Atom appoints Lee Rochford as new Chairman
24 May 2023
Atom bank has today announced it will appoint Lee Rochford as its new Chairman, subject to full regulatory approval. He will replace Bridget Rosewell when she steps down in September, having held the role for five years and overseen a critical period of Atom’s growth.
Lee has significant experience as a board-level executive in both publicly listed and private financial services businesses and held the position of Chief Financial Officer at Virgin Money when it listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2014. He has also held senior roles at RBS and was previously CEO at Arrow Global Group, a listed diversified financial services business.
Lee joins Atom at a vital point in its journey, with the bank continuing to build operating profit and growing sustainably following several successful capital raises.
Mark Mullen, CEO at Atom Bank, said: “We’re all very excited to welcome Lee to Atom. Ahead of us lie many challenges as we build scale, profitability and maturity on our way to listing the company.
“Lee shares our vision and brings with him the values, skills and experience to help us all achieve our goals. In common with everyone at Atom, he fully understands the importance of customers in our culture and is as energised at the prospect of changing banking for good, as I am myself.
“Bridget’s contribution to Atom over the years has been immense. She has been a wonderful leader at the bank and an enormously supportive personal mentor, for which I am hugely grateful.”
Bridget Rosewell, Chairman at Atom bank added: “It’s with both sadness and pride that I move on from Atom after the allotted nine years I’m allowed. The journey has been a rollercoaster and always exciting. Unlike a rollercoaster, we’ve travelled a distance and made significant achievements in becoming a trusted and a profitable bank.
“Now I hand over to Lee who I know shares the vision with which we have created Atom to offer a fair approach to banking. I wish him well and I am sure he will help the team on the next phase of the journey.”
Lee Rochford, commented: “I am delighted to be joining Atom at this pivotal moment in its journey. The foundations are strong with a thriving culture, strong customer focus and proven technology.
“However, much remains to be done to build consistent profitability and scale the bank if it’s to deliver on its vision. Like everyone at Atom I’m passionate about changing banking for the better, so I’m looking forward to working with the talented team there to deliver that.
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About Atom bank
Atom bank is the UK’s first app-based bank, on a mission to make the experience of borrowing and saving faster, simpler and better value than anyone else.
The bank launched operations in April 2016, and offers award-winning mortgages and savings through its app, alongside secured business lending for small and medium-sized enterprises.
Based in the North East of England with a team of over 470 people, Atom is here to change banking for the good, for the better, and for everyone. This means focusing on customers’ needs, delivering better value than the incumbents, providing an exceptional app-based experience and offering award-winning customer support via phone, chat, email and social channels.
Based in Durham, Atom is an engaged and active member of the North East Community. In 2022 Atom signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding with Durham University to progress key research and diversity initiatives. The region has one of the highest levels of youth unemployment in the UK and Atom is passionate about addressing the critical digital skills gap and helping develop young people and other groups that are under-represented within the industry.
As of November 2021, all employees enjoy a four-day working week, after Atom became the largest company - and only bank - in Britain to introduce the policy across its full employee population with no reduction in salary.
The Atom executive team are highly experienced, having built and run some of the most well-respected banks in the UK. CEO Mark Mullen has 30 years’ experience in the sector and was previously CEO at the multi- award-winning telephone and internet bank first direct. The team is supported by a strong non-exec board, chaired by Bridget Rosewell CBE.