Issue 4 2021

14 CEO MONTHLY / ISSUE 4 2021 , Feb21389 At the Top of his Game Established in 2012 with € 0 Assets Under Management (AUM), Pepper European Servicing (PES) is today a diversified and independent, pan- European Servicing and Asset Management business that currently boasts more than € 40 billion in AUM and employs a team of approximately 850. Operating in the UK, Ireland, Spain, Greece and Cyprus, PES is growing, with the acquisition of a small business in Italy that is due for completion at the end of May 2021. Fundamentally, Pepper is an outsourced credit solutions provider for a host of different clients, managing credit investments for institutions that have originated those investments and require expertise in managing certain aspects or elements of their portfolio, and institutional investors, such as private equity firms or hedge funds, which have acquired portfolios of mortgages, commercial real estate, buy-to- lets, auto loans, personal loans and more, sold off by other institutions. Serving a variety of large firms and financial institutions that operate in a heavily regulated and operationally intensive industry, Pepper has rooted itself Most Influential CEO 2021 – Fraser Gemmell Having captained rugby teams at both Oxford and Auckland Universities, Fraser Gemmell, CEO of Pepper European Servicing, has spent decades proving his mettle as a strong leader on and off the pitch. His appointment to the head of the pan-European Servicing and Asset Management company just two years ago has provided the stage for Fraser to confirm that strength, having led the company through its best year yet in 2020, despite the challenges presented by Covid-19. Now, named theMost Influential CEO of 2021, Fraser tells us more about Pepper European Servicing and its successes under his leadership. in an entrepreneurial mindset that is highly ambitious and growth oriented. Uniquely built from scratch, unlike many of its competitors which have typically been spun out from large banks during deconsolidation processes, PES operates in strict adherence to its own values - Can Do, committed to delivering innovative opportunities and solutions; Balanced, that handles the relationship between opportunity and risk to create solutions for success, even in adversity; and Real, Pepper’s guarantee of respect, honesty and integrity in dealing with its network of clients and partners as well as its employees. Driven by those values, the PES team, led by CEO Fraser Gemmell, adds value to its clients via innovative, proactive and data- centric solutions. Formerly the team captain of the Auckland University rugby club, of various Auckland Provincial representative sides, of the Oxford University team, and an occasional player for the New Zealand Barbarians, Fraser Gemmell has long been regarded as a competent leader. “I have been in leadership positions, both professionally and in an extracurricular sports-based environment for many, many years,” Fraser tells us. “Leadership comes quite naturally to me and is something that I think enhances the way I operate, be that on the sports field or in a professional context.” His appointment to CEO of Pepper European Servicing in 2019 therefore may have been his most overt corporate leadership position to date, but it is a role he immediately took to magnificently. Having been a major player in the PES team since day one as the primary business plan builder for Pepper across Europe, armed only with a laptop and a mobile phone, he was able to hit the ground running when he took up the CEO role. Just as he did on the rugby pitch, Fraser has spent many years refining and developing his leadership styles, adjusting them dependent on the contexts he is operating in, but always rooted in the same core principles. Absolute transparency; enormous trust in the team; total clarity and conviction in the direction of his company and what it seeks to achieve; the creation of a very robust culture; and decision making that is grounded in data and analytics are all embedded into Fraser’s mentality as a leader. This mentality is combined with the ‘lenders’ or investors’ mindset’ that is adopted not only by the executive team but through the entire organisation. It is a mindset that has been developed through PES’s own heritage as part of a global company (the Pepper Group) that owns multiple lending businesses around the globe. As a result, the PES team seeks to constantly go beyond the role of a pure service provider – thinking and acting like an asset owner, underwriting, managing and constantly refining operating strategies just as an asset owner would do. This enables PES to meet and exceed the expectations of its clientele that is predominantly made up of highly sophisticated, institutional credit investors. Employing an extremely data-intensive approach that comprehensively uses data and analytics to demonstrate both capability and value-adding, PES seeks to operate with absolute transparency, focusing on the underlying performance of a position that is rooted in data. It is a unique approach that sets Pepper apart from its competition, and one that drives the firm to push itself further by asking itself hard questions about its strategic goals, and by striving to contribute to the broader momentum of its market, rather than waiting to play catch up. In Fraser’s view, the proactivity that is such a key driver of