The appointment is part of an equity investment by QED Investors, where Morris serves as Managing Partner. The amount that has been invested in Zopa has not been disclosed. Zopa representatives tell us that Mr. Morris’ arrival is part of a broader plan to strengthen the board and to bring seasoned veterans into the fold, in order to help the company scale.
Scale certainly hasn’t been a problem for the platform in recent months. Zopa lent a record £52.2m in July, and bulldozed its way through the £1 billion mark in mid-August, becoming the first UK-based peer-to-peer lender to do so.
Mr. Morris has his fingers in many pies within the consumer credit space. The QED boss also sits on the boards of Prosper and Borro, for example. Morris is a Co-Founder and former COO and President of Capital One. Jaidev Janardana – who joined Zopa as COO in October last year, before acceding to the role of CEO in September – also hails from Capital One, where he most recently served as Chief Marketing Officer. Mr. Morris will join a board that is now chaired by Giles Andrews, who became Executive Chairman of Zopa when Janardana assumed the title of CEO.
Mr. Andrews offered his thoughts on the appointment:
“Nigel is one of the few entrepreneurs in the world to have started a financial services business and taken it to massive scale. During Nigel’s ten years at Capital One, the company’s earnings per share growth and return on equity both exceeded 20% per year. Nigel is a natural fit for us as he pioneered a data driven approach both to credit decisioning and marketing.”
Mr. Morris himself also weighed in:
“I am delighted to join the team at Zopa. I’ve been following its progress for a long time and we (QED) jumped at the opportunity to be part of this truly disruptive and pioneering company. I share the same ambitions and values as Giles, Jaidev, and the whole company in wanting to provide better value and excellent service to consumers, and making Zopa a trusted household brand in the process.”