Fifth Street Finance CEO Todd Owens leaves at short notice

  • Signs for push-out forces
  • After less than two years on the job
  • Thanks for Owens
  • Patrick Dalton takes over

(management-change.com) — Greenwich, Connecticut, November 30, 2016 — Todd G. Owens, chief executive of Fifth Street Finance, leaves. It is a change at short notice. As announced by Fifth Street Finance Corp. in a news release on Wednesday, November 30, 2016, Todd G. Owens leaves the post as Chief Executive Officer at the specialty finance company in a surprising move after less than two years on the job, effective January 02, 2017.

No company wants a CEO to flame out in the first years.

Owens’ duties are taken over by Patrick J. Dalton, most recently President, CEO and Chair of the Investment Committee at Gordon Brothers Finance Company.

The fact that Owens’ successor is brought in from outside suggests that the board may seek to stimulate change with fresh ideas and new initiatives.

In general, an outsider doesn’t have the constraints of an insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions.

Management shake-up

The move is part of a management shake-up. The Company also announced that Ivelin M. Dimitrov will step down from his roles as President, Chief Investment Officer and a member of the Board of Directors, effective January 2, 2017.

No reason given

In the announcement, Fifth Street Finance did not explicitly explain the reason for Owens’ imminent move, leaving room for speculation.

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for stockholders when a CEO leaves the post at short notice and without a reasonable explanation.

“Succeed”

Fifth Street Finance said: Dalton “will succeed Todd G. Owens, who will continue in his roles as CEO and a member of the Board of Directors until that time to facilitate a smooth transition”.

Precise information about the future plans of Owens was not immediately available.

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Fifth Street Finance Corp. since July 2014.

Chaired by Bernard D. Berman

Fifth Street Finance Corp. is chaired by Bernard D. Berman.

Berman is the President of Fifth Street Finance Corp. since February 2010 and served as its chief compliance officer from April 2009 to May 2013, and is a member of the Company’s Board of Directors since February 2009.

On the job as CEO since 2015

Owens has been the Chief Executive Officer of Fifth Street Finance Corp. since January 22, 2015.

Todd G. Owens is Co-President of Fifth Street Asset Management Inc. and a member of the firm’s Management Committee.

He is also Chief Executive Officer of Fifth Street Finance Corp. and President of Fifth Street Senior Floating Rate Corp.

In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors of Fifth Street Finance Corp.

Owens joined Fifth Street in September 2014 and is responsible for driving growth by evaluating and executing strategic initiatives, as well as managing institutional marketing efforts, investor relations and distribution channels.

Previously, Owens spent 24 years at Goldman, Sachs & Co, where he became a Managing Director in 2001 and a partner in 2008.

He also served as Head of the West Coast Financial Institutions Group (FIG) for 15 years, Head of the Specialty Finance Group for nearly 10 years and was a senior member of the Bank Group.

Owens brings with him experience in a broad range of industries including commercial finance, asset management, alternative asset management, commercial banking and business development companies.

Owens received his B.A. in History and Political Economy from Williams College.

Signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Todd G. Owens’ move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by management-change.com suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the management change.

Read the full story in the management-change.com report 45.2016 ($).