Funding Circle Boosts Board With Former Central Banker

By Guglielmo de Stefano on Thursday 10 March 2016

Alternative Lending

Former Executive Board Member of the European Central Bank Jörg Asmussen joins Funding Circle’s board.


London-based online marketplace for small business loans Funding Circle has announced the appointment of Jörg Asmussen former Executive Board Member of the ECB – as a member of its board.


Launched in 2010, Funding Circle has lent £1,146,018,160 to small businesses to date, according to AltFi Datapassing the £1bn mark last December – and creating an estimated 60,000 new jobs in the UK, continental Europe and the US.


Samir Desai, CEO and co-founder of Funding Circle, commented:


“Our vision at Funding Circle is to build the global exchange where small businesses access the finance they need directly from a diverse group of investors. The last 12 months have seen a number of successes for our business, including growth into continental Europe. I am delighted Jörg is joining our team to share with us his experience and expertise and join us on this exciting journey.”


Mr. Asmussen - German economist and policymaker - has held numerous high-profile positions within the public sector, serving as State Secretary at the German Ministry of Finance, responsible for European Affairs and Financial Markets (from 2008 to 2012) and as Executive Board Member of the European Central Bank (from 2012 to 2013).


Jörg added:


“I am pleased to join Funding Circle’s Board. The company operates at the frontier of innovation in financial services, providing business loans to small businesses in a transparent, simple and efficient manner, thereby helping to finance growth and create jobs - and providing a financially sound alternative for investors. I am impressed by the high professionalism of the management team of Funding Circle and the soundness of the company’s operations throughout the whole value chain.”


Jörg was also Chairman of the financial regulator BaFin, G7 and G20 Deputy. Furthermore, he was involved in dealing with the debt crisis across the Eurozone in 2011, working closely with the Greek, Spanish, Irish and Portuguese governments. Most recently, he was State Secretary for the German Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.


Last October, Funding Circle acquired the Rocket Internet-backed operator Zencap – the first major example of M&A activity that we have seen in the marketplace lending sphere so far. The was evidence to the fact that Funding Circle is live to the European market opportunity, where lurk over €1 trillion of outstanding loans for small businesses. Cumulative lending for the entire P2P business lending sector in Europe currently stands at €229,231,996, according to the Liberum AltFi Volume Index Continental Europe.


Co-founder and Managing Director of Funding Circle Continental Europe Matthias Knecht concluded:


“Jörg is one of Germany’s most respected economists and has spent a lifetime shaping government and central banking. As we accelerate our growth across Europe, his experience in European regulation and unique insights into the challenges faced by small businesses will be an invaluable asset. We are excited that Jörg shares our passion to help small businesses access affordable finance and look forward to transforming the financial industry together.”

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