Zopa has announced a governance restructure in advance of launching its next-generation bank. The re-structure will establish separate boards for the Zopa P2P business, proposed bank (subject to banking licence approval) and Group in order to facilitate the increasing scale of the business, ensure good corporate governance and protect the interests of its customers.
The changes come with the appointment of two new board chairs as well as two new independent non-executive directors to the proposed bank. Christine Farnish will be chair of the P2P board and Peter Herbert will be chair of the proposed bank.
Subject to regulatory approval, a new P2P board will oversee the success of Zopa’s peer-to-peer business and will be chaired by Christine Farnish CBE. Farnish, will join as an independent non-executive director, and a member of the Group board. Christine has spent the last six years as chair of the P2P Finance Association. She is also a non-executive director on the boards of Ofwat and Ofgem. Previously, Christine was Group Managing Director, Public Policy, at Barclays, CEO of the National Association of Pension Funds, and Consumer Affairs Director at the FSA (the forerunner to the FCA).
Subject to regulatory approval, Zopa will put in place a new board of directors to oversee the success of Zopa’s proposed bank. The new board will include: Peter Herbert as chair, joins as independent non-executive director, and a member of the Group board. Peter has over 40 years’ experience in the financial services industry, most recently as Chief Executive Officer at Tandem. Herbert started his career at Barclays: the positions he held included Finance Director of three of the Group’s major operating divisions, Group Head of Strategy, and Managing Director of Barclaycard. Subsequently, at GE Capital, he was the Chief Executive Officer of the global mortgage, consumer lending and credit cards business.
Richard Goulding joins as independent non-executive director, and a member of the Group board. Previously, Goulding was at Standard Chartered Bank, where he was Group Chief Risk Officer and director for 10 years. He holds positions as a non-executive director at the Bank of Ireland and CitiGroup Global Markets Ltd.
Paul Cutter has been appointed as an independent non-executive director, specialising in technology. Cutter has been Chief Technology Officer at Paddy Power Betfair since 2014, having previously spent nearly 10 years in senior technology roles at BSkyB and AOL.
Giles Andrews, Zopa Group chair, commented: “Over the last 13 years, Zopa has grown significantly, delivering better value products and an excellent experience to its customers. I am excited to have such an experienced group of independent non-executive directors joining us and I look forward to working with them on the next stage of Zopa’s growth. These appointments represent another major building block in our ambition to make Zopa the best place for its customers’ money.”
Jaidev Janardana, Zopa’s CEO, added: “We’re delighted that Christine, Peter, Richard and Paul share the same excitement for the business as we do and have chosen to join us for the next stage of our journey. All of them bring a diverse set of skills, experiences, and perspectives to our team at what is a pivotal time for the business.”
Zopa is looking to fill the remaining positions on its proposed bank and P2P boards in the coming months.