City grandee Charlotte Crosswell OBE has been appointed chair of the government-backed Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology.

Crosswell will take post as the fintech body’s first chair in January, stepping down from her role at the helm of another public body, the Open Banking Implementation Entity.

CFIT was one of the main recommendations of ex-Worldpay boss Ron Kalifa’s landmark review of UK fintech last year, and subsequently got £5m in government backing at the 2021 spending review.

READ Ron Kalifa: Here’s how I’m fighting to keep London’s fintech dominance

The organisation already has a steering committee, which is headed up by Kalifa, and has been tasked with driving Britain’s fintech strategy going forward.

Kalifa praised Crosswell’s appointment, saying that she brings “deep experience across the financial services and policy world”.

Economic secretary to the Treasury Andrew Griffith said Crosswell’s appointment will “maximise opportunity and break down barriers to growth” for UK fintech companies.

In a finance career spanning three decades, Crosswell has held the top jobs at Innovate Finance, Britain’s fintech trade body, and at Nasdaq NLX.

She was also a board director at clearing house LCH, trade bodies UK Finance and TheCityUK, and head of international business development at the London Stock Exchange Group. 

Crosswell said: “We have a unique opportunity to capitalise on the considerable progress that has already been made between industry, government and regulators to support this exciting sector and ensure that its impact is felt up and down the country.”

The hire brings an end to a months-long search for a figurehead for the organisation. However, it is still looking for a chief executive, as first reported by Financial News in August.

Russell Reynolds Associates — the headhunter currently also working on a replacement for private equity giant Carlyle’s chief executive — has been brought in on the search.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Alex Daniel

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