Funding Circle recruits former Nomura CEO

Jeremy Bennett, a former CEO of Nomura International, has joined the UK P2P lender as CFO.

UK-based peer-to-peer (P2P) lender Funding Circle has appointed the former chief executive of Nomura International Jeremy Bennett as its chief financial officer.

Confirmed yesterday, Bennett will start on 5 September, according to Bloomberg. At Nomura, he headed the international unit of the bank, as well serving as chief executive on the bank’s Europe, Middle East and Africa division? , departing from the bank last year.

Bennett also worked at Credit Suisse, before assisting the UK government during the global financial crisis in drawing up the £800 billion (€952 billion; $1.1 trillion) Asset Protection Scheme, an insurance package for the banks’ riskier assets. Overall, Bennett has more than three decades working in the UK banking industry.

Samir Desai, chief executive of Funding Circle, said: “He has significant experience in building large scale financial services businesses and will play an integral role as we continue our evolution.”

On his appointment, Bennett said: “The financial services is undergoing a profound change with technology-led companies like Funding Circle revolutionising the customer experience for small businesses and investors.”

The hiring of Bennett is a statement of confidence from the P2P lender, which was only established six years ago. An enthusiastic supporter of staying in the European Union (EU), the P2P lender said that Brexit will not affect its day-to-day operations, but has already enacted a contingency plan that factors the risks following the vote.

“Our business is in a strong position,” the firm said in a statement shortly after the result was announced.

Just days before the EU referendum vote, the European Investment Bank (EIB) committed £100 million to the firm with a mandate to target UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). While the timing of the announcement had the potential to raise questions, a spokesperson for the EIB told PDI that a potential investment was first talked about in 2012.

In March, Funding Circle expanded its lending practices to Germany, Spain and the Netherlands after raising £150 million on the London Stock Exchange. Through its SME Income Fund, the firm will target investments across the continent in an attempt to further diversify its investor and borrower base.