Online bank Monzo hires Drew Olanoff as senior PR lead

The British bank plans to open a San Francisco office.

SAN FRANCISCO: British digital bank Monzo has hired Drew Olanoff as senior PR lead.

Olanoff joined the bank last month as interim PR head, temporarily taking over from Kiki Loizou, who is on maternity leave for the next six months. Olanoff is initially reporting to Monzo VP of marketing Tristan Thomas, but will report to Loizou when she returns.

Olanoff is joining Monzo as the bank expands stateside. In April, it filed an application with the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to obtain a U.S. banking license. The bank is also planning to grow its headcount in the U.S. and open an office in San Francisco to facilitate its expansion. 

“Monzo is a transparent company; they communicate with their customers in a way that most banks don’t,” noted Olanoff. “I’ll be [helping them] adapt that culture and everything they have done and make sure that comes over to the states, that the brand is seen the same way [as it is seen in the U.K.]. I’ll be able to do some of that bridging.”

Monzo was founded in 2015 and is known in the U.K. for its coral pink debit card.

Most recently, Olanoff worked at venture equity startup Scaleworks as VP of communications. He started there in September 2017 and left last month. Olanoff said he is not being directly replaced.

Scaleworks specializes in b-to-b software as a service companies.

Olanoff previously worked in Mercury’s San Francisco office and was head of global communications for venture capital firm Rothenberg Ventures. He has also worked in-house in technology companies such as virtual reality firm River Studios, photography platform EyeEm and Yahoo. Olanoff has also written for TechCrunch and The Next Web.

On Wednesday, Monzo said it is cutting up to 120 jobs, due to the economic conditions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Monzo cofounder Tom Blomfield said last month that he is stepping down as CEO to take the newly created role of president. Current U.S. CEO T.S. Anil will serve as Monzo U.K. Bank CEO, subject to regulatory approval, and will temporarily hold both U.K. and U.S. roles.

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