The British Business Bank has appointed Karen Barnett as its new Chief People Officer, effective from October 2023.

Barnett joins the British Business Bank from WH Ireland, a private wealth management, financial planning and capital markets services company where she was Human Resources Director and a member of its Executive Committee, and where she established a best practice HR team, responsible for collaborating with the Board and CEO to develop and implement people strategies and policies.

Karen Barnett

Prior to joining WH Ireland, Barnett was Head of Human Resources at Merian Global Investors where she focussed on organisational effectiveness, culture, talent acquisition, and supporting multiple business change agendas. Karen began her career working within a large team at the Department for Education.

Karen holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resources Management from Middlesex University and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Karen Barnett said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead the people function at the British Business Bank and partner with the CEO and Executive team. I look forward to joining the human resources team, working with the business to optimise support for smaller businesses and deliver the Bank’s goals of driving sustainable growth, backing innovation and unlocking potential, whilst working to build the modern, green economy.”

Louis Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, British Business Bank, said: “I’m pleased to welcome Karen as our new Chief People Officer. Karen brings a wealth of human resources expertise and knowledge. I am looking forward to collaborating with her as a key member of our Senior Leadership Team and Executive Committee as we continue to grow and expand the Bank, while making sure that it remains a fantastic place to work for our people.”

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