Aviva's Wealthify appoints former Virgin Money CIO in double hire

Aviva's Wealthify appoints former Virgin Money CIO in double hire

Wealthify has appointed Virgin Money’s former chief investment officer Michelle McGrade to its investment committee, as one of two senior hires.

McGrade joins with a wealth of experience, having previously held roles across asset management, private banking and fintech. 

Previously, McGrade held consumer-focused roles at investment firms such as non-executive director of M&G Securities, CIO at Virgin Money and CIO at TD Direct Investing. 

She previously also built an online investing platform for retail investors.

“My passion lies in making investing understandable to anyone, giving people the confidence to make well-informed investment decisions,” she said. “I am thrilled to be joining a company that aims to inspire anyone to build their future wealth, as that aligns with my personal career purpose. 

“With 25 years’ experience in the investment industry, I have learned a lot about what consumers need and want from their investments, and I am excited to apply that insight and understanding to help shape Wealthify’s investment strategy.”

In addition to this, the firm also appointed fintech founder and investment specialist Akshaya Bhargava to the board as a non-executive director.

Bhargava has experience in wealth management, investment and technology, having founded and scaled three businesses - two of which are fintechs. 

Most recently, Bhargava was global CEO of the Wealth and Investments business within Barclays Plc. 

Prior to this, he was CEO of Butterfield Fulcrum Group, acquired by MUFG and CEO of Progeon, acquired by Infosys. He has also held a number of senior positions at Citibank.  

These latest hires come after the robo-adviser appointed Aviva's Ben Luckett as chairman, following completion of its acquisition by Aviva last year. 

Aviva first took a majority stake in Wealthify in 2017, but completed a full takeover of the company in June last year. 

Luckett said: “I am delighted to welcome Michelle and Akshaya to the extended Wealthify team and look forward to working closely with them both. I have no doubt their deep experience and expertise will be a great boost to Wealthify as we continue our growth journey.  

“Their involvement comes at a really exciting time for the brand, as we seek to drive accelerated growth and make investment opportunities available to many more people in the UK with our promise to inspire anyone to build their future wealth.”