Snakes and Ladders provides a roundup of the most important hires and job moves across the City, every Wednesday afternoon. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured.
After a rocky year for business, City firms are continuing to adapt to the challenges of three national lockdowns and post-Brexit bureaucracy to keep things moving across the Square Mile.
This week, Lloyd’s is navigating a changed transport landscape with the appointment of a managing director, KPMG has bolstered its Scottish team with a new tax head and Oak Furnitureland hiring a retail veteran as chairman in a “pivotal year” for business.
Lloyds Bank hires new head of infrastructure and transport
Lloyds Bank has hired a new managing director and head of infrastructure and transport, Victoria Whitehead, once a graduate on the corporate banking scheme.
After being promoted from her previous role in the bank’s infrastructure and project finance (I&PF) team, she is set to lead the infrastructure and transport coverage team at a crucial time in the UK.
Whitehead, whose appointment coincides with increased awareness around sustainability within the sector, said: “This year is set to be one of the most important in living memory for Britain’s infrastructure sector as the UK aims to build back from the coronavirus induced challenges in a way that is greener and more inclusive of every part of the country.”
Following her stint in the graduate scheme in 2001, Whitehead moved to I&PF in 2004. During this time, I&PF won a number of industry awards.
Reporting to Guillaume Fleuti, Lloyds Bank’s head of infrastructure, she will work alongside the structuring team in I&PF, led by James Taylor, with a focus on originating new business across infrastructure to combat Covid-19 impacts.
Fleuti said, “At a critical time for the country, we’re proud to be promoting talent to our infrastructure franchise that will play a crucial role in helping businesses recover in a way that is sustainable and resilient.”
Aviva Investors strengthens global sustainable outcomes team
Vaidehee Sachdev will join Aviva as impact analyst of its Global Sustainable Outcomes team, using her background in social issues to grow Aviva Investor’s Sustainable Outcomes fund range.
She will work alongside the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark which launched in December, and the due to be launched this year Social Benchmark, to drive change in ranked companies.
With experience within NGO’s, Sachdev moves directly from Shareaction where she worked on improving corporate disclosure on labour and human rights practices.
Head of sustainable outcomes at Aviva Investors Marte Borhaug said: “As the social purpose of companies and markets are increasingly under scrutiny, her extensive experience and proven track record in tackling social issues by driving change with companies and investors will make sure Aviva Investors remains at the forefront of responsible investing.”
New Scottish tax head at KPMG
Former Grant Thornton tax head Vishal Chopra joins KMPG under the equivalent role of Scottish head of tax.
Chopra is set to lead KPMG’s offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow and is “delighted” to support Scotland’s business community.
KPMG’s regional chair in Scotland Catherine Burnet said: “Vishal brings considerable experience and understanding of the issues facing Scottish businesses and his appointment reinforces our commitment to supporting those businesses and the broader Scottish economy.”
Chopra succeeds Alan Turner, after a three-year stint in the position, who has been promoted to lead the firm’s Corporates Tax & Legal Services practice across the UK.
Turner commented, “I’m delighted to be passing the baton over to Vishal in Scotland. His market reputation and commitment to clients have consistently impressed me and it is fantastic to welcome him to KPMG.”
Keystone Law appoints former Slater and Gordon head as partner
Former Slater and Gordon partner and national head of family law, Hannah Cornish, has become a partner at Keystone Law.
Cornish said she is “excited” to join the family team and Keystone’s “impressive reputation”.
Cornish is the 11th lawyer to grace Keystone’s steps in the last month. Including the appointment of ex-Slater and Gordon partner Clive Howard and the former head of employment at Mayer Brown, Nick Robertson.
Chief executive and founder of Keystone Law James Knight said it was a “pleasure” to see her join the team.
“She is a highly regarded professional and her niche of advising on complex disputes involving children will be an asset to our clients and complement our flourishing family offering,” Knight added.
Former CEO of Allica Bank & Harrods Bank joins the Crowdproperty board
Ex-chief executive of Allica Bank and Harrods Bank Mark Stephens joins property lending platform CrowdProperty’s Board as a non-executive director.
Once a founding partner and deputy chief executive at Aldermore, the move follows two years at Allica Bank where he aimed to reinvent traditional banking for businesses through a network of local bankers.
Crowdproperty chief executive Michael Bristow said” “Mark’s four decades of experience in providing financial services which empower SME businesses will be highly valuable in enhancing Crowdproperty’s current service offering and future strategy, whilst enhancing the collective expertise on our Board.”
The banking veteran also holds the position of senior independent non-executive director at Distribution Finance Capital Holdings, chairing three different boards.
Previously the chief executive of Harrods Bank, Stephens oversaw its sale to challenger bank Tandem in 2018.
Stephens said: “”It’s an exciting time to be joining the team, given the numerous milestones and accolades achieved against a difficult economic backdrop over the last 12 months.”
Ex-Sainsbury’s boss joins Furniture Land after leading Test and Trace
Furniture retailer Oak Furnitureland has appointed ex-Sainsbury’s boss Mike Coupe as its chairman.
Before trying his hand as Test and Trace director in September, Coupe led Sainsbury’s for six years as chief executive.
He was infamously caught on camera singing “we’re in the money” after announcing a planned £7bn mega-merger between Sainsbury’s and Asda in 2018, which was eventually blocked by the competition watchdog.
Oak Furnitureland chief executive Alex Fisher said, “Mike has invaluable experience working at the very top level of the retail sector and he will play a key role as we implement our growth plans over the next few years. It’s great to have him on board.”
Coupe said that he was “excited” to join the furniture retailer at a “pivotal time” for business.