IRISH peer-to-peer lender Linked Finance has appointed Michael Cawley as chairman.
Cawley, the former deputy chief executive of budget airline Ryanair, will replace Kingsley Aikins, who will remain on the board as a non-executive director.
Cawley told the Irish edition of The Times that Linked Finance was “one of Ireland’s most exciting fintech companies”, adding: “I enjoy working with companies that are innovating and disrupting old models. Linked Finance is doing just that, providing hardworking entrepreneurs with a fast, fair and innovative way to access much-needed finance.”
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Linked Finance offers investors the chance to put their money into business loans for Irish SMEs, and was launched in 2013.
The firm claims that to date its 16,000 plus registered lenders have lent out more than €32m (£28.2m) to support more than 1,000 Irish businesses across every county in Ireland.
Cawley said he will help steward the Linked Finance board as it embarks on its “next phase of growth”. Cawley already sits on the boards of Ryanair, Kingspan, Paddy Power Betfair, Hostelworld and Failte Ireland.
Earlier this month Linked Finance announced that it was entering the pensions market, partnering with five pension trustee services to allow investors to hold P2P loans as part of their retirement savings. Interest rates on offer range from six to 17.5 per cent per annum.