Benson Hersch, former CEO of the Association of Short Term Lenders (ASTL) has passed away after a long illness.
A statement from the trade body confirmed the news. Hersh (pictured) retired from his position last year after seven years at its helm.
Current CEO Vic Jannels paid tribute to Hersch’s efforts with the trade body and the wider lending industry.
“On behalf of the board, I can say that Benson is the reason why the ASTL is where it is today,” Jannels said.
“He took the reins of the membership and transformed it into an association that was more representative of the industry, with a clear purpose to improve standards and encourage sustainable growth of the sector.
“Even after his retirement at the end of last year, he maintained a close interest in the sector and has been of amazing support to me during my tenure. To say that he will be sorely missed is an understatement.”
Jannels added that Hersch was an “incredibly warm and insightful man” who had played a significant role in the careers of many people within the industry.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Phileshia, and children,” Jannels continued.
“Let us all take a moment to mourn the loss of a good friend and outstanding colleague – and celebrate the life of a man who was such a positive influence on the lending industry.”
Alex Hammond, managing director of Also Communications, worked with Hersch on public relations for the trade body over the last two years, and said it was very sad news.
“He was one of my favourite people in the industry – a genuinely good man who worked tirelessly on behalf of the sector, and the ASTL, right up until the end,” he said.
The ASTL noted that under Hersch’s tenure completions grew from £885m to more than £4bn and membership of the association more than doubled.
It added that the reputation of the bridging industry vastly improved and representation with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), HM Treasury and other regulatory bodies also increased.
“Aside from these achievements, Benson was hugely respected and well liked throughout the industry and he will be sorely missed,” it added.
Owain Thomas is features and contributing editor of Mortgage Solutions and editor of Specialist Lending Solutions.
He also has experience in the protection, pensions, workplace benefits and HR areas.
Owain has won two Headline Money Awards and the Protection Review’s Journalist of the Year award.