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GoCardless appoints new Chief People Officer and Head of Corporate Development to accelerate growth

June 6, 2023

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GoCardless, a global leader in direct bank payments, has appointed Alan Cairns as its new Chief People Officer and Kamila McWilliam as Head of Corporate Development. The move comes less than a year after the fintech’s first acquisition, the purchase of open banking data provider Nordigen, and signals its strong intent to scale and grow as it builds the world’s bank payment network.

Cairns joins GoCardless from iTech Media, where he helped to scale the organisation from 60 to several hundreds of  people during his tenure as Chief Operating Officer. With more than 30 years of experience in operations, people and talent, and having led brands like MoneySuperMarket, MOO and GE through transition and growth, Cairns will focus on building a diverse, inclusive and high-performance culture at GoCardless. Cairns is also a passionate and active member of the startup community, acting as a mentor for Ambitious Ladies in Tech and a fellow of London COO Roundtable, in addition to sharing advice on people and talent development for SeedCamp’s Expert Collective.

McWilliam comes to GoCardless from digital payments infrastructure provider PPRO, where she was VP, Head of Corporate Development. Prior to that, she held a variety of leadership roles at Barclays, most recently as Director in the Group Corporate Development team. At GoCardless, McWilliam will be responsible for driving and accelerating the fintech's inorganic growth by defining and executing its global M&A strategy.

Cairns said: “I’m excited to join GoCardless, an organisation that combines purpose with a strong culture. Our incredibly ambitious and talented people will help us become a market leader in the years to come. I’m grateful for the opportunity to make a difference and build on our ‘People promise’ as we move into our second decade of growth.”

McWilliam said: “The account-to-account payment space has become increasingly active in terms of M&A. I love the strategic direction of the business, the clear mandate to use M&A as a lever for growth, and the scale of our ambition to become the world’s bank payment network.”

Hiroki Takeuchi, co-founder and CEO at GoCardless, said: “In order to become the world’s bank payment network, we have to get faster and more competitive. Whether we’re focusing on our core bank debit proposition or harnessing new innovations such as open banking, having the right people to lead us on this journey is essential. Alan and Kamila join us at a critical juncture and by adding their expertise and experience to the business, we are well positioned to succeed now and in the future.”

Cairns and McWilliam are the latest appointments to the GoCardless leadership team, which was recently bolstered by the addition of former Nordigen executives to capitalise on the $400 billion global open banking opportunity and GoCardless President Paul Stoddart, an industry veteran with extensive experience in account-to-account payments.

These appointments come as GoCardless continues to accelerate its growth by bringing new products to market, including a white label product which lets any payment service provider tap into its global bank payment network, and continuing its push into new forms of bank payment, including open banking and PayTo.

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