Provident Financial executive chairman Manjit Wolstenholme dies

Provident Financial has announced that its executive chairman, Manjit Wolstenholme, has died aged 53.

In a brief statement on Friday, the doorstep lender said Wolstenholme had “passed away suddenly” on 23 November.

Wolstenholme was made executive chairman in August, after the company issued its second profit warning in two months, parted company with its chief executive and cancelled a dividend for shareholders.

The company, which specialises in lending to people in financial difficulty, said it had appointed its senior independent director, Malcolm Le May, as interim executive chairman following Wolstenholme’s death.

“We are deeply shocked and saddened,” Le May said. “The thoughts of everyone at Provident are with Manjit’s family and friends, and we extend our deepest sympathies to them.

“It was a great privilege to know her personally and to work alongside her over the last few years. She has shown exceptional leadership in stepping up to the role of executive chairman over the last few months. Manjit was known and respected for her achievements and championing diversity in British business, and we would like to pay tribute to her contribution to the business landscape.”

Wolstenholme insisted in August that she had the time to tackle the issues at Provident Financial, despite holding a number of other board positions.

“I can assure you I have the time necessary,” she told the Times.

Wolstenholme’s roles included senior independent director at the publishing group Future and Unite Group, the student housing specialist.