OakNorth chairman joins Blend board



Specialist property lender Blend Network has appointed OakNorth chairman Cyrus Ardalan as a director.

Ardalan has been chairman of the board at challenger bank OakNorth since April 2015. He is also chairman of the International Financing Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm) and trustee and chair of the investment advisory committee for the Charities Aid Foundation.

In March 2022, he was named chairman of the LXi REIT – a FTSE 250 real estate trust. And in May 2022 he become a non executive director the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

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It is not yet known what his role at Blend will entail, but Ardalan is known to be a longstanding investor in Blend.

Ardalan was one of several private investors who invested a cumulative £10m in Blend soon after its launch in 2018. Other investors included the family office of Publicis Group chairman Maurice Levy and Jean-Phillipe Blochet, co-founder of hedge fund Brevan Howard.

In February 2022, Ardalan and Blochet took part in an oversubscribed funding round for Blend Network which raised another £10m. That fundraising campaign was led by venture capital investor Nico Paraskevas, a former senior executive at Glencore.

In April, the property lender secured a funding line of £120m in committed capital to help boost its lending capabilities. The money came from a consortium of family offices and will be used to scale Blend’s loan book.

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