Innovate Finance names new chair

Ellie Duncan
14 May 2021

Innovate Finance has announced that Lloyd’s first chief digital officer Louise Smith will succeed Natalie Ceeney as chair of the industry body representing UK fintechs. 

Smith will join the board as a director on 1 June 2021, and will take over from Ceeney, who has been in the role since May 2017, on 9 July this year. 

At Lloyd’s, Smith is responsible for the programme of work that supports the organisation in building out its digital capabilities and offering across the insurance industry. 

She is also a regional fintech ambassador, appointed by the UK Government, supporting new incumbents in the financial services sector. 

In April, Janine Hirt was announced as interim CEO of Innovate Finance, following the decision by Charlotte Crosswell to step down as CEO in May this year. 

Incoming chair of Innovate Finance Smith, 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.” 

She added: “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 said: “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.” 

Hirt is part of the judging panel for this year’s Open Banking Expo Awards.