UK fintech unicorn Revolut just hired ex-Goldman Sachs exec Michael Sherwood

UK fintech unicorn Revolut just hired ex-Goldman Sachs exec Michael Sherwood thumbnail

Michael SherwoodGoldman Sachs

  • Revolut, which says it’s the Amazon of banking, has faced scrutiny from UK authorities over financial conduct and money laundering claims. 
  • Reports that the firm is hiring a Goldman Sachs exec is a move to help improve corporate governance.
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Revolut, a fast growing UK fintech, is appointing the ex-Goldman Sachs Europe boss Michael Sherwood to it’s board to help improve corporate governance, according to The Financial Times. 

The move follows the appointment of experienced banker Richard Davies as chief operating officer at Revolut. 

Revolut has had a rough 2019. The firm faced scrutiny from UK authorities — the Financial Conduct Authority and the Advertising Standards Authority as well as the Lithuanian parliament over questions of its ability to combat illicit money transfers.

Since leaving Goldman after 30 years at the bank, Sherwood has kept a low profile. He was tipped at one point to take over Lloyd Blankfein as CEO of Goldman. That role ultimately went to David Solomon. Later, Sherwood became embroiled in the controversy over the sale of the failed department store BHS by Philip Green, the Financial Times said. 

Since then, he said he planned to focus on his personal investments and philanthropic activities, including work for a charity that provides sports training to children in London.

In March, Business Insider reported Revolut’s “week from hell” after it was alleged that the UK National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) was examining a complaint from a customer, over an incident in which £70,000 was incorrectly paid into a Revolut customer’s account.

This came after the Telegraph alleged that for three months last year, Revolut turned off software designed to stop sanctions screening and dubious money transfers.

At the time Revolut fired back at the Telegraph’s claims. In emailed responses to Business Insider, CEO Nik Storonsky said that the software issue was part out of new system rollout. 

“The new systems were not calibrated to a standard that we would expect, so we reverted to our existing process until calibration was complete,” the CEO wrote. “At no point during this time do we believe that we failed to meet our legal or regulatory sanctions requirements.”

Dubbed “the Amazon of banking,” Revolut ws founded in 2015 by developer Vlad Yatsenko and Nikolay Storonsky, and is described as one of fintech’s best success stories.

The firm has about 3.2 million customers, and had raised $250 million last year as well as reportedly luring a potential $500 million investment from Japan’s SoftBank.

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