Zopa shakes up board ahead of bank launch

By Roger Baird on Thursday 14 February 2019

Alternative Lending

The peer-to-peer lending platform has made a number of appointments across the three boards that make up the group.

Peer-to-peer lending platform Zopa has shaken up its board ahead of the launch of its bank later this year.

Former Virgin chief executive Gordon McCallum (pictured) has joined the fintech firm as chairman, replacing co-founder Giles Andrews. However, Andrews will remain on the board.

McCallum worked at the Virgin Group for 18 years until 2012, including a period as chief executive of Virgin Management and director of strategy. During that time he was focused on Virgin Money, Virgin Mobile and Virgin Media, but has also held non-executive roles across many Virgin companies.    

The world’s first peer-to-peer business, founded in 2005, also made a raft of other senior appointments ahead of the launch of its “next generation” bank later this year, after receiving its banking licence in December from regulator the Financial Conduct Authority.

Zopa has split itself into three boards, one covering its peer-to-peer lending, another will govern its new banking business, and the group board will oversee all of its operations. McCallum and Andrews will sit on the group board.

Former UK PwC executive Gaenor Bagley has joined as an independent non-executive director on Zopa’s bank board, subject to regulatory approval. The peer-to-peer lender said Bagley has over 30 years of experience at professional services firms.

Former Standard Chartered chief operating officer Doris Honold had joined as an independent non-executive director on Zopa’s peer-to-peer board. Zopa said she brings 25 years of financial senior risk experience from roles in Frankfurt, Tokyo, Singapore and London.    

Fromer Oakbrook Finance chief executive Michael Woodburn he joined as an independent non-executive director on Zopa’s peer-to-peer board. Woodburn also spent 14 years a credit card business Capital One, including a period as chief operating officer.

Zopa also promoted Natasha Wear as chief executive officer of its peer-to-peer business, from her current role as head of investment products. Wear joined the business four years ago, after having spent five years as a strategy consultant at LEK Consulting.

Andrews said: “Having helped Zopa grow into a profitable, sustainable, and successful business, the time is right to pass on the baton to an independent chair.”

McCallum added he was “delighted to be joining at this exciting time for the business, after receiving its banking licence”.    

Zopa will compete against other strong digital rivals, such as Monzo and Starling Bank when it launches its own banking service, expected in the second half of the year. It plans to launch the bank with a fixed-term savings product, a credit card and a money management app.

Sign up for our newsletters

Your daily 7am download of all things alternative finance and fintech.

Fintech and alternative finance headlines with an exclusive Editor's Note each week. Delivered Monday at midday.

AltFi's new weekly US newsletter breaking down the ins and outs of America's burgeoning fintech sector. Delivered Monday 9am EST/ 6am PST.