P2P Asset Manager BondMason Launches
This year investors will have a new method of investing in P2P loans – an investment manager called BondMason. BondMason is a new online investment platform that sources investment opportunities from across its approved panel of P2P platforms directly for its clients. The platform promises users high returns – with a target return of 7.0% per annum – and to minimise any downside exposure in their portfolio.
BondMason appears to function in an easy way. It all starts with a detailed review of each P2P platform, to ensure that management can source suitable investment opportunities for investors. The platform considers only UK-based business and consumer loans. A detailed due diligence is conducted by a team of experts, not only prior to approval, but also once each platform is listed on the website.
Stephen Findlay, BondMason’s CEO, explained:
“We advocate good investment selection, spreading risk through diversification and adopting a layer of security through a bias towards asset-backed lending. […] we also provide what our Clients want: convenience, flexibility and accessibility”.
Although BondMason’s clients are not protected by the FSCS and the BondMason Investment Account is not regulated by the FCA, the platform claims to have “skin in the game”, in that it invests in every loan itself – before those loan opportunities are made available to individual clients.
James Wallis, Chief Investment Officer, added:
“What makes us different is not only the knowledge and experience that underpins our investment decisions but also our ethics and integrity. We invest our own money in every loan before offering them to investors to ensure that they fulfil client’s needs. We treat our investor’s money with the same care that we would if it was our own, because it has been!”
Through the platform, investors are able to create a portfolio of more than 50 loans with minimal friction. Users may also invest in BondMason through an ISA when the Innovative Finance ISA goes live in April 2016. This should prove to be a tax efficient and attractive means of investing in the P2P lending asset class, enabling investors to save on the withholding tax payable on the interest income they earn.
The platform calls to mind the P2PGI model – which also invests, directly and indirectly, in consumer and SME loans and in corporate trade receivables originated through online peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms. One key distinguisher is geographical scope – BondMason invests only in loans originated in UK.