Home Business NewsBusinessBanking News OakNorth welcomes Lord Adair Turner as its new Chairman

OakNorth welcomes Lord Adair Turner as its new Chairman

by LLB Reporter
27th Dec 23 10:05 am

The appointment will strengthen its ambitious growth plans through Lord Turner’s extensive experience and expertise across financial regulation, banking, and climate change.

OakNorth – the neobank for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs, today announces the further strengthening of its board with the appointment of Lord (Adair) Turner, as its Chairman.

Lord Turner has an extensive track record in financial services, including as: Vice-Chairman of Merrill Lynch Europe, a Board Director of Standard Chartered, Chair of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), a member of the Court of the Bank of England, and a founder member of the Financial Policy Committee. He came into his role at the FSA only days after the collapse of Lehman Brothers and played a central role in financial regulation post crisis that laid the foundation for the creation of new banks.

He was the first Chair of the Committee on Climate Change, with notable achievements including the strengthening of the UK 2050 target and the acceptance by the UK Government of the Committee’s proposed first three carbon budgets. He is currently Chair of the Energy Transitions Commission as well as Chubb Europe, and is a non-executive director of AESC, a battery company headquartered in Japan.

Lord Turner’s appointment reflects OakNorth’s commitment to continue building a robust business that remains positioned to support its clients through economic cycles. His appointment also reflects its efforts to support a more sustainable future – it was the first bank to be net zero for Scope 1 and 2 emissions in 2019, followed by a target to achieve net zero for the emissions it finances by 2035.

Lord Turner has already played a part in OakNorth’s story to date through his previous independent counsel. Since its launch in September 2015, OakNorth has been reshaping how entrepreneurs are supported in scaling their businesses, taking the large cap banking approach, and industrialising it for smaller companies (£1-100m in revenue).

The c.£10b it has lent to date has directly contributed to the creation of 40,000 new jobs, and 29,000 new homes across the UK. He has served on its Advisory Board for several years, as well as previously holding the role of Senior Independent Director with the business from 2015–2017.

OakNorth’s current Chairman, Cyrus Ardalan, will be stepping down at the end of the year after eight years in the role, in accordance with the Corporate Governance Code. His term spanned the establishment of the bank and some notable challenges including Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the recent cost of living crisis, and his guidance has been crucial to OakNorth’s success throughout.

Commenting on the appointment, Rishi Khosla, CEO and co-founder of OakNorth, said: “Lord Turner’s appointment as our Chairman is an exciting milestone for the business. His expertise will be invaluable as we continue our journey expanding into new products and services, and supporting our customers in their growth ambitions.

“Adair joined the FSA as Chairman at the peak of the financial crisis in 2008, so had a front row seat as to what went wrong and played a central role in writing the regulation to help prevent history from repeating itself.

“As we broaden our offering to customers with a wider range of business banking products, Adair’s experience across financial regulation will be incredibly useful in ensuring we continue to scale robustly. We are very grateful to Cyrus for his dedication and leadership.

“He has been a guiding light helping to ensure we could continue to succeed and scale over the years – and help our customers do the same.”

Lord Adair Turner, Chairman of OakNorth, added: “I’ve been following OakNorth’s impressive growth story since I first met Rishi Khosla and Joel Perlman back in 2014, and am excited by the opportunity to support its continued success.

“The business has impressive growth plans, as well as ambitious plans for sustainability – notably to be net zero for all its emissions by 2035, which will involve a huge amount of work with its customers. I look forward to working with the talented OakNorth team.”

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