Octopus Group has appointed Ruth Handcock as chief executive officer for its investments business, Investment Week can reveal.
She takes over from the company's co-founder Simon Rogerson, who will remain CEO of the wider group and become executive chairman for Octopus Investments.
Handcock joined Octopus in July 2018 as chief customer officer, working across operations, sales and marketing. Prior to this, she worked at UK challenger bank Tandem as chief customer officer and chief of staff.
In her new role, she will be responsible for driving the group's growth strategy as it looks to expand its retail distribution network and range of products and services. This is the first time Octopus Investments has appointed a new CEO since it was established in 2000.
The move comes alongside other senior changes with Jonathan Digges, head of specialist finance, taking on further responsibility as chief investment officer for Octopus Group.
He will be responsible for the fund management activity of the company, overseeing a number of its businesses including Octopus Energy Investments, Octopus Healthcare, Octopus Property and Octopus Ventures.
Meanwhile, chief product officer Sam Handfield-Jones has been promoted to growth and innovation director within Octopus Investments and will focus on creating new financial products and services.
Speaking to Investment Week, Handcock said she would like to see more women in CEO positions, in an industry where it is still a rarity.
"I think the more women you can get into senior executive positions the better," she said. "To do that, companies need to think about things like flexible working and creating and following career paths. More of these initiatives will lead to women in senior positions becoming the norm."
She continued: "Octopus Investments is an exciting business that is on a mission to help more advisers and I am delighted to have this opportunity to lead it. I am looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead as the company grows and continues to innovate.
"We want to continue to broaden out the products and services we offer to advisers and expect technology will be at the heart of this, to remove friction, increase engagement and efficiency. My focus will be on ensuring we continue to invest and deliver on our commitment to advisers."
Rogerson added: "Octopus Group has grown rapidly in the last few years and this feels the right time for me to focus on the wider group.
"I will continue to be involved with Octopus Investments and I am looking forward to working alongside Ruth, as we support more advisers across the UK by developing meaningful financial solutions and services for them and their clients."