Press release

P2P Lender Harmoney Attracts Worldwide Investor Interest, Announces Advisory Board Directors

Announces Advisory Board Directors

Auckland, 4 September 2014

New Zealand’s first peer to peer (P2P) lending platform Harmoney today announced the composition of its advisory board, a group of seasoned early stage P2P investors, P2P senior executives and consultants and tech entrepreneurs whose experience will guide the company as it prepares to launch in the New Zealand market and eventually, beyond.Harmoney today announced that it was the first lender in New Zealand to reach the standard required to obtain a Peer to Peer Lending License as granted by the sector’s regulator, the Financial Markets Authority.

Harmoney Chairman Rob Campbell says the company is fortunate to have the involvement of some of the biggest names in the global peer to peer sector, who will also be investing in the company. “Harmoney will benefit enormously from the collective wisdom and experience of our advisory board members. All recognise the potential inherent in the Harmoney model and believe that the New Zealand market, with its highly profitable, predominantly foreign owned banks, is ripe for a disruptive lending and investment platform, like Harmoney, where investors earn more and borrowers pay less.

“We are delighted to welcome to the Harmoney advisory board Brian Barefoot, Etienne Boillot, Scott Bommer, Charles Moldow and James Punnett. All have impressive track records, and many have been associated in some way with highly successful and fast growing peer to peer lenders in the US and Europe. Others have experience in starting and building new businesses, and all know how to evaluate a new business opportunity and the work that is required to create value.

“All advisory board members have also chosen to become investors in the company. Proof that peer to peer lending in New Zealand is likely to replicate the impressive performance of similar operations in the United States and Europe.”

Peer to peer lending has been extremely successful overseas, changing the way that people borrow and invest, and in the process, is experiencing huge growth. The UK Government has lent more than NZD200 million via P2P lending platforms while approving the investment class for pension plans and tax free savings. In the USA, Lending Club, the leading platform, is due to float in an IPO estimated at $5 billion with Google as a cornerstone early investor.

Harmoney is the first lender in New Zealand to be granted a peer-to-peer license by the sector’s regulator, the Financial Markets Authority.

Notes to Editors

Brian Barefoot
Brian M. Barefoot is an advisor to Lending Club, a US based P2P lender, which to date has lent >USD5 billion. He is President Emeritus of Babson College where he served as president from 2001 until 2008, and as Chair of the Board of Trustees from 1996 to 2001. Barefoot has a long career in financial services, including multiple roles with American stock broker and asset management firm PaineWebber, where he served as Executive Vice President and Director of Investment Banking, a member of its Board of Directors, and President and Chief Executive Officer of its subsidiary, PaineWebber International. During twenty-five years at Merrill Lynch & Co., he held various senior management positions, retiring as Senior Vice President and Managing Director. He has also held senior management, director and trustee positions at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the Kent Place School and other leading companies.

Etienne Boillot
Mr. Boillot is a private investor with over 25 years of investment experience. He is currently General Partner of Shepherd Capital a Luxembourg based single family office which he founded in 2010. Shepherd is an active participant (through debt and equity investments) in the alternative finance lending markets in the US, UK, France, Spain, Italy and Africa. Prior to that Mr. Boillot co-founded two early stage venture funds in the United States. From 2003 to 2008, Mr. Boillot was a partner in a global publishing business which he helped grow five times in value. Mr. Boillot’s background in finance originated at the First Boston Corporation, where he worked both in the mergers & acquisitions department and fixed income sales and trading. Mr. Boillot received an MBA from Stanford University (1986) and a BA from Dartmouth College (1981).

Scott Bommer
Scott Alan Bommer is the Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer at SAB Capital Management, LP. Prior to founding SAB, he worked as a Portfolio Manager at Siegler, Collery & Co, as an Associate at McKinsey & Company and as an Analyst at Goldman Sachs. He also heads the Robin Hood Leadership Council, and is a current Director at Robin Hood Foundation and Arden Holdings Limited. Mr. Bommer graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. with distinction in Quantitative Economics and from the Harvard Graduate School of Business with an M.B.A.

Charles Moldow
Charles Moldow is a director of venture capital firm, Foundation Capital. He has made 14 investments since joining Foundation, of which five have been acquired: PowerSet to Microsoft; Xoopit to Yahoo!; Adwhirl to Google; Weblistic to Spot Runner; and, Therative to Phillips. His current portfolio includes: AdRoll, AuxMoney, BancBox, CloudOn, DogVacay, LendingClub, Lending Home, Motif Investing, and OnDeck. He is an active board observer at both CiiNow and Refresh. Charles holds a BS degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and received his MBA from Harvard University. He lives in the Bay Area with his wife and four children.

James Punnett
James began his career working in Technical / Business development at Sovereign before leaving in 2005 & founding Life Direct, New Zealand's leading online insurance comparison website. In 2012 he joined Trade Me after concluding the sale of the business to them, and presently holds a management role developing Life Direct. James was also involved as a director and shareholder in the re-development of Allied Kiwi (NZs largest Mortgage broker group) with an eventual sale in 2011 to Loan Market Australia.

ENDS

For more information:
Julien Leys SenateSHJ +64 21 655 598

About Harmoney

The Harmoney team are committed to providing a better way to lend and borrow cutting out the need for traditional banks and finance companies.

Harmoney gained strong acclaim among their borrower community having been awarded a 5-star customer satisfaction rating 4,000 times and counting.

Previous winners of Innovator of the Year, and Deloitte Rising Star awards, Harmoney were also thrilled to be a finalist at the 2017 High Tech awards.

Harmoney was granted the first New Zealand Peer to Peer lending license by the Financial Markets Authority and was the first Kiwi peer to peer lender.

Company highlights:

  • Operating in Australia and New Zealand
  • NZ$500 million transacted by lenders and borrowers on the platform
  • 85 new jobs created
  • 150,000 accounts created to date across borrowers and lenders
  • Heartland Bank and Trade Me cornerstone shareholders