Funding Circle CEO Samir Desai steps down

Funding Circle CEO Samir Desai steps down

Funding Circle CEO Samir Desai is stepping down, to be replaced by the small business lender's UK managing director Lisa Jacobs.

After 12 years in charge, co-founder Desai will move to a non-executive director role at the end of the year.

Jacobs joined Funding Circle in 2012 as chief strategy officer before moving to her current role. Previously, she was a financial services consultant at the Boston Consulting Group.

The transition comes as Funding Circle posts record first half numbers, with total income of £120.6 million and operating profit of £35.5 million, a swing from a £113.5 million loss for the same period the previous year.

The promising figures come after a tough couple of years for the company, which in 2020 had to lay off 125 staff as it scaled back its European operations after booking a £34.3 million writedown related to its Dutch and German divisions.

This month, the company also announced plans to launch a payment facility, FlexiPay, empowering customers with the ability to buy now pay later on any expense.

Says Jacobs: "We have achieved a great deal as a company so far, but the best is yet to come. Our machine learning and technology platform is transforming the small business borrowing experience and our new payment products, like FlexiPay, represent the next step in our mission to solve more funding problems for small businesses."

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