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Peer2Peer Finance News | June 25, 2019

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Funding Circle boss pocketed more than £4m last year

Funding Circle boss pocketed more than £4m last year
Suzie Neuwirth

FUNDING Circle founder Samir Desai (pictured) earned more than £4m last year, having cashed in some of his shares at the time of the peer-to-peer lender’s stock market flotation.

Desai took home a salary of £210,000 last year, according to Funding Circle’s annual report, a four per cent increase from his salary of £202,000 in 2017.

The majority of his total remuneration of £4.081m came from cashing in share options.

He received £3.87m from shares that vested at the time of the initial public offering (IPO) and were converted into ordinary shares, a Funding Circle spokesperson confirmed to Peer2Peer Finance News.

Immediately prior to IPO Desai held 3,845,968 vested and 2,237,532 unvested shares, the annual report said. The offer price at IPO was £4.40 but Funding Circle’s shares have had a rather volatile few months and are now trading at £3.12 as of Wednesday afternoon.

Read more: Funding Circle back in securitisation market with £187m deal

Funding Circle became the first publicly-listed UK P2P lender when it floated on the London Stock Exchange last October. Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley acted as joint global co-ordinators and joint bookrunners on the offer, Numis Securities was joint bookrunner and BofA Merrill Lynch was sole sponsor.

Total costs associated with the IPO were £15m, the annual report revealed.

Chief financial officer Sean Glithero was awarded total remuneration of £1.082m last year, including a £300,000 salary and £777,000 in vested share options.

This is a significant jump from his total remuneration of £76,000 in 2017.

Desai declared 2018 “a strong year” for Funding Circle in the annual report, citing 55 per cent revenue growth to £141.9m and positive segment-adjusted core earnings of £7m.

“2018 was a milestone year for Funding Circle and I am humbled by everything we have achieved so far as a company,” he added.

“But we have big ambitions and are really only just getting started. For 2019 we have set ourselves high targets for growing our business volumes and diversifying our customer base further.”

Funding Circle said it expects to report revenues above £200m in 2019.

The firm recently revealed plans to expand into the Canadian market. It is also winding down its dedicated investment trust and is set to launch two institutional funds.