London-based housing association Catalyst has appointed former Diageo executive Ravi Rajagopal as its new chair.
The finance specialist will join the 34,000-home provider as chair designate before taking over full responsibilities from incumbent Richard Brown.
Commenting on his appointment, Rajagopal said: “I always wanted to devote my time post-career to societal and community improvement.
“The chair at Catalyst is a very appealing opportunity at a commercially minded business that makes a meaningful social impact at scale.
“The provision of social housing, done well, brings dignity to people and addresses inequality.”
Ian McDermott, chief executive of Catalyst, said: “I am excited to be welcoming Ravi to Catalyst as our chair.
“His skills and experience will be hugely valuable as we focus on delivering our corporate purpose, vision and values to deliver Homes People Love.”
McDermott added: “Ravi brings experience of significantly improving businesses, blended with a strong personal commitment to charities and social improvement.”
Ravi Rajagopal biography
Rajagopal joins Catalyst after a 35 years in finance, 19 of those spent at drinks giant Diageo.
During his time at Diageo, Rajagopal held a number of key roles, including group controller and global head of Mergers and Acquisitions.
Since leaving the company in 2016, he has held a number of non-executive roles, including as chair of Fortis Healthcare, India’s second largest listed healthcare company.
He is also an independent director and audit chair of Airtel Africa plc, Africa’s second largest telecoms company; a trustee at the Science Museum Foundation; and chairs a project with the Indian government to build childcare centres across north India.
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