The peer-to-peer business lender is turning dissenters into directors with its latest hire, after hitting £60m in lending.
ArchOver, the p2p business lending platform, has announced it will be appointing Bill Johnston to its board as a non-executive director. Johnston previously was an outspoken critic of p2p lending and alternative finance in general, but says he has been swayed after seeing ArchOver succeed.
“In the early days, I doubted ArchOver could succeed. It’s my job to distinguish between ambition and reality. While there is growing demand for alternative finance, it would only take one major player to fail and the whole sector would be at risk of big reputational damage,” he commented.
“However, as ArchOver started to attract institutional investment, I was slowly converted. Based on rigorous monitoring of borrowers, ArchOver has built a significant client base of credible lenders making informed decisions about where to put their money. It is a business of substance, poised to move on to the next stage of growth. I am hoping to contribute to that development.”
Johnston is set to support ArchOver in "formularising [sic] its training and development programme", providing the lender with an external perspective to help staff to understand their career goals.
The platform has said it has profitability within its sights after recently surpassing £60m in lending for UK businesses, and delivering investor returns of up to 9 per cent p/a. ArchOver is a member of the Hampden Group, for which Johnston had served as group finance director since 2010.
“Not everyone gets P2P or ArchOver straight away. The fact that a chartered accountant – one that is not afraid to speak their mind – has become one of our biggest supporters shows how the perception of P2P is evolving to become a solid, credible form of lending, forming part of the financial services industry”, concluded Angus Dent, CEO of ArchOver.
“As he starts to transition out of his role at Hampden, Johnston has requested to stay involved with ArchOver and act as a link between the two companies, helping install the skills and disciplines fundamental to our future growth.”