Co-Op Group Hires Richard Pennycook as Group Finance Director

Co-Operative Group Ltd., whose assets range from supermarkets to funeral homes, appointed Richard Pennycook as group finance director and Richard Pym as chairman of its banking unit.

Pennycook, 49, joins Co-Op after eight years at William Morrison Supermarkets Plc (MRW) and will take up his new role from July initially on an interim basis, Manchester, England-based Co-Operative Group said in a statement today. Pym, 63, will replace Paul Flowers as chairman of Co-Operative Banking Group.

“They bring significant and valuable experience,” Co-Op Group Chairman Len Wardle said in the statement. Both “will be great assets as we reposition our bank and take the wider group to the next phase of its development.”

Co-Op Bank, which traces its roots to Britain’s 19th-century industrial north, last month was cut six steps to junk by Moody’s Investors Service, which cited a capital shortfall for its decision. Co-Operative Bank’s core Tier 1 capital ratio under the latest round of Basel rules was 6.7 percent in January, less than the 7 percent target set by U.K. regulators, Moody’s said.

Pennycook replaces Steve Humes as group finance director, who left last week, said spokesman Russ Brady. Pym is currently chairman of U.K. Asset Resolution Ltd. (RSL) and will retain that position, Co-Op said.

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