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Together hires John Barker as Group Chief Operating Officer.

12 Jul 2023 | 2 min

Specialist lender Together has bolstered its executive team by appointing experienced financial services leader John Barker as the Group’s Chief Operating Officer.

In his new role as Group COO at Together, John will take responsibility for operations across the Cheadle-based business, which provides personal and commercial secured finance and has a loan book of £6.2billion.

John has a wealth of experience in financial services, in particular, leading operations, IT and change, and will take charge of Together’s ambitious modernisation and transformation programmes.

He said: “I’m really passionate about purpose-led leadership and responsible lending and Together’s common sense approach and its dedication to providing flexible products is something that has appealed to me for a long time.

“One of my first major tasks will be looking into the digital customer journey, so that we can cater for all our customers, no matter what route they want to take to communicate with us. Some may want to self-serve through our app, while others may want to have a telephone conversation, so it is about offering that choice.”

He will also create a more “user friendly IT experience” so to engage Together colleagues, so they can deliver an even more streamlined service for personal and commercial finance clients.

He said: “I’m a huge advocate for engagement and increasing job satisfaction for my colleagues at Together, which is highly-regarded in the financial services sector for its amazing work in this area. I want to build on the pride that they already have in providing excellent customer service - to achieve our ambition of becoming the UK’s most valued specialist lender.”

John, 37, a married father-of-two from Manchester, started his career with Co-op Insurance more than 17 years ago. He later joined Capita, where he worked for more than a decade, becoming a Managing Director within the group in 2019.

He later joined the business transformation provider Target Group as Group Chief Operating Officer before he was promoted to Chief Executive Officer, a position in which he was appointed by the Financial Conduct Authority to hold a Senior Management Function (SMF1).

John’s appointment is the latest in several new senior hires and promotions by Together, in line with the company’s success and continued growth plans.

Gerald Grimes, Together’s CEO designate, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to welcome someone of John’s calibre and experience to this new role. His appointment demonstrates how crucial our operational teams are in the ongoing success of our business.

“John has a proven track record of people and purpose-led service and technology transformation. Throughout his career he has excelled in delivering market leading colleague, customer, conduct, and client outcomes and meeting the strategic objectives of businesses and clients. We know his appointment will prove a huge benefit for our business and look forward to welcoming him to Together.”

Together announced in its latest results for the quarter ending March 31st that its lending had grown to £6.2billion.

The group saw an increase of 29.1% on the same period for the previous year, and up 4.6% on the previous quarter. Its average monthly lending was £211.7m and its underlying profit before tax was £41.3 million.

Any property used as security, including your home, may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debt secured on it.

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