Peer-to-peer lender appoints City veteran as chairman

By Ryan Weeks on Monday 15 May 2017

Alternative Lending

RateSetter hires Prudential chairman Paul Manduca as non-executive chairman.

Leading peer-to-peer lender RateSetter has appointed Paul Manduca (pictured), acting chairman of global FTSE 100 insurer Prudential, as its non-executive chairman. Manduca will join board at the start of June, and will become chair on 17 July, when current chairman Alan Hughes’ three-year term expires.

In addition to his current role at Prudential, Manduca’s career spans roles as CEO of both Rothschild Asset Management and Deutsche Asset Management. He also founded Threadneedle Asset Management, in addition to chairing the Advisory Council of TheCityUK, a financial services trade body.

Commenting on his appointment, Manduca said that lending as asset class has always been a “virtual monopoly” for the banks, which is now for the first time being opened up to ordinary investors. He call RateSetter a pioneer in the sector, one that has set “high standards”.

RateSetter weathered a number of issues in 2016, including the restructuring of its pioneering provision fund, and the winding up of its wholesale lending activities.

But the firm continues to charge ahead with over 300,000 active investors and borrowers now using the platform, and close to £1.9bn in loans facilitated to date, according to AltFi Data. 

The kind of long-term capital controlled by insurance funds and major asset managers is often spoken of as something of a holy grail for marketplace lenders, which have until now relied largely on hedge funds for institutional capital. RateSetter's focus is on retail capital at present, but Manduca's connections and expertise may nonetheless prove invaluable should the firm choose to diversifiy.

“Paul’s experience in asset management, his reputation as a business builder and his authority in good governance can help us enormously in our aspiration to make RateSetter a benchmark brand in lending and borrowing,” said Rhydian Lewis, founder and CEO of RateSetter. 

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