The fintech’s chief will leave ahead of its transition to becoming a bank.
Sean Oldfield, founder and chief executive of Castle Trust, has decided to step down after seven years as CEO of the firm he founded in 2011 with backing from J.C. Flowers & Co., the US private equity firm.
Oldfield will remain on the board of the firm as a non-executive director and, subject to regulatory approval, will be replaced as CEO by Martin Bischoff, who joins from Santander. Bischoff, a retail banking veteran, also appears to have been advising Virgin Money over the past six months or so, according to his Linkedin and was also vice chairman of US-based Citizens bank from 2008 to 2011. Before this he was also managing director of Natwest’s retail banking division.
Castle Trust has over £750m of assets across five business lines - retail point of sale, specialty mortgages, residential development finance, wholesale lending and retail funding and employs over 200 people. In November 2017 Castle Trust struck a £300m loan deal with marketplace lender Lendable . The agreement means Castle Trust will invest up to £300m over the next three years in consumer loans originated by marketplace lending platform Lendable.
More recently Castle Trust announced that it would be applying for a banking licence as part of the next stage of its development following on the footsteps of Zopa, another alternative lending platform (and the original P2P lender) that is starting a bank.
Oldfield said: “I am incredibly proud of building Castle Trust from scratch into a substantial business today. As we prepare to move from being a speciality finance provider into a bank, it is an appropriate moment for me to consider a new challenge for the next stage in my professional career. I am looking forward to continuing to play a part in Castle Trust’s development as a Non-Executive Director.”
Bischoff says the firm will look to grow its specialist lending businesses in the coming years.
Tim Hanford, Managing Director in charge of J.C. Flowers & Co. Europe, said “As the Founder and CEO of Castle Trust, Sean has built Castle Trust from nothing into a thriving business with five business lines, over 200 people and £750m of assets. We have enjoyed playing our part as major shareholders in creating such a strong business and are excited that Castle Trust is now ready to take the next step and apply for a banking licence, enabling the business to continue to scale its offering for customers."
"Sean is a natural entrepreneur and we understand his desire to start a new venture. We wish him every success with his new business and look forward to continuing to benefit from his experience on the Board. Looking forward, we are excited about Martin Bischoff joining the team, and have every confidence that he will build on the existing platform to take Castle Trust to continued success.”