Allica Bank appoints Conrad Ford as chief product officer

Jessica Bird

October 5, 2020

Conrad Ford, Allica Bank

Allica Bank has appointed Conrad Ford (pictured), founder of Funding Options, as chief product officer.

In addition, the bank has named Andy Carroll, formerly group head of product at Equals as head of product, payment accounts, and Chloe Fenton, formerly of Liberis, as head of marketing.

The business bank recently completed a follow-on investment of £26m led by existing majority shareholder, Warwick Capital Partners and announced that it is launching a £100m funding round to help it meet the current high levels of demand for finance it is experiencing from British businesses.

In his new role, Ford will develop and implement the bank’s future product strategy, and further develop Allica’s platform, while ensuring a unified product vision as the bank seeks to deliver a full suite of banking products to support SMEs.

Carroll will lead the strategy, design and delivery of the bank’s new payment account offering.

Fenton will oversee all marketing activities, and will focus on further raising awareness of Allica Bank’s proposition.

Richard Davies, chief executive officer at Allica Bank, said: “It’s testament to our growth and the strength of Allica Bank that we can attract industry leaders like Conrad, Chloe and Andy.

“It’s exciting to be able to bring onboard their depth of talent and experience to help shape the future of the bank as we develop leading edge product and marketing capabilities”

Ford said: “It’s no secret that traditional high street banks – weighed down by legacy infrastructure – struggle to serve established SMEs, a segment that sits awkwardly between consumer-like micro-firms and sought-after corporates.

“Ten years ago, a business with a dozen employees could expect an experienced relationship manager in their local bank branch.

“Now they face being bounced around an anonymous call centre.

“This has far-reaching consequences as bank lending to these firms has stagnated, a problem I saw first-hand running Funding Options.

“In other areas of running a business, providers like Xero have delivered dramatic upgrades with mobile and cloud technology, and there’s no reason why the same can’t be done for business relationship banking in conjunction with real human relationships.

“It’s crazy that no one has attacked this problem yet, when you think that established firms represent a quarter of UK GDP, far more than the micro-business segment that has received so much focus from neo-banks.

“I see no reason why we can’t build the best SME bank in the world, right here in the UK, and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to do so alongside this incredibly dedicated team.”

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