A former chief financial officer of Virgin Money has been appointed as Atom Bank's new chairman to replace Bridget Rosewell.
In what could be an indicator of Atom's IPO ambitions, Lee Rochford, who helped Virgin Money to float on the London Stock Exchange in 2014, joins the bank at what he called a "pivotal moment". Mr Rochford also held senior roles at RBS and was CEO at the formerly listed debt recovery specialist Arrow Global Group.
Bridget Rosewell, who has been in position for five years, will step down in September. The move comes as Atom was reported to be eyeing a £100m capital fundraise, following £30m secured from existing investors BBVA, Toscafund and Infinity Investment Partners late last year.
Mark Mullen, CEO at Atom Bank, said: “We’re all very excited to welcome Lee to Atom. Ahead of us lie many challenges as we build scale, profitability and maturity on our way to listing the company. Lee shares our vision and brings with him the values, skills and experience to help us all achieve our goals. In common with everyone at Atom, he fully understands the importance of customers in our culture and is as energised at the prospect of changing banking for good, as I am myself.
“Bridget’s contribution to Atom over the years has been immense. She has been a wonderful leader at the bank and an enormously supportive personal mentor, for which I am hugely grateful.”
Bridget Rosewell, chairman at Atom bank added: “It’s with both sadness and pride that I move on from Atom after the allotted nine years I’m allowed. The journey has been a rollercoaster and always exciting. Unlike a rollercoaster, we’ve travelled a distance and made significant achievements in becoming a trusted and a profitable bank. Now I hand over to Lee who I know shares the vision with which we have created Atom to offer a fair approach to banking. I wish him well and I am sure he will help the team on the next phase of the journey."
Lee Rochford said: "I am delighted to be joining Atom at this pivotal moment in its journey. The foundations are strong with a thriving culture, strong customer focus and proven technology. However, much remains to be done to build consistent profitability and scale the bank if it’s to deliver on its vision. Like everyone at Atom I’m passionate about changing banking for the better, so I’m looking forward to working with the talented team there to deliver that."
Speaking to BusinessLive last August, Atom's chief customer officer, Ed Twiddy, said the firm's long awaited plans to float remain unchanged, but that it was waiting for better market conditions. At the time, Mr Twiddy cited big macroeconomic and geopolitical movements suggesting the time was not right.
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