OakNorth appoints Google veteran as CEO of its tech arm

By John Reynolds on 7th October 2019

Fintech

Sunil Chandra joins in the newly-created role of Chief Executive of OakNorth Analytical Intelligence.

OakNorth appoints Google veteran as CEO of its tech arm
Image source: Image of Sunil Chundra provided by OakNorth.

OakNorth, the Softbank-backed fintech company, has appointed a Google veteran as the Chief Executive of its technology arm, in a bid to build up its offering.

Sunil Chandra, who spent over 12 years at Google, joins in the newly-created role of Chief Executive at OakNorth Analytical Intelligence, the platform
which powers credit decisions at OakNorth's bank. OakNorth also licences the tech to other lenders.

Chandra said: "In a short period of time, the business [OakNorth] has identified a key segment of the market that is underserved, proven that
thesis with the profitable OakNorth Bank in the UK, and is now scaling the solution globally by licensing its platform to other lending institutions.

"SMEs account for roughly half of the GDP of the world. By supporting their growth, we are not only helping them, but also their local communities who will benefit from new jobs and additional GDP.

"After more than 12 years at Google, I am excited about this next challenge and look forward to building the business into what will no doubt be one of the world's premier tech companies born out of Europe."

Rishi Khosla, co-founder of OakNorth who will continue to head up the OakNorth group and OakNorth Bank, said: "The last decade has seen the growth of tremendous technology companies like Google, and Sunil was instrumental to that growth and indeed the broader industry.

"His strong management experience and track record in scaling one of the world's largest tech companies will help shape OakNorth's future evolution and expansion with partners banks around the world."

OakNorth said moving forward its technology unit would become a more prominent part of the group.

Chandra joined Google in 2007, where he was Vice President responsible for scaling Google's talent globally.

Prior to his time at Google, he was Chief Operating Officer at Barclays Capital for over two years. He has also worked at Mckinsey.

He has now moved to London to take up his role at OakNorth.

Earlier this year, OakNorth became one of the UK's most-valuable fintechs in February with a price tag of $2.8bn (£2.28bn) after SoftBank's Vision Fund led a $440m (£358m) investment round in the business.

The lender has used the funding to launch operations in the US.

OakNorth has raised over $1bn (£0.8) from investors, including Clermont Group, Coltrane, EDBI of Singapore, GIC, Indiabulls, NIBC, Toscafund, as well as SoftBank.

In August, OakNorth made two senior hires, in an effort to boost the licensing of its technology around the world.

The London-based lender appointed Tiffany Teng as Chief of Staff,, after spending the last five years at US bank JPMorgan Chase, where she launched several products including Chase Pay and redesigned its online platform.

OakBank also hired Jeremy Payne, formerly of US data and newsgroup Bloomberg, as director of product and data services.