"It’s exciting to be able to bring onboard their depth of talent and experience to help shape the future of the bank as we develop leading edge product and marketing capabilities."
SME lender, Allica Bank, has appointed a trio of senior fintech hires.
The business bank recently completed a follow-on investment of £26m led by existing majority shareholder, Warwick Capital Partners and announced that it is launching a £100m funding round to help it meet the current high levels of demand for finance it is experiencing from British businesses.
Conrad Ford, the founder and former CEO of Funding Options (a marketplace for business finance), has been appointed as Allica Bank’s new chief product officer. In his new role, Conrad will develop and implement the bank’s future product strategy and further develop Allica’s platform.
Andy Carroll has joined Allica Bank as head of product for payment accounts to lead the strategy, design and delivery of the bank’s new payment account offering. Andy has over a decade of experience building digital products and services for both start-ups and corporates. Most recently, Andy was the group head of product at international payments specialist Equals Group, before which he held product leadership positions at BCG Digital Ventures and mortgage broker Habito.
Allica Bank has also appointed a new head of marketing, Chloe Fenton, to oversee all marketing activities. Chloe was most recently director of marketing at Liberis, an SME finance provider.
Richard Davies, CEO of Allica Bank, commented: “It’s testament to our growth and the strength of Allica Bank that we can attract industry leaders like Conrad, Chloe and Andy. It’s exciting to be able to bring onboard their depth of talent and experience to help shape the future of the bank as we develop leading edge product and marketing capabilities.”
Conrad Ford said: “It's no secret that traditional high street banks - weighed down by legacy infrastructure - struggle to serve established SMEs, a segment that sits awkwardly between consumer-like micro-firms and sought-after corporates. Ten years ago, a business with a dozen employees could expect an experienced relationship manager in their local bank branch. Now they face being bounced around an anonymous call centre. This has far-reaching consequences as bank lending to these firms has stagnated, a problem I saw first-hand running Funding Options.
“In other areas of running a business, providers like Xero have delivered dramatic upgrades with mobile and cloud technology, and there's no reason why the same can't be done for business relationship banking in conjunction with real human relationships. It's crazy that no one has attacked this problem yet, when you think that established firms represent a quarter of UK GDP, far more than the micro-business segment that has received so much focus from neo-banks. I see no reason why we can't build the best SME bank in the world, right here in the UK, and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to do so alongside this incredibly dedicated team.”