Innovate Finance appoints Louise Smith as Chair

Innovate Finance, the industry body representing UK FinTech, has named Louise Smith as its new Chair, to start in role on 9 July 2021.

Smith is Lloyd’s first Chief Digital Officer, and is responsible for the programme of work that supports Lloyd’s to further build its digital capabilities and offering across the insurance industry. She is nationally and internationally recognised as a thought leader on digital innovation, disruptive technologies and the emerging workforce. She is currently laying the groundwork to ensure Lloyd’s has a strong, consistent digital approach in its Future at Lloyd’s programme of work.

With an extensive career in creating and running digital business models, Smith is at the forefront of influencing and changing the shape and evolution of the financial services sector in the UK and globally. Smith is also a regional FinTech ambassador, appointed by the UK Government. In this role she supports new incumbents in the financial services sector and collaborates with the ‘start up’ community and challengers.

Smith will take over as Chair of Innovate Finance from Natalie Ceeney CBE, who has been in the role since May 2017. Smith will join the Board as a Director on 1 June 2021, and take over from Ceeney on 9 July 2021. Ceeney’s career has spanned the public and private sectors, across a range of policy, leadership and regulatory roles. In addition to Innovate Finance, Ceeney chairs the independent Access to Cash Review, and is a non-executive director of Anglian Water Services LTD, Ford Credit Europe and Sport England.

Smith says:

“I’m delighted to be stepping into the role of Chair at Innovate Finance and look forward to working closely with Janine and the wider team during a very exciting time for UK FinTech. The sector is maturing at a rapid rate and there is significant momentum following the Kalifa Review, with renewed support from government, industry and the wider community to fuel further financial innovation across the country.

“Having been closely involved with the growth and evolution of financial services through my executive career, I’m excited to continue supporting the innovators and entrepreneurs transforming the sector to better deliver for businesses and consumers alike.”

Ceeney says:

“It has been a wonderful four years serving as Chair of Innovate Finance, and I’m hugely proud of what we have achieved as a team. It’s been encouraging to see both Innovate Finance and the FinTech sector mature and grow from strength to strength, and I’m pleased to be leaving the organisation in Louise and Janine’s capable hands.

“Louise brings vital experience to the Chair role, both in understanding the fast-moving environment of innovation and being directly involved with key Government departments to deliver real change. Her unique expertise will enhance the work of Innovate Finance to advance the financial innovation agenda and support the UK FinTech ecosystem.”

Image source: Louise Smith/RBS