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Wellesley appoints Stephen Bell as Group CRO PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 25 February 2016

Stephen Bell, former Chief Risk Officer and Board Director of the Ulster Bank Group, has joined Wellesley Group in the newly created role of Group Chief Risk Officer. He will be a member of the Wellesley Group Limited Board and will chair the Group’s Credit and Asset Review Committees.

With more than 25 years’ experience in risk, compliance and regulation, as well as strategy and business leadership, Bell brings valuable and broad expertise as Wellesley positions itself for its future growth in a dynamic industry, with unique regulatory complexities.

In addition to his most recent role as CRO for Ulster Bank, Bell has a wealth of experience in property-backed finance as well as consumer lending and asset-backed finance across many jurisdictions. He has worked closely with numerous regulatory bodies on significant topics including the 2014 Comprehensive Assessment with the ECB and Central Bank of Ireland.

Wellesley & Co has a unique approach to lending, as the first and only P2P platform in the industry that invests its own capital in every loan. The firm’s lending volumes have more than doubled in the last 12 months, reaching almost £300 million, and with more than 20,000 registered peer-to-peer lenders on its books.

Bell joins the management team and board and adds to their already substantial experience of financial services and working in highly regulated environments. His appointment continues a recent series of senior hires at both board and executive level within Wellesley as it positions itself for the future.

Graham Wellesley, Joint CEO & Chairman said: “Stephen’s appointment is an extremely positive development for the Wellesley Group since it reinforces the increasing importance we place on enterprise risk management. As the alternative finance industry moves into the mainstream, we’re conscious of our responsibility to ensure our customers’ investments and interests are strongly protected and that our stakeholders can see clearly that our strategy and risk appetite are aligned.

“Stephen has operated as a commercially oriented CRO in some of the most testing regulatory environments and will add to our already robust risk and regulatory framework here at Wellesley.”

Stephen Bell said: “I’m looking forward to being part of the next chapter of growth for the Wellesley Group. As the UK SME sector increasingly looks to alternative finance to fill the gap left by high street banks, the enterprise risk management capabilities of providers will come under increasing scrutiny. Wellesley’s asset-backed model is very impressive and distinct and I look forward to ensuring the company continues to offer – to lenders and borrowers alike – a proposition of the highest quality and a transparent and stable business.”

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