Zopa chairman Giles Andrew to step down after 15 years

Zopa’s co-founder Giles Andrew is to step down as chairman after 15 years at Britain’s oldest peer-to-peer lender.

The firm has tapped Virgin Management’s former boss Gordon McCallum to be its new non-executive chairman.

Mr Andrew co-founded the Zopa in 2004 with co-workers from internet bank Egg and became chairman in 2015.

Zopa said Mr Andrew will step back from his chairman role but will remain on the board and will be “closely involved with the strategic direction and leadership of the business”.

Mr Andrews said: “Having helped Zopa grow into a profitable, sustainable, and successful business, the time is right to pass on the baton to an independent chair.”

Mr McCallum was previously chief executive of Virgin’s UK management company and he is currently chairman of wellington footwear firm Hunter Boot, and a non-executive director of Virgin Atlantic Airways.

Mr McCallum said: “I’m delighted to be joining at this exciting time for the business, after receiving its banking licence (with restrictions) in December.

“I share Zopa’s ambition to make the industry fairer for its customers and help them to ‘feel good’ about money.”

As part of its plans to take on the big high street lenders, Zopa secured a banking licence with restrictions from the Financial Conduct Authority to test products before being given the full approval by the City watchdog.

In December, Zopa’s chief executive Jaidev Janardana told the Press Association that it is considering a stock market flotation in two or three years’ time to help it expand.

As a peer-to-peer lender, Zopa has approved nearly £4 billion in personal loans and the company and plans to integrate its lending offering with the new banking proposition.