Jayne Almond, the founder of equity release lender Stonehaven, has joined Kensington Mortgages as chairman.
Succeeding Tim Breedon, Ms Almond will oversee Kensington's next phase of growth in the specialist and later life mortgage market.
Ms Almond founded Stonehaven in 2005 and acted as chief executive and chairman of the firm for nine years.
The lender was snapped up by MGM Advantage in 2014 before merging and rebranding as Retirement Advantage in 2015. The merged entity has since been taken over by Canada Life.
Ms Almond, who will also join Kensington's parent company, The Northview Group, as an independent non-executive director, has previously worked for Lloyds TSB, where she was managing director for European internet banking, and Barclays, where she was director of business development for the UK retail bank.
Mr Breedon, chair of Northview Group, said: "We are thrilled to have someone of Jayne's calibre and expertise chairing Kensington.
"Jayne has a superb pedigree in retail finance and will bring her deep and rich experience to propel Kensington forward in its next phase of growth.
"The specialist mortgage market is booming due to profound socio-demographic shifts; in particular, the rise of the self-employed and multiple income workers and an increase in demand for mortgages for over 55-year-olds.
"Jayne's appointment signals our desire to grow rapidly to meet this demand."
Ms Almond already holds a number of directorships including chair of Butterfield Mortgages and GKBK. She is also an Honorary Fellow at St Hilda's College, Oxford University.
Ms Almond said: "This is an exciting time to be joining Kensington, the multi-award winning specialist mortgage provider.
"With the market experiencing significant technological change, Kensington is well placed to capitalise on this using its innovative use of data analytics, whilst continuing to enjoy significant growth by evolving its market leading customer propositions."