Zopa appoints new CEO

The platform’s co-founder has made way for the current chief operating officer.

Zopa, one of the largest UK-based marketplace lenders, has replaced co-founder Giles Andrews as chief executive. Chief operating officer Jaidev Janardana takes over the top role from Andrews who has been appointed executive chairman.

Janardana joined Zopa last year, taking responsibility for operations, including marketing, credit risk, technology and customer service. Since he joined, the platform has grown monthly loan volumes by 122 percent year-on-year and is now lending more than £50 million ($76 million; €68 million) a month, the firm said.

Formerly chief marketing officer for Capital One in the UK, Janardana held senior positions within the credit card division in the US and UK, including managing product strategy, credit risk and business development. 

Zopa makes consumer loans of between £1,000 and £25,000 and is targeting £1 billion in new lending in 2016. The firm anticipates a burst of new investors as the UK government introduces a new peer-to-peer lending ISA which will allow retail investors to put their tax-free savings allowance into marketplace lending platforms. 

Andrews said: “Jaidev has shown he has the right mix of skills, vision and focus on execution that we need and I am delighted to announce his appointment as CEO. Since joining, Jaidev has demonstrated his ability both to hire and motivate great people while implementing an impressive series of initiatives and partnerships resulting in Zopa growing at its fastest ever rate and cementing our position as the leading consumer P2P lending service in the UK.”

Andrews co-founded Zopa in 2004 and has led the firm for the last eight years. In his new role he will take responsibility for key external relationships as well as managing the board of directors.