Starling: Secures US$70M investment, accelerates launch and appoints board

6th January 2016

Starling, led by CEO Anne Boden, is on track to launch one of the next generation of banks in the UK aimed at disrupting the traditional banking model. Targeting people who live their lives on their phone, Starling will focus purely on delivering the world’s best current account experience.

Today, Starling announces its Board of Directors, with Oliver Stocken, CBE, taking on the role of Chairman. Joining Oliver will be Victoria Raffé, Marcus Traill and Craig Mawdsley as Non-Executive Directors, alongside Mark Winlow and Steve Colsell, who were appointed earlier in 2015. In addition, Starling is delighted to confirm that it has secured US$70 million of funding from Harald McPike, a highly successful quantitative trader and global private investor.

Anne Boden, CEO of Starling, said, “We are thrilled to be bringing together such a strong team, with in-depth financial services, technology and retail experience. The team is attracted to Starling because they can see that we will bring real change to banking. Our aim is clear – to bring about a revolution in retail banking, by developing an account architecture, using the latest available technology, designed to meet the needs of the modern customer.”

On his appointment, Oliver said, “It is a fascinating time for retail banking in the UK, with Starling at the forefront of a new generation of banks. I was attracted by the unwavering focus of Anne and the team, bringing clear thinking to bear on how to transform the retail banking experience.”

Commenting on Harald McPike’s investment, Anne said, “It was important to us to have an investor with not just the financial strength but who also shared our ambition of empowering people with meaningful insight into their own financial information.  With his background in algorithmic trading, risk management and technology, Harald sees the significant potential of technology in the retail banking sector. His commitment of US$70m is the catalyst needed to propel Starling’s launch.”

Harald McPike, Founder of QuantRes, commented, “Starling Bank will provide people with the kind of innovative leaps in their financial lives that they have experienced in transportation and video streaming, so this is an investment opportunity I could not pass up. I share Starling’s vision of creating genuine positive change in peoples’ lives and will enjoy seeing a revolution in the banking experience.  Mobile technologies continue to alter fundamentally our lives and expectations of how we manage them, but it seems that traditional banks are not able to adapt fast enough.  Anne and her team bring strong capabilities, passion and determination to finally provide people a modern, mobile-first bank.”

Anne concluded by saying, “The last quarter of 2015 was an exciting period for us. With our board established, our licence application progressing well, and funding in place to see us through to launch and beyond, we are well positioned to bring genuine change to the UK retail banking market.”

Starling has applied to the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for a banking licence, and all members of the board will need to be confirmed by the PRA once it is granted its authorisation with restrictions.


Oliver Stocken, Chairman, served as Non-executive Director on the board of Standard Chartered Bank until 2015. Previously he was Chairman of Home Retail Group, Deputy Chairman of 3i and held various other Chairman and Non-executive Director roles. He is currently Chairman of Stanhope Group Holdings and CARE International UK. Having spent the bulk of his executive career in Financial Services, his final executive role was Group Finance Director at Barclays. He was educated at Felsted and University College, Oxford, and is a Senior Fellow at the Royal College of Art. In the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2013 he was awarded a CBE for services to the arts.

Victoria Raffé, Non-executive Director, spent 20 years at the Financial Conduct Authority (formerly the Financial Services Authority), before which she held a variety of senior roles at Fidelity, Prudential and KPMG. She is currently a Non-Executive Director of Reliance Bank, and prior to this was Trustee on the Board of the RAF Benevolent Fund. She holds a Bachelor of Arts with majors in Philosophy and English from Warwick University as well as holding a Masters in Marketing Management from Warwick Business School. She is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Marcus Traill, Non-executive Director, has over 13 years as an investment management professional, holding senior positions in the QuantRes group of companies, a highly successful proprietary quantitative trading firm and global private investor with a focus on technology and financial sector opportunities. At QuantRes, Marcus has played key roles in the trading of various quantitative strategies and has been responsible for managing the operations of the group and overseeing the private investment strategy. Marcus has been a CFA charter holder since 2010 and holds a Bachelor of Laws with first class honours and a Bachelor of Management Studies with first class honours with a major in Finance.

Craig Mawdsley, Non-executive Director, is a qualified lawyer, with over 10 years experience as an investment management professional, holding senior positions in the QuantRes group of companies, a highly successful proprietary quantitative trading firm and global private investor with a focus on technology and financial sector opportunities. At QuantRes, Craig has played key roles in trading various quantitative strategies and has also been responsible for structuring the operations of the group, overseeing legal and risk elements of its businesses and managing the private investment strategy. Craig is qualified as a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand and practiced law in both Auckland and London. Craig holds a Bachelor of Laws with first class honours and a Bachelor of Social Sciences with a major in Psychology.

Mark Winlow, Non-executive Director, has over 30 years experience in financial services in Europe, the US, Bermuda and South Africa. He is Chairman of Lloyd’s insurance broker RFIB as well as Ageas Insurance. He is also Non-executive Director and Audit Committee Chairman at reinsurer, TransRe, employment benefits provider, the Personal Group, and life insurer, AIG Life. Until 2012 he was a financial services advisory partner in KPMG and has also been a partner at Ernst & Young and Head of Financial Institutions at AT Kearney. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Durham University, and is a Fellow of the Industry and Parliament Trust.

Steve Colsell, Non-executive Director, has over 25 years experience in the banking, insurance and fund management sectors, and most recently held a number of divisional CFO roles at Lloyds Banking Group. He has also been a non-executive director of St James’s Place, Invista Real Estate and Esure. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries. Alongside his non-executive roles he now also provides corporate finance advice to small to medium sized businesses.

Anne Boden, CEO, was recently recognised as one of the Global Power Women in FinTech, and prior to founding Starling was Chief Operating Officer of Allied Irish Banks Plc and Head of EMEA, Global Transaction Banking across 34 countries for RBS and ABN AMRO. She has more than 30 years experience in banking, having begun her career at Lloyds Bank, before moving on to Standard Chartered Bank and then UBS in Zurich. She holds a BSc in Computer Science and Chemistry, an MBA and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of IT.

Harald McPike, Investor, is a highly successful quantitative trader and global private investor. As the owner of the QuantRes group of companies, Harald has been actively trading in the global financial markets for over 25 years using his own proprietary, algorithmic trading strategies. Leveraging his unique understanding of risk management, he utilises complex quantitative research methods and leading edge technology to develop world class trading strategies that exploit market inefficiencies. Harald’s global investments encompass a wide array of asset classes where the strategy reflects his passion for technology and expertise in finance.