The Very Group has confirmed former chancellor and MP Nadhim Zahawi as its new non-executive chair and board member.

Nadhim Zahawi

Source: Number 10

He will replace current non-executive chair Aidan Barclay who took on the role on an interim basis in February following Dirk Van den Berghe stepping down.

Zahawi recently announced that he will stand down as MP at the next general election. His new role means he will work closely with the current directors and management to “achieve continued sales and profit growth, as well as exploring 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”, which could mean fresh equity investment.

Zahawi became the Conservative MP for Stratford-on-Avon in 2010 and he also served as chancellor of the exchequer, chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and education secretary. 

In 2020, he was tasked with overseeing the rollout of the UK’s Covid-19 vaccine programme.

Before his political career, Zahawi was a business leader and co-founded and ran the market research specialist YouGov.

Zahawi said: “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.

”With a heritage of over 100 years, Very has 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 group and look forward to working alongside the management team as they further develop and grow the business for the future.”

Barclay added: “I am delighted to welcome Nadhim to the board of 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.”