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Virgin Money has announced the appointment of Sarah Wilkinson as Chief Operating Officer. Sarah will join Virgin Money from Thomson Reuters, where she is the Chief Information Officer and Head of TR Labs, Thomson Reuters’ technology research and innovation centres worldwide.

Prior to joining Thomson Reuters, Sarah was CEO of NHS Digital, responsible for systems and data for health and social care nationally, and before that was CIO at The Home Office. In her earlier career, Sarah spent 23 years in financial services during which she held CIO roles at Credit Suisse, UBS, Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers.

Sarah is a member of the Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee of Kings College London and holds advisory positions at ITV, Our Future Health and the Department of Computing at Imperial College.

Sarah was voted No 1 in the UK Tech50 for 2021, Computer Weekly’s annual ranking of the Top 50 Most Influential Leaders in the UK Tech Industry. She was also named as one of the Global Top 100 Data Visionaries by HotTopics (2020) and Chief Digital Officer of the year by the CDO Club, the world’s largest community of C-suite digital and data leaders (2017). She was named in the CIO 100, CIO Magazine’s ranking of the most transformative and disruptive CIOs in the UK (2016).

Sarah studied Mathematics at Imperial College and holds an MBA from London Business School.

Sarah Wilkinson said: “Virgin Money’s digital transformation journey is well underway. I’m delighted to join the bank at this exciting time to help deliver its strategic ambition to be the UK’s best digital bank and bring innovative new customer propositions to market to support its growth ambitions.”

David Duffy, Virgin Money CEO said: “Sarah brings leadership expertise in delivering change, innovation and digital customer experience, and has a strong track record of digital transformation. Along with her extensive knowledge of financial services, this will enable us to build on the good progress we’ve made in aligning our customer touchpoints, operations and technology, as we focus on continually improving the services we provide to customers.”

Sarah will join Virgin Money at the start of 2023. Her new role will combine the existing roles of Fraser Ingram, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer, and Fergus Murphy, Chief Customer Experience Officer. Fraser decided to leave Virgin Money earlier this year and will remain in role until Sarah joins. Fergus has agreed to remain with Virgin Money to support a number of strategic activities.