Monzo co-founder leaves to focus on alpaca farm

Oscar Williams-Grut
Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
A huacaya alpaca — but not one of Mr Rippon's. Photo: Getty Images

Monzo’s deputy chief executive has left the bank to “enjoy life” and focus on his alpaca farm.

Paul Rippon announced on LinkedIn he was leaving Monzo after almost five years. Rippon, 48, helped co-found the app-only bank in 2015.

“It’s now time for others to enjoy the next stage of the journey to help money work for everyone,” Rippon wrote in a blog on Thursday.

Rippon said he was stepping back from the bank “to go and enjoy life” and help his wife with her alpaca farming business.

“With no farming background or experience we now have over 300 alpacas and welcome many visitors to our farm and holiday cottages,” he wrote.

“For the next few weeks and months I’m going to enjoy some time with Debbie at our wonderful farm in Northumberland. You’ll find me doing the feed rounds, hosting alpaca walk ’n' talks and driving my tractor.”

Monzo co-founder Paul Rippon. Photo: Monzo

Barnacre Alpacas breeds and sells champion alpacas, according to its website, and makes handmade knitwear from the animals’ fur. The couple set up the business in 2007.

READ MORE: Monzo wants higher, not lower, staff turnover

A spokesperson for Monzo confirmed Rippon had ”retired to spend more time on his farm” but declined to comment further.

Rippon is a veteran banker who worked at Nationwide, Lloyds, and Allied Irish Bank among others before helping to start Monzo.

“I’ve been working in financial services for 27 years and working away from home for the last 8 years,” he wrote on LinkedIn.

“Building a fast growing bank takes its toll and even reducing my ‘work hours’ didn’t reduce the cognitive and emotional overhead.”

Rippon said he aims start working a day a week from April, doing either coaching or consulting work, or taking a non-executive director role.

App-only bank Monzo has become one of Britain’s fastest growing challenger banks and now has over 3.5 million customers. The startup was valued at over £2bn ($2.6bn) in a funding round last year.

READ MORE: Monzo doubles valuation in 8 months as it raises £113m