From Small to Big: Why Funding Circle is Building its Intermediary Channel

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loans (2)If online lenders want to disrupt banking, they need bankers. 

Small business marketplace lender Funding Circle hired an intermediary finance veteran Neil Mullane to expand the company’s reach among small merchants. Mullane comes with eight years of experience in commercial finance at Barclays, where he oversaw business and corporate banking working with small businesses with a £250,000 to £25 million turnover.

The London-based P2P lender has channeled more than $2 billion of loans from individual and institutional investors to businesses in the U.S., U.K. and Europe since 2010 and has said that it  remains dedicated to two principles, “marketplace and small business.” 

And its gaze is set on Europe. Last year, it acquired German marketplace lender Zencap for an immediate footprint in Germany, Spain and Netherlands. Additionally, its SME Income Fund that was listed on the London Stock Exchange in November 2015, raised £150 million from shareholders and started lending to small businesses in those markets last month.

Last week (April 14), the company also launched UK’s first P2P securitized ABS backed by loans worth £130 million.

Speaking at LendIt USA recently, the company’s US co-founder and managing director Sam Hodges envisioned the golden age for marketplace lending where it takes “seconds to issue credit,”  from a broad network of global investors.  “A loan should get funded by a network of investors all over the world —  be it a pensioner in London, a hedge fund manager in Sydney or a family office in New York simultaneously putting money to work through a global platform,” he said.

He elaborated further to note that the industry will have to work on four key tenets to get there: Stable lending capital, taking controlled risks, maintaining operational discipline to make sure that unit economics favor scaling and lastly, maintaining integrity around infrastructure and transparency.

The company has noted its intention to move in this direction at least with hiring the right talent, whether through the former Executive Board Member of the European Central Bank (ECB), Jörg Asmussen Mullane to lead business development or beefing up its risk  compliance and product engineering teams in San Francisco.

Last modified: April 21, 2016

Category: Marketplace Lending

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