Virgin Money CFO resigns to join Nordic giant Nordea

Ian Smith

Glasgow-based Virgin Money UK, owner of Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks, said on Thursday that Ian Smith is resigning as group chief financial officer (CFO) “to take up an external overseas opportunity.”

Helsinki-based Nordic banking giant Nordea issued a statement saying Smith, an expert in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), will join it as group CFO and head of group finance and also become a member of its group leadership team. 

Smith, 53, previously held senior positions as banking audit partner and financial services M&A leader at Deloitte. Smith also served as director of group finance at Lloyds Banking Group plc and at Halifax Bank of Scotland plc (HBOS).

He has a degree in economics from the University of Aberdeen.

Virgin Money UK said it has begun a formal process to identify and appoint a successor to Smith.

Smith will remain in his role “to support an orderly transition until a date after the group’s interim results (on May 6) to be agreed.”

Virgin Money UK CEO David Duffy, said: “Ian has been our CFO since 2014 and has been a valued member of the board and my leadership team through the separation from National Australia Bank, transformation of CYBG PLC following its IPO, and acquisition of Virgin Money.

“Ian has played an instrumental role in creating the financial strength and discipline that will enable us to continue delivering our ambitious strategy.

“I thank Ian for his hard work and dedication during this period, and I wish him all the very best for the future.”

Smith said: “I have hugely enjoyed the last 5 years with CYBG and Virgin Money, working with David, the board and all of my colleagues to build a true disruptor to the status quo in UK banking.

“While it was a very difficult decision, I have been given a great opportunity to build the next stage of my career overseas.”

Nordea CEO Frank Vang-Jensen said: “I am pleased to welcome Ian to Nordea.

“He brings leadership, expertise and a strong track record.

“With his background and experience in the financial services sector focused on finance, treasury, business planning, cost management and M&A he is the ideal CFO for Nordea.

“The appointment supports Nordea’s new phase and our key priorities – optimise operational efficiency, drive income growth initiatives and create great customer experiences – and I look forward to working with him across the business and in the group leadership team.”

Smith added: “Nordea is the leading bank in the Nordic region.

“I am excited to join Nordea’s new phase and look forward to working with the group leadership team to drive financial performance and help unlock the potential of the bank.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.