Railsr nabs ex-Mastercard chair

By Will McCurdy on Thursday 1 September 2022

Alternative LendingDigital Banking

Rick Haythornthwaite brings over 30 years of management experience to the UK-based embedded finance platform.

Railsr nabs ex-Mastercard chair
Image source: Nigel Verdon/Railsr.

Railsr, formerly known as Railsbank, has hired ex-Mastercard chair Rick Haythornthwaite to become its new chairman.

Haythornthwaite is no stranger to senior board positions, having served as chairman of Centrica from January 2014 to February 2019, chairman of the Creative Industries Federation since 2017, independent non-executive chairman for Ocado Group since May 2021, and chairman of The AA since March 2021.

Railsr CEO Nigel Verdon said in a LinkedIn post he welcomes Haythornthwaite as his "new boss”.

The chief exec said  Haythornthwaite was first introduced to the company by Mo El Husseiny, an investor at Ventura Capital.

The news comes after Railsr raised $70 million in a July 2021 funding round, which was earmarked for expanding its product lines across Europe, Asia Pacific, and North America.

Haythornthwaite isn’t the only senior hire that the fintech challenger has recently made.

Railsr hired John Hammond as its new chief commercial officer (CCO) in April 2021 as well as ex-Wise exec Stuart Gregory as its new chief product officer (CPO).

Railsr CEO Nigel Verdon has previously expressed some strong opinions in a past interview with AltFi, saying: “We think fintech’s dead.” 

Verdon predicted the increased popularity of an embedded finance approach, where the front end and the back end of finance become decoupled so that non-finance consumers such as retailers can offer loans, payments, insurance, or bank accounts seamlessly.

In August of this year, Railsr partnered with specialist insurance intermediary Elmore to bring specialist insurance to fintech firms, with cover including cyber, crime, directors’ and professional indemnity insurance.

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