Lowell and GFKL Group Announces New Board Appointments

Lowell and GFKL Group has appointed its new Group Chair, Heinz Hilgert, and announced the appointment of Christopher Trepel, PhD as its Group Chief Science Officer.

Heinz Hilgert has significant international banking experience, was formerly CEO of WestLB and Deputy CEO of DZ Bank, and has served in Non Executive Director and Chairman roles in the areas of consumer credit, asset management and private banking.  Heinz will work with other non-executive representatives from Permira Funds and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP), the Group’s investors, as well as Adrian Hill, the existing UK Chair, on the Group’s Non-Executive Investor Board.

Christopher Trepel, PhD joins as Group Chief Science Officer from Fenway Summer LLC, a Washington DC-based financial services investment firm, where he serves as an Operating Partner in Fenway Summer’s venture capital fund. He previously held the post of Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at Encore Capital Group. Chris will lead the enterprise-wide Decision Science Programme to further enhance the Group’s market-leading strengths in data analytics and asset pricing.  

The Group has also announced the remaining members of its Group Executive Board, consisting of key members from both its UK and German Executive Teams:

  • It will be jointly led by James Cornell, CEO of Lowell Group, and Kamyar Niroumand, CEO of GFKL.
  • Lowell’s Colin Storrar will act as overall Group Chief Finance Officer.
  • Lowell’s Sara de Tute will head up Group Legal and Compliance.
  • GFKL’s Marc Schillinger will be responsible for Group Sales with a view to optimising synergies between the UK and German markets.
  • The structure is also complimented by the existing UK and German Boards.

Commenting on the announcement, James Cornell, co-CEO, said:

“We are delighted to announce our new Group and our impressive new appointments: Heinz and Chris. We start a new chapter as one of Europe’s leading end-to-end credit management service providers whose vast experience and expertise will cement our leadership position, which is anchored by our core strengths in data analytics and operational efficiency.  Quite simply, we believe we are well positioned to become the marketplace’s most trusted and reputable partner in European receivables management.”

Kamy Niroumand, co-CEO, said:

“The launch of our Group heralds a new chapter in European consumer receivables management. I am proud to lead this new venture, and our dynamic executive team, alongside James. With our new Group we have brought together the finest talents from across our industry, and are further enhanced by the significant business expertise and experience of Heinz and Chris. Together, we will better serve our core markets in Germany and the UK and, in time, cement our leadership position across the wider European landscape.”

The combination of Lowell and GFKL, market leaders in the UK and Germany, has created one of the largest credit management businesses in Europe. With the backing of both global investment firm Permira funds and OTPP, the new Group will capitalise on the strong growth opportunities available by taking advantage of the complementary skill sets and the collective expertise of the two companies. The Group’s ambition is to be the most trusted and reputable partner in European receivables management.



Media Contacts:


Marc Schillinger +49 (0) 201 102 1195



Karen Leech +44 (0) 113 285 6595


About Lowell and GFKL Group

The Group was created in October 2015, following Lowell’s acquisition by Permira Funds and its subsequent merger with GFKL. Lowell was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in Leeds. It is one of the UK’s largest receivables management companies, employing over 1,200 people and comprises Lowell Financial, Fredrickson and Lowell Solicitors. Lowell has in excess of 17 million accounts and has nine million customers, which represents a significant proportion of the UK’s credit active population. For further information visit http://www.lowellgroup.co.uk/

GFKL is headquartered in Essen, Germany and is the largest non-captive receivables management company in Germany. It is a full service provider – from risk to receivables management services with an international customer portfolio.   It employs 950 people and manages a receivables portfolio of EUR 16.6 billion for clients from various industries, including banks, insurance companies, online retailers and telecommunications companies. The company is one of the very few service providers in the market that has a high-quality professional receivables management offering, servicing not only major corporations but also medium-sized companies.  For further information visit http://www.gfkl.com/

Heinz Hilgert

Heinz was formerly the CEO of WestLB and Deputy CEO of DZ Bank AG. Heinz currently holds the position as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of DataGroup AG and is Senior Advisor to Muzinich & Co, New York and Credit Suisse Investment Bank, London.

Christopher Trepel, PhD

Chris has extensive executive management expertise in corporate strategy, data analytics and consumer behaviour. He is currently an Operating Partner in Fenway Summer’s venture capital fund and was previously SVP and Chief Scientific Officer at Encore Capital Group (NASDAQ: ECPG).  Before that, he served at Wells Fargo Bank and McKinsey & Company.  Chris’ research has been published widely in academic journals and the popular press.