OakNorth appoints Lord Adair Turner as chairman

House of Lords member Lord Turner of Ecchinswell - Jonathan Adair Turner - has experience across Standard Chartered Bank, Siemens UK, Merrill Lynch Europe, and McKinsey.

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OakNorth appoints Lord Adair Turner as chairman

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Entrepreneur neobank OakNorth has added Lord Turner to its board and his extensive track record in financial services will support the organisation after current chairman Cyrus Ardalan steps down after eight years in the role, as per the Corporate Governance Code. Ardalan has been at the helm of the OakNorth board since the bank's establishment, through Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic and the cost of living crisis. 

Lord Turner, a founder member of the Financial Policy Committee, a member of the Court of the Bank of England, and chair of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), came into the latter mentioned role at the FSA just days after the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008 and was responsible for laying a foundation for new financial regulation and the creation of new banks. 

Lord Turner was also the first chair of the Committee on Climate Change, strengthening of the UK 2050 target and the acceptance by the UK Government of the Committee’s proposed first three carbon budgets. He is also 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.

OakNorth's efforts to support a more sustainable future will be bolstered by Lord Turner's appointment, the bank already being the first bank to be net zero for Scope 1 and 2 emissions in 2019 and on track to achieve net zero for the emissions it finances by 2035. Lord Turner, after previous independent counsel and serving on the advisory board for several years, will now take on a more involved role at the neobank. 

Rishi Khosla, CEO and co-founder of OakNorth, says: "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, incoming chairman of OakNorth, adds: "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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