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Banking & Finance

Live Oak Bancshares President Steps Down, Firm Appoints New CFO

By Audrey Elsberry, posted Nov 15, 2023
Neil Underwood
Live Oak Bancshares, the holding company of Wilmington-based Live Oak Bank, announced the departure of its president and the appointment of a new chief financial officer on Tuesday.

Neil Underwood, who serves as general partner and co-founder of Canapi Ventures, a venture capital firm under the Live Oak umbrella, will step down as president of the holding company. Taking his place is William (BJ) Losch, adding this post to his current Live Oak Bank positions of president and CFO. Losch will eventually step down as Live Oak Bank CFO by the end of the year, according to the release.

Taking Losch’s place as CFO of both Live Oak Bank and Live Oak Bancshares starting in January is Walter J. Phifer, who has served as the head of finance, planning and analysis since 2022. He has 18 years of experience in the financial industry and before working for Live Oak eight years ago, Phifer worked for Barclays U.S.

“Walt is poised to lead Live Oak’s financial future and his leadership has been felt here for many years,” said Live Oak Bancshares Chairman and CEO Chip Mahan in the release.

The board of directors cited Underwood’s desire to dedicate his time and attention to Canapi Ventures, adding he will continue to sit on the holding company’s board.

“This is an organic extension of my involvement in two incredible organizations whose missions closely align as they aim to create meaningful solutions for the financial services industry of the future,” Underwood said in the release.

Underwood helped co-found Canapi Ventures in 2018 with Gene Ludwig, founder and chairman of Promontory Financial Group, and Mahan of Live Oak Bancshares. He also co-founded fintech companies nCino, Apiture and Live Oak Bank. 

Losch was appointed as president of Live Oak Bank in August and CFO in 2021. Tuesday’s announcement will eventually make Losch president of both Live Oak Bank and Live Oak Bancshares.
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