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Innovate Finance appoints Louise Smith as new Chair

By Innovate Finance

Wednesday, 12 May 2021 – LONDON: Innovate Finance, the industry body representing UK FinTech, today names Louise Smith as its new Chair, to start in role on 9th July 2021.

Louise 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, Louise is at the forefront of influencing and changing the shape and evolution of the financial services sector in the UK and globally. Louise 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. 

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

Louise Smith, incoming Chair of Innovate Finance, said: “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.”

Natalie Ceeney, outgoing Chair of Innovate Finance, said: “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.

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