Anne Boden, founder and CEO of Starling Bank, is stepping down following a clash with investors over a more than £1bn fall in the valuation of the digital lender.
- The clash with investors was reportedly due to fund manager Jupiter’s decision in February to sell its holding in the bank at a price that cut Starling’s valuation from £2.5bn to between £1bn and £1.5bn.
- Boden was concerned about the implied fall in the value of her stake in the business as well as the 15% owned by employees, according to sources.
- Starling denies that Boden was forced out and says it was her decision to step aside as CEO due to her position as a major shareholder being incompatible with the size of the bank today and its ambitions.
- The bank reported a six-fold increase in pre-tax profits to £195mn in the year to March 2023 while revenues more than doubled to £453mn.
- Starling’s largest investor is Harald McPike, who has a stake of more than 35%, and the bank had been eyeing an initial public offering and was expecting to go public this year, although there is no clear timeframe now for a flotation.