thank Shaun Astley-Stone for his contribution to the group during the last two years, and I am delighted he has agreed to stay on in a non-executive role, so that we can continue to benefit from his insight and experience.
“We also wish Mike Davis, who has been instrumental in the rapid growth of the business, every success with his future”