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Very Group appoints former chancellor Nadhim Zahawi as Chair

Sophie Smith
13 May 2024

The Very Group has appointed YouGov founder, former senior Government Minister and MP Nadhim Zahawi as Non-Executive Chair.

Zahawi, who recently announced he would stand down as an MP at the next general election, will replace Aidan Barclay, who assumed the role on an interim basis in February 2024 following the departure of Dirk Van den Berghe at the end of his contract term.

"I am delighted to welcome Nadhim to The Very Group. With a proven track record in digital growth and innovation, and highly respected in the UK and global markets, he is ideally suited to lead our board as the company enters its next stage of strategic development and growth," said Barclay.

In his new role, Zahawi will work closely with the current directors and management team at The Very Group to achieve continued sales and profit growth, as well as explore expansion of the business in new areas.

He will also work with the shareholders on the strategic options for the business and the optimal capital structure to achieve its growth ambitions.

Zahawi became the Conservative Member of Parliament for Stratford-on-Avon in 2010 and has since served as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary of State for Education.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, he was appointed Minister for COVID Vaccine Deployment and led the rollout of the UK’s vaccine programme. He has also held roles at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and the Department of Health and Social Care.

Prior to his political career, Zahawi co-founded and was Chief Executive of digital polling and market research specialist YouGov.

"I am honoured to be asked to join the board and become Chair of The Very Group. As one of the UK’s largest digital retailers and flexible payments providers, the company has an important role to play in helping families get more out of life," said Zahawi.

"With a heritage of over 100 years, Very has an unrivalled knowledge and understanding of its customer, demonstrating resilience even in the face of challenging conditions.

"I would like to thank both Aidan and Dirk for their stewardship of the business during their tenures as Chair. I am excited about the strategic opportunities for the business and look forward to working alongside the management team as they further develop and grow the business for the future."

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