Online peer to peer finance company Zopa, has announced it has appointed Gordon McCallum as its new Chair, moving forward its plans to take on Britain’s largest banks.

McCallum joins Zopa with over four decades’ worth of professional, executive, and non-executive experience. He served as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Virgin’s UK management company and architected the Group’s strategy from the mid-1990s until 2012, with particular focus on Virgin Money and Virgin Media/Virgin Mobile, holding non-executive roles across many Virgin companies. He is currently 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.

After 15 years at Zopa, 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. Giles will also continue with his role as Chairman across a variety of other fintech businesses, including Market Invoice, Kreditech, Bethnal Green Ventures, and Dynamic Credit, as well as on sitting on the Department of International Trade’s fintech board and the City of London’s fintech strategy board.

In addition, Zopa also announces the appointment of three key board members across its bank and P2P boards.

The new appointments include Gaenor Bagley, Doris Honold, and Michael Woodburn.

  • Gaenor Bagley joins as an independent non-executive director of Zopa’s bank board, subject to PRA approval. Bagleyr brings 30 years’ worth of professional services experience to Zopa, having held a variety of leadership and board positions, including five years on the PwC UK board as Head of People.
  • Doris Honold joins as an independent non-executive director of Zopa’s peer-to-peer board. Most recently, Honold was Group Chief Operating Officer at Standard Chartered and she brings 25 years of financial services experience gained from senior risk and chief operating roles in Frankfurt, Tokyo, Singapore and London.
  • Michael Woodburn joins as an independent non-executive director on Zopa’s peer-to-peer board. Woodburn served as CEO of Oakbrook Finance, and spent over 14 years at Capital One UK across a variety of roles including both COO and CMO roles.

In line with Zopa’s governance restructure announced in April 2018 – where separate bank and P2P entities were created under the Zopa Group parent company – Zopa has appointed Natasha Wear (it’s current head of investment products) as Chief Executive Officer of its P2P business.

Giles Andrews, Zopa co-founder, said “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.”

Jaidev Janardana, Group CEO, said “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”.

“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.”