Bank appoints first permanent Chief Operating Officer

Bank appoints first permanent Chief Operating Officer

13 February 2023

James Emmett has been appointed as the first permanent Chief Operating Officer of the UK Infrastructure Bank.

A highly experienced financial services leader, with a career spanning more than 25 years covering business, fintech, operations, technology, and strategy across EMEA, Asia, and the Americas, James was appointed following a competitive recruitment exercise.

Since 2021, he has been working with Management Consultancy, Oliver Wyman, as an external Senior Advisor spanning traditional and challenger firms, focused on financial services and digital assets.

Prior to this, James had scale-up experience as CEO & MD of the Diem (Libra) payment network’s operating company.  He has held a number of senior leadership positions in banking, including Chief Operating Officer of HSBC Bank Plc covering the UK and Europe and, post-ring-fencing, Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Bank plc & Europe, where he was responsible for the UK Wholesale Bank, together with the businesses across Continental Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa and Bermuda. 

John Flint, CEO of the UK Infrastructure Bank:

"I am delighted that James will join our C-Suite team as Chief Operating Officer. His experience and insight will play a pivotal role as we scale up the Bank."

James Emmett said:

"There are many things about this role that attract me – the chance to work on some of the most compelling challenges of our times, the urgency of the mission, and the opportunity to help build a true learning organisation. I am really looking forward to coming on board and joining the team in Leeds."

James, who will be a member of the Bank’s Executive Committee, has also served on the Banking Commission of the International Chamber of Commerce, the WTO Expert Advisory Group on Trade Finance, the B20 Trade & Investment group, the UK’s Payment Strategy Forum and the UK’s International Trade & Industry Group.

The UK Infrastructure Bank opened in June 2021 in interim form and to date has announced 10 deals across its relevant sectors, unlocking more than £4.6bn of private capital.
Since the C-Suite joined in September 2022, it is scaling up, and as it moves beyond its interim phase, it is now recruiting permanent teams across all functions, aiming to attract diverse talent from across the public and private sector to its headquarters in Leeds. Employees are able to have a real influence on the Bank’s direction, as it delivers on its mission of tackling climate change and driving regional and local economic growth.

Its Chief People Officer, Patricia Galloway, recently posted a blog discussing the opportunities, challenges, and our progress in recruiting to the Bank.