Small business lender Iwoca has announced that Seema Desai has been named Chief Operations Officer (COO). Desai joins a small but growing number of women at C-suite level in the fintech industry.

Desai joined iwoca in January 2017 as Head of People, developing Iwoca’s talent and organisational capabilities. Prior to joining Iwoca, Desai led the development of the Innovative Finance ISA at peer-to-peer lender Zopa as Head of Product. Prior to that, she helped members to drive financial inclusion in emerging markets at GSMA, the trade body of mobile network operators, before which she gained experience in traditional banking as Head of Retail Savings Products at Halifax and Bank of Scotland (HBOS).

Christoph Rieche, CEO and co-founder, Iwoca said:“Seema has been an exceptional hire for Iwoca, working tirelessly over the last 18 months to tackle the painful organisational challenges that beset hyper growth scale-ups like us. She has helped Iwoca overcome these hurdles by fostering a mindful and motivated culture that enables the high performance essential for achieving our dream to fund a million small businesses. She’s smart, humble and passionate. As COO, I need her to continue to move mountains to unlock access to finance for small businesses across Europe.”