City of London Group has hired Philip Jenks as chairman, who is known from his time at Halifax and Charter Court Financial Services.
The group is currently applying for a banking licence, which will allow its subsidiary Recognise to target the SME sector.
City of London Group has experience of funding commercial, SME, bridging and development finance, home reversion plans, and asset and loan finance.
Michael Goldstein, chief executive at City of London Group, said: “Philip’s proven leadership skills, breadth of experience, his track record of growing businesses and specifically his deep understanding of the regulatory environment and the banking authorisation process, are invaluable to the Recognise board as we progress our SME banking licence application.
“He joins an executive team that has extensive experience of operating in the regulated banking sector and building SME banking portfolios.”
Jenks has over 40 years’ experience in the financial services and mortgage industries.
Beginning his career with Halifax Building Society, he rose to general manager of mortgages and then on to various director roles with Halifax Bank of Scotland, running the UK’s largest mortgages and savings business across several different brands.
In 2009 he was appointed as an independent non-executive director of Charter Court FS Group, becoming deputy chairman in 2014 and leading the business through a trade sale and then, in 2017, a successful IPO. Jenks has been a non-executive director at Leeds Building Society since 2011 and has previously acted as specialist adviser to the Housing Finance Select Committee.
His appointment follows those of former Arachnys chief financial officer Louise McCarthy, former KPMG partner Richard Gabbertas and Simon Wainwright, MD and COO for Europe, Middle East and Africa at global reinsurer RGA, as independent NEDS of Recognise.
Jenks added: “I am looking forward to helping take Recognise to the next level on its journey to becoming a licensed bank.
“I have been very impressed with the quality of the Recognise team, their experience and insight into the SME banking sector and the compelling strategy they are driving forward.
“Having been on a successful journey with a similar organisation, I feel confident I can add real value to Recognise.”