Innovate Finance has appointed Lloyds’ chief digital officer and Treasury fintech envoy for Scotland Louise Smith as its chair.
She will start on 9 July, replacing outgoing Natalie Ceeney.
Smith is Lloyds’ first chief digital officer, where she has supported building digital capabilities across the insurance industry. She has also worked as a Treasury fintech envoy for Scotland since December 2016, where she supports incumbents and collaborates with start-ups.
Smith will join Innovate Finance’s board as a director on 1 June and from 9 July will take over as chair, replacing Natalie Ceeney CBE, who has been in the role since May 2017.
Ceeney’s career has spanned the public and private sectors, across a range of policy, leadership and regulatory roles. In addition to Innovate Finance, she chairs the independent Access to Cash Review, and is a non-executive director of Anglian Water Services, Ford Credit Europe and Sport England.
Read more: Government scales up fintech support
“I’m delighted to be stepping into the role of chair at Innovate Finance during a very exciting time for UK fintech,” said Smith.
“The sector is maturing at a rapid rate and there is significant momentum following the Kalifa Review, with renewed support from government, industry and the wider community to fuel further financial innovation across the country.
“Having been closely involved with the growth and evolution of financial services through my executive career, I’m excited to continue supporting the innovators and entrepreneurs transforming the sector to better deliver for businesses and consumers alike.”
Last month, Janine Hirt, took over from Charlotte Crosswell as chief executive of Innovate Finance, marking a shift in leadership at the firm.
“It has been a wonderful four years serving as chair of Innovate Finance, and I’m hugely proud of what we have achieved as a team,” said Ceeney.
“It’s been encouraging to see both Innovate Finance and the fintech sector mature and grow from strength to strength, and I’m pleased to be leaving the organisation in Louise and Janine’s capable hands.
“Louise brings vital experience to the chair role, both in understanding the fast-moving environment of innovation and being directly involved with key government departments to deliver real change. Her unique expertise will enhance the work of Innovate Finance to advance the financial innovation agenda and support the UK fintech ecosystem.”