LendInvest appoints Wilcke on road to IPO

By Ryan Weeks on Friday 17 June 2016

Alternative Lending

Former OneSavings Bank Executive Chairman Stephan Wilcke has joined LendInvest as a Senior Adviser as the platform gears up for a landmark IPO.

Wilcke, currently the Chairman of Amigo Loans and Founder of Rozes Invest, has spent 25 years in financial services and has held a range of senior leadership roles. Most tellingly, Wilcke was Executive Chairman of OneSavings Bank until it became the first challenger bank to float in London in June 2014. Rumours of a LendInvest listing have been circling ever since February 2015, when CEO Christian Faes told the FT that he was getting the platform ready for an IPO. LendInvest, were it to go public, would be the first UK-based marketplace lender to float.

LendInvest raised £17m from Atomico in a Series B equity round in March of this year, after clinching £22m from Beijing Kunlun in June of 2015. The platform has a cumulative lending volume of over £660m, according to the Liberum AltFi Volume Index UK. Wilcke commented on his appointment: “Having followed the progress of the team for the past three years in various capacities, I have been incredibly impressed by what LendInvest has achieved. They are building a company with a distinctive culture that blends maturity with a desire to do things differently. It’s an exciting time to come on board.” He also said, in a quote sourced by the Telegraph, that he would expect to "give them some advice on an IPO and capital markets," as well potentially on "how to structure the liabilities side of the balance sheet, the P2P and wholesale funding, or a banking licence.”

Stephan was previously the CEO of HM Treasury’s Asset Protection Agency, which helped the UK’s most troubled banks to repair their balance sheets between 2009 and 2012. He led an “extensive turnaround strategy” at OneSavings Bank, which saw the bank list at a valuation of over £410m in 2014. Wilcke co-founded Rozes invest in May 2015 alongside Michael Carter and Matteo Sotti. The fund invests across the European marketplace lending space.

It’s a certainly an interesting time for whispers of a LendInvest IPO to resurface. Lending Club and OnDeck – the marketplace lending sector’s most prominent listed platforms – have seen their stocks plummet in the wake of former Lending Club boss Renaud Laplanche’s shock departure in early May.

Christian Faes, Co-Founder and CEO of LendInvest, offered his take on Wilcke’s appointment: “LendInvest is now a leading name in specialist property finance, but we make no secret of our goal to be a mainstream financial services brand. The financial services world is one that’s subject to ever-growing layers of regulation, with new entrants like us under intense scrutiny. An open door to Stephan’s battle-hardened skills and extensive network will be invaluable to us as we continue to grow.”

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