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Peer2Peer Finance News | September 16, 2019

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Zopa names new P2P chief and chairman

Zopa names new P2P chief and chairman
Kathryn Gaw

ZOPA has promoted Natasha Wear to chief executive of its peer-to-peer business, amid a boardroom reshuffle that will see Zopa co-founder Giles Andrews step down as chairman.

Wear, who was most recently Zopa’s head of investment products, has helped develop the peer-to-peer lending platform’s product offering and operational capabilities, including bringing Zopa’s ISA products to market.

Former Virgin Management chief executive Gordon McCallum (pictured) has been appointed as the group’s new chairman, replacing 15-year incumbent Andrews, who will retain a seat in the boardroom.

McCallum has more than four decades’ worth of professional, executive, and non-executive experience, and most recently served as chief executive of Virgin’s UK management company, where he oversaw the growth of Virgin Money and Virgin Media/Virgin Mobile.

“I am delighted that the board has appointed Gordon McCallum to succeed me as chairman,” said Andrews. “Having helped Zopa grow into a profitable, sustainable, and successful business, the time is right to pass on the baton to an independent chair. With Gordon as chair and Jaidev [Janardana] as chief executive, I am confident Zopa is in the right hands to take the business to the next level.”

McCallum added: “Succeeding Giles as chairman is a great honour. I have known and admired Zopa since Giles and his colleagues created it in 2005, and I’m delighted to be joining at this exciting time for the business, after receiving its banking licence (with restrictions) in December.

Read more: Zopa passes £4bn lending milestone

“I share Zopa’s ambition to make the industry fairer for its customers and help them to “feelgood” about money. I look forward to working with Jaidev and the group board to achieve it.”

Zopa, which is readying to launch a digital bank, has also announced the appointment of three new board members across its bank and P2P lending boards.

Gaenor Bagley has been named as an independent non-executive director of Zopa’s bank board, subject to PRA approval. She has more than 30 years’ experience in professional services and spent five years on the PwC UK board as head of people.

Doris Honold has been appointed as an independent non-executive director of Zopa’s P2P board. She was previously group chief operating officer at Standard Chartered and has more than 25 years of financial service experience.

Read more: Zopa co-founder Giles Andrews to chair board of European direct lender

Michael Woodburn has also joined Zopa’s P2P board as an independent non-executive director. Woodburn spent more than 14 years at Capital One UK and was previously chief executive of Oakbrook Finance.

“We’re delighted that Gordon, Gaenor, Michael, and Doris are joining us on the next stage of our journey,” said Jaidev Janardana, group chief executive of Zopa. “Natasha has made a great contribution to the business and her in-depth understanding of our P2P product and investors makes her a natural fit for the role of P2P chief executive”.

“2019 will be another exciting year for Zopa as we launch our next generation bank, bringing to our customers both a new suite of products and new and improved features within our existing products.
“I look forward to working closely with Gordon and the rest of the team to deliver on our ambition to be the UK’s best place for money.

“On behalf of the business, we’d like to extend our sincere thanks for the enormous contribution Giles has made to Zopa over the last fifteen years. I am delighted that his board role and close involvement with the business will mean that we continue to reap the benefit of his experience.”

Read more: Zopa heralds IFISA as “the perfect middle ground” for investors