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Atom Bank plans chair change in September, with Lee Rochford’s arrival

Bridget Rosewell will move on after five years in post.


Lee Rochford.

Durham-based neobank Atom Bank has announced the departure of its long-serving chair Bridget Rosewell, who will be leaving the board in September.

Rosewell has held the role for over five years, and comes as the company prepares for an IPO in the coming years.

In her place, Atom will appoint Lee Rochford, the former chief financial officer at Virgin Money during the period of its listing on the London Stock Exchange in 2014.

“We’re all very excited to welcome Lee to Atom. Ahead of us lie many challenges as we build scale, profitability and maturity on our way to listing the company,” said CEO Mark Mullen.

Atom specifically pointed to Rochford’s “significant experience as a board-level executive in both publicly listed and private financial services businesses” as a key reason for his recruitment.

On his arrival, Rochford said that Atom’s “foundations are strong with a thriving culture, strong customer focus and proven technology. However, much remains to be done to build consistent profitability and scale the bank if it’s to deliver on its vision.”

The bank in November announced that it would be delaying any “liquidity event” until 2024 at the earliest, having previously set “financial year 2022/23 as our IPO target”.

There is likely much preparation work needing to be done even to hit that timescale, including at the corporate governance and board level, where chairs are only expected to serve for nine years.

“Bridget’s contribution to Atom over the years has been immense,” said Mullen. “She has been a wonderful leader at the bank and an enormously supportive personal mentor, for which I am hugely grateful.”

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