Debt collection firm Arrow Global names former Virgin Money CFO as CEO

Dec 7 - Debt purchaser and manager Arrow Global Group Plc said former Virgin Money Holdings (UK) Plc finance boss Lee Rochford would take over as Arrow Global’s chief executive officer on Jan. 3.

* Arrow Global, which buys defaulted customer accounts from retail banks and credit card companies, said Tom Drury, who had decided to step down as CEO after almost five years at the helm, would remain with the company until the end of February.

* Rochford brings “extensive relevant financial services experience”, including running a pan-European financial institutions advisory business which focused on the acquisition and sale of portfolios of non-performing loans, Arrow Global said.

* Jefferies analysts called Drury’s departure a surprise move, but added that they did not expect any change in Arrow Global’s strategy. The analysts have a “buy” rating on the stock.

* The company, which operates in Britain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium and France, said on Tuesday that it would enter the Italian market by buying financial services business Zenith Service SpA for an enterprise value of 17 million euros ($18 million). ($1 = 0.9328 euros) (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)