Peer to peer lender Zopa announced on Thursday it has appointed former Virgin Management CEO, Gordon McCallum as new Chairman as it prepares to take on Britain’s largest banks. This news comes just a couple of months after Zopa announced it has received authorization from both the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) to operate its much anticipated digital challenger bank.
According to Zopa, McCallum has more than four decades worth of professional, executive, and non-executive experience. He served as CEO of Virgin’s UK management company and architected the Group’s strategy from the mid-1990s until 2012, with focus on Virgin Money and Virgin Media/Virgin Mobile, holding non-executive roles across many Virgin companies. He is now a Senior Advisor to private equity firm, Searchlight Capital, Chairman of Hunter Boot, and a Non-Executive Director of a number of companies, including Virgin Atlantic Airways.
Zopa also noted that co-founder, former CEO, Group Chairman, and major shareholder, Giles Andrews, will step back from his Group Chairman role but remain on the Zopa Group board and closely involved with the strategic direction and leadership of the business. Andrews stated:
“I am delighted that the board has appointed Gordon McCallum to succeed me as Chairman. 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 as CEO, I am confident Zopa is in the right hands to take the business to the next level.”
Gordon McCallum, Zopa’s Group Chair also shared:
“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. 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.”
Jaidev Janardana, Zopa’s CEO, went on to add:
“We’re delighted that Gordon, Gaenor, Michael, and Doris are joining us on the next stage of our journey. 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 CEO”.