Merchant Money hires ex-Funding Circle exec as new CEO

By Daniel Lanyon on Friday 20 September 2019

Alternative Lending

The lending platform says that it has been investing in resources and infrastructure in recent months in a bid to boost growth in its book.

Merchant Money hires ex-Funding Circle exec as new CEO
Image source: Merchant Money

Merchant Money, an SME lender, has hired former Funding Circle head of real estate finance, Luke Jooste as its new CEO.

Jooste joined Funding Circle from Barclays in 2013 and worked there until July 2018, shortly before its IPO.

“It was the next logical step, says Danny Girnun, Managing Director of Merchant Money. “We’ve been investing in resources and infrastructure to help us take the business to the next evolutionary phase of growth, while steadily growing our client base. 

“We’re now at the point where we’ve proven to be a profitable business, and we felt it was the right time to bring on board someone with Luke’s extraordinary skills and experience, and track record for taking businesses like ours to the next level.”

Jooste was Head of UK Property Finance and Commercial Director at Barclays Business Bank. He also has investment banking experience with BAWAG PSK in London, where he headed up the residential development finance team.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty in the economy right now, but also a lot of opportunity,” he says. “Every big macro change in the market creates risk, but those risks lead to opportunities – especially for established and forward-thinking UK lenders with the agility to respond to opportunities quickly.”

Merchant Money offers small business loans, as well as a Merchant Cash Advance product.

“Currently, many of the large and credible players in the UK alternative credit space are those that took advantage of the 2008 credit crunch uncertainty when banks retreated from the market. We see a similar opportunity emerging for smaller players from the current Brexit chaos, and Merchant Money aims to be at the forefront of that,” Jooste added.

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