Francesca Carlesi, a seasoned financial professional with a PhD in banking and finance, has assumed the role of CEO for Revolut’s UK division. Revolut, recognised as the UK’s most valuable start-up with a valuation of $33 billion and ambitious plans to establish itself as a global financial super-app, is currently grappling with regulatory hurdles.
Carlesi will lead the company’s efforts to obtain a UK banking license, a process that has been ongoing since January 2021. Delays in securing approval have arisen due to regulatory scrutiny regarding the verification of 75% of the £636 million in revenue from the long-delayed 2021 accounts. Notably, this marks the second consecutive year in which Revolut’s financial accounts have been delayed.
In the midst of these revenue verification challenges, the company’s Chief Financial Officer, Mikko Salovaara, departed in May. Carlesi is succeeding James Radford, who resigned in March after serving as the head of Revolut NewCo, the subsidiary responsible for the banking license application, for three years.
Francesca Carlesi brings a wealth of experience to her new role, having held senior positions at prestigious financial institutions such as Deutsche Bank and Barclays, as well as at consulting firm McKinsey and private equity firm Bridgepoint Capital. She has also played a leadership role in fintech company Molo. Her appointment is a notable development for Revolut, as she joins Paroma Chatterjee and Yoko Makiguchi as one of the few female leaders within the company.
This leadership change comes on the heels of Kitty Ussher, the former economic secretary to the UK treasury, stepping down from her non-executive director role on Revolut’s UK banking entity board. She departed to assume the role of Managing Director, Head of Strategic Policy Development at Barclays.
Revolut currently serves nearly eight million customers in the UK. In her capacity as CEO, Carlesi will be responsible for steering the company through its current challenges and advancing its mission to become a global financial super-app.