Fintech’s biggest hires and departures of 2020

By Aisling Finn on Tuesday 5 January 2021

FeaturesAlternative LendingDigital BankingSavings and Investment

A rundown of the most significant appointments and departures in 2020.

Fintech’s biggest hires and departures of 2020
Image source: Catherine Lewis La Torre/British Business Bank

We’ve (finally) made it to 2021!

But, we haven’t quite finished looking back over the past 12 months just yet. 

The AltFi team have come up with our very own predictions for digital wealth, digital banking and alternative lending, as well as industry predictions for digital banking (part two here) and digital wealth, with alternative lending on the way soon. 

One avenue we haven’t yet travelled down is the biggest hires and departures over the past 12 months so, here are the most significant moves and shakes of 2020.

Appointments

Catherine Lewis La Torre

Following the announcement that Keith Morgan would step down from his long-held role of CEO of the British Business Bank (BBB), the bank set about looking for a replacement.

The BBB found its replacement in the CEO of the BBB’s commercial subsidiaries, British Patient Capital and British Business Investments (BBI), Catherine Lewis La Torre, who stepped into the role, first as interim CEO in September 2020, and then as the full-time leader of the bank at the beginning of 2021.

Judith Hartley

Another British Business Bank appointment on the list, Judith Hartley stepped into Catherine Lewis La Torre’s shoes following her appointment to CEO of the bank.

Hartley will sit as the CEO of the British Business Bank’s two commercial subsidiaries British Business Investments and British Patient Capital.  

Dan Frumkin

Dan Frumkin, who was previously Metro Bank’s chief transformation officer, was made CEO of Metro Bank in February 2020.

Frumkin, who joined Metro Bank in September 2019, was handed the top job after working as interim CEO for six weeks. 

Nicolas Weng Kan

Former Google Compare and Confused.com CEO Nicolas Weng Kan was handed the top job at Yolt in July last year.

Weng Kan, who has nearly three decades of experience, will act as CEO of Yolt and its open banking arm, Yolt Technology Services

Nikhil Rathi

Nikhil Rathi was appointed as CEO of the Financial Conduct Authority in June 2020.

Rathi took over from Chris Woolard, who served as interim CEO of the FCA following the departure of former CEO and current governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey.

Conrad Ford

Co-founder and former CEO of alternative lender Funding Options, Conrad Ford joined Starling Bank last year.

Ford was given a consultancy role in early 2020 to help the digital bank build out its SME banking operation, although he has since left the role.

As well as his role at Starling, Ford also joined Allica Bank as chief product and strategy officer at the start of October. 

Departures

Cristina Alba Ochoa

Strictly speaking, the next entry on this list hasn’t actually left the company, Cristina Alba Ochoa stepped down from her role as CFO but will remain at OakNorth.

Ochoa will remain a key member of the OakNorth team in a yet-to-be-disclosed position as she moves back to Barcelona to spend more time with her family following her departure.

To replace the outgoing CFO, OakNorth hired Rajesh Gupta as its new chief financial officer.

Richard Davies

The banking executive drafted in to bolster Revolut's governance amid criticism of its company culture left the fintech after just a year in the role.

Richard Davies, who was appointed as Banking CEO in July 2019, left Revolut to join startup lender Allica Bank as its CEO.

Christian Faes

After co-founding and leading LendInvest as CEO for over a decade, Christian Faes announced that he would be stepping aside from day-to-day management of the business nearly in January 2020.

Faes would instead be moving into the role of executive chairman, as newly-appointed CEO Rod Lockhart stepped into his old position.

Monzo

Unfortunately for Monzo, there were lots of big names departing the digital bank in 2020.

In 2020 we saw the departure of co-founder and deputy CEO Paul Rippon, Monzo’s CTO Meri Williams left in March 2020, prompting co-founder Jonas Templestein to step back into the CTO position and community specialist at Monzo, Simon Balmain.

Monzo also lost its VP of marketing Tristan Thomas, who joined the bank back in September 2015 when there were only 15 other employees, its chief risk officer Lisa Nowell, who left the role after just over a year and its chief credit officer Tim Trailor, who left the digital bank for alternative lender Capital on Tap.

A host of big names to depart the digital bank, but none come close to CEO, co-founder and all-around Monzo poster boy Tom Blomfield, who stepped down from the top job in July and assumed the largely ceremonial role of president. 

Revolut

Like Monzo, Revolut also experienced a slew of executive departures in 2020.

First to jump ship was Revolut’s chief financial officer, David Maclean, who left the position after less than six months on 16 March 2020.

André Mohamed, co-founder of investment app Freetrade, left his role as the head of wealth and trading at the digital banking service in April 2020.

Other executives to leave the e-money institution include lead data scientist Abhi Thanendran, global head of employer branding Anca Pintilie, global head of reporting Alexander Bratz and North America general manager Dan Westgarth, who is now COO at remote working fintech Deel.

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