Former CEO of Nomura International and EMEA joins Funding Circle as Global CFO.
Jeremy Bennett (pictured right) is joining the UK’s largest SME lending marketplace as Global Chief Financial Officer. Bennett comes with over thirty years of financial services experience spread across stints at Credit Suisse and Nomura. He was CEO of Nomura in Europe, Middle East and Africa, and CEO of Nomura International.
Bennett’s expertise could prove especially useful in the coming months. The UK’s vote to leave the EU will have widespread ramifications for the UK's alternative finance sector. To some extent it already has. The fallout could be especially pronounced for Funding Circle, as one of the UK’s few pan-European marketplace lenders. The company has already suggested that what was supposed to be a multi-billion pound investment programme with the European Investment Bank is now unlikely to continue. Funding Circle co-founder James Meekings has already gone on record at a recent BIS select committee meeting to call for the British Business Bank to plug up the funding gap.
Bennett has significant experience of navigating uncertain economic times. He was a senior adviser to the Financial Services Authority and to HM Treasury during the global financial crisis. He was responsible for designing the £800bn Asset Protection Scheme, which provided insurance to all UK banks in 2009. Bennett was the first CEO of the Asset Protection Agency, which was created by HMT to oversee the scheme. He was also a senior adviser to HMT on the Vickers Commission recommendations, a role in which he advised on the adoption, modification and implementation of new banking structures for UK government.
Funding Circle has been re-tooling its global leadership team for some time now. The company made a pair of senior risk hires in July of last year, appointing Jerome Le Luel as Global Chief Risk Officer and Manpreet Dhot as Chief Risk Officer in the US. Le Luel was formerly Head of Risk Analytics at Barclays Group, while Dhot had served as Chief Credit Officer at American Express within the Latin American market.
Funding Circle has also seen a couple of senior people leave the company in recent months. Co-founder Andrew Mullinger took a step back from the business in May. Matthias Knecht, formerly a co-founder of Zencap (which was acquired by Funding Circle in October 2015), quit the company in June.
Bennett commented on his appointment: “It’s a great time to be joining such a forward-thinking organisation. The Funding Circle team are all about innovation underlined by a commitment to help small businesses around the world. That drives growth and creates jobs and that is why this is very exciting for me.”
Funding Circle CEO and co-founder Samir Desai also weighed in: “Jeremy has significant experience in building large scale financial services businesses and will play an integral role as we continue our evolution. He brings years of credibility and importantly, shares our values and our ambition to continue to build a better financial world by revolutionising the financial system and securing a better deal for everyone.”
AltFi is returning to Amsterdam for its second annual Summit in the city. The inaugural event last year was a roaring success, with key figures from across Continental Europe's alternative finance and digital banking sectors highlighted. These included Jeroen Broekema, managing director of Funding Circle Netherlands, and Mieke van Engelen, head of innovative partnerships at ABN AMRO's standalone lending platform, New10.