Tide picks Sage chair Sir Donald Brydon to lead boardroom

By Oliver Smith on Tuesday 1 September 2020

Digital Banking

Taking over from Eileen Burbidge who departed last November.

Tide picks Sage chair Sir Donald Brydon to lead boardroom
Image source: Sir Donald Brydon.

Small business banking provider Tide has finally found a new chairman, with the appointment today of veteran boardroom director Sir Donald Brydon.

Brydon is currently also the chair of the Sage Group, although his retirement was announced last week, and has previously chaired the boards of the London Stock Exchange, Royal Mail, Smiths Group and several others.

He takes over from Passion Capital’s founding partner Eileen Burbidge who stepped down as chair of Tide in November 2019 after the fintech’s last funding round with Augmentum Fintech and SBI Group saw Passion lose its board seat.

“After an extensive search for our first independent Non-Executive Chair, I am delighted and honoured that Sir Donald Brydon has accepted the appointment,” said Tide CEO Oliver Prill, who also nodded towards the group’s next funding round.

“Sir Donald’s varied experience will be vital as we move towards our Series C fundraising, extend our investor base and continue to build out our platform to empower UK SMEs at such a pivotal time.”

Brydon joins Tide’s board after a tumultuous six months for the business, which initially saw its customer base bolstered as SMEs looked to shore up their banking and accounting processes in lockdown, but then found itself unable to provide many of its customers with essential Bounce Back Loans.

Tide found itself unable to raise the £100m it needed to continue lending, while customers found themselves unable to go elsewhere as most high street banks had stopped opening new business current accounts.

“The conclusion we have reached is that we, and players like us, can only really serve BBLS customers if the funding is provided [by the government],” Prill told AltFi at the time.

Tide is currently awaiting the result of its second Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) bid, it teamed up with ClearBank once again to apply for £25-£35m with awardees due to be announced during the week of 21 September.

“The business has experienced impressive growth to date and I believe I can play a key role in supporting Tide as the company looks to embark on another phase of growth,” said Brydon upon his appointment.

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