Giles Andrews founded Zopa, the UK's first peer-to-peer lender and still our largest. If somebody made a Top Trumps based on the Liberum Alt-Fi Index, Giles would have just become even more valuable. This week, he takes up the role of chairman of the board of another of the UK's biggest alternative finance players.
Mr Andrews is to become Chairman at MarketInvoice, a platform which helps businesses improve the certainty of their cashflow by selling their accounts receivable invoices. AltFi News reported his appointment.:
“At a glance, MarketInvoice seems a bit of a strange fit for Andrews, given that it caters to a different set of customers on both sides of the marketplace than does Zopa, where he has amassed the bulk of his experience. But Andrews told AltFi that MarketInvoice was - for this very reason - the obvious choice, because it 'creates no conflict' while having enough similarities that he can still add value."
Andrews will work directly with MarketInvoice’s co-founders Anil Stocker and Ilya Kondrashov. The incoming chairman will be tasked with driving scale in the business, which plans to double its lending in 2017.
The founders of the two companies are no strangers to one another. A spokesperson from MarketInvoice told Peer-to-Peer Finance News that Andrew was a “longstanding friend and mentor” to Stocker.
The Financial Times focuses on what it sees as prospects for collaboration between Mr Andrews' new and old companies:
"Anil Stocker, an ex-Lehman Brothers employee, aims to reach £2bn of total lending this year, helped by the launch of a new service to offer finance secured against all of a company’s invoices, rather than on a per-invoice basis.
Mr Stocker is also in talks to provide banks with access to its platform as a “grey-label service” — allowing them to offer it as a co-branded product to their small business clients."