A white arrow pointing upwards

New Head of Pensions and Head of Financial Crime will support WealthKernel as it continues on its growth journey

WealthKernel, a leading provider of digital investment services and infrastructure, today announces it has appointed Lee Barefoot as its Head of Pensions and Leanne Penny as Head of Financial Crime. 

Lee Barefoot joins WealthKernel from the digital retirement solutions platform, Embark, where he was previously Head of Operations. With over 15 years of experience in financial services, Lee oversaw the management of Embark's pension products, being responsible for monitoring assets under management (AUM), maintaining key performance indicators (KPIs) and white label partners.

At WealthKernel, Lee will be responsible for the rollout of the firm’s new accumulation SIPP, which will add increased functionality on top of its previous SIPP offering. Lee will also work closely with WealthKernel COO, Chris Barton, to understand how WealthKernel can offer accessible and more affordable pensions products to its customers.

Leanne Penny is  appointed as Head of Financial Crime to strengthen WealthKernel’s financial crime framework. Leanne arrives from the online adviser platform, Nucleus, where she was Financial Crime Lead and Deputy Money-Laundering Reporting Officer, managing high-risk and specialist environments. Twice-nominated Woman of the Year in Platforms and Fintech in the Professional Adviser awards, Leanne is an expert in UK and EU money laundering regulations (4MLD and 5MLD), the criminal finances act, proceeds of crime act (POCA), conflicts of interest and anti-bribery and corruption.

Leanne will focus on embedding robust levels of assurance, reporting, transaction monitoring and ensuring that WealthKernel meets the obligations set out by regulators such as the Financial Conduct Authority. To parallel company growth, Leanne will also identify areas that could benefit from automation. 

Lee Barefoot, Head of Pensions, says: 
WealthKernel is helping to transform how we save for and access our pensions through the use of technology. I’m looking forward to working with the team to understand how we can give better access to pensions products, as well as drive increased education in the sector. Bolstering WealthKernel’s SIPP functionality will play a key role in this, and I’m excited to see how it will revolutionise the pensions space.

Leanne Penny, incoming Head of Financial Crime, says: 
“Joining WealthKernel during a key period of its growth is truly exciting, but as the company grows, new risks will emerge that require prevention and intervention. There are also unique challenges posed by the current social, economic and political uncertainty and unrest across the globe. It’s crucial that we are ready to detect and respond to any sanctions and regulations that may impact the company, to ensure WealthKernel’s future growth trajectory.”

Karan Shanmugarajah, CEO of WealthKernel, says:
“We’re excited to welcome Lee and Leanne - two highly experienced individuals that will drive forward and facilitate WealthKernel’s ambitious plans for the upcoming year. I look forward to working closely with both of them to expand their respective parts of the business in the coming months.”