FUNDING Circle has appointed former 02 customer director and Tesco Mobile chair Cath Keers as a non-executive board member, reigniting rumours of a planned flotation.
Keers becomes the first female non-executive director (NED) on the peer-to-peer business lending platform’s board.
Publicly-listed companies are expected to have at least one in three female directors on their board by 2020.
It was reported earlier this year that Funding Circle was readying to hire advisers to prepare for a £1bn-plus float as soon as late autumn.
Keers currently serves as a NED for Sage Group and TalkTalk and is also chair of digital products provider Ustwo.
Her commercial experience includes marketing and business development at SkyTV, Avon and Next, marketing director and customer director roles at O2 and the chairmanship of Tesco Mobile.
“Funding Circle is changing how the world’s small businesses access finance, and the impact it’s had on the economy and job creation over the past eight years is inspiring,” Keers said.
“I am impressed by the management team’s depth of insight and experience. I share the team’s commitment to delivering the best results for customers, and the company’s high levels of repeat business demonstrate that both investors and borrowers also recognise this passion.”
The announcement came as the platform lending through the Funding Circle platform has surpassed £4.5bn, including more than £2bn in loans under management globally, and more than $1bn of loans facilitated through Funding Circle’s platform to date in the US.
“Our vision at Funding Circle is to rewire the financial landscape in order to give small businesses and investors a better deal,” Samir Desai, chief executive of Funding Circle, said.
“Cath’s experience and knowledge will be invaluable as we continue to work towards fulfilling this vision and building a category-defining global company. I am delighted to welcome Cath to the team.”
Read more: Funding Circle poised for £1bn float