Former First Direct CEO Alan Hughes named Chairman of Equals Group
B2B FX and payments firm Equals Group plc (formerly FairFX) has announced that John Pearson will stand down as Non-Executive Chairman following the Group’s Annual General Meeting, which is being held at 10.30am today. John will remain on the Board as Non-Executive Director. He is being replaced by Alan Hughes, who was appointed as Non-Executive Director on 26 February 2020 as part of Group’s succession plans, and is today standing for re-election.
Alan Hughes is a highly experienced director with particular expertise working with fast-growth banks and fintech businesses. He was formerly Chief Executive of challenger bank First Direct, which grew four-fold under his stewardship and was consistently ranked highest amongst its peers in terms of customer satisfaction. In 2013 Alan led a consortium backed by Blackstone and AnaCap which bid for 312 Royal Bank of Scotland branches, in a deal worth approximately £1.0 billion.
Alan’s previous Board roles include Non-Executive Director of New Day Group, one of the UK’s largest private equity backed issuers of credit cards, and Chairman of Retail Money Market Limited, a leading peer-to-peer lending platform for retail investors. Until 2004, Alan was an Executive Board member and General Manager at HSBC Bank plc. Alan is currently Non-Executive Chairman of Unity Trust Bank plc, an independent bank with a focus on social benefit, as well as Senior Independent Director and Deputy Chair of Hitachi Capital (UK) plc, a regulated personal finance company.
John Pearson, Non-Executive Chairman of Equals Group plc, said:
“I have really enjoyed the last five years with Equals as Chairman taking it from a single product start up to its current level with a broad product range of integrated money management solutions. We have been planning a Chair succession for some time and I am delighted to be handing over this role to Alan later this morning.
“As previously announced, Alan started with us as a Non-Executive in late February this year and I believe that his extensive sector and Chair experience will provide Equals with additional Board depth as the Group is poised for the next chapter of its journey. I am also looking forward to supporting Alan in my new capacity as a Non-Executive Director.”
Commenting on his appointment, Alan Hughes, Non-Executive Director and Chairman Designate, said:
“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank John for his leadership and commitment over the last five years. John will remain on the Board as a Non-Executive Director and will continue to offer his invaluable insights and advisory guidance. I look forward to bringing my own expertise to my new role and supporting the Executive team in the Group’s plans to continue to progress and expand the business.”
Equals yesterday reported a 19% rise in Revenues in its latest fiscal year, driven by a continued move to the B2B forex space.