Press release

Peer to Peer Lending Platform Harmoney Announces Full Board of Directors

Auckland, 1 August 2014

Auckland, 01 August 2014 - Peer to peer lending platform Harmoney today announced the appointment of its full board of directors. This follows the announcement in May of former GPG Chairman Rob Campbell as Harmoney Chairman.

Appointments to the Harmoney board are Bell Gully Partner David Flacks who is also on the Board of Vero Insurance New Zealand, technology entrepreneur and current Chief Executive of Localist, Christina Domecq, and Tracey Jones, CFO/COO of Tappenden Holdings Limited, one of New Zealand’s largest private investment portfolios.

In announcing the board appointments, Harmoney Founder, Director and Chief Executive Neil Roberts says the company has been fortunate to attract such diversity of experience and expertise to its board.

“The new board appointments bring together three disciplines that are essential to the success of any peer to peer lending platform.

“Funds management to ensure investor returns, the passion for delivering best practice technology and strong legal compliance especially in this newly enabled industry that will be closely monitored by the Financial Markets Authority. All are key areas that will define and shape Harmoney’s performance.”

Peer to peer lending has been extremely successful overseas and is growing at over 200% per annum. In the UK, the Government has lent more than NZD200 million via peer to peer lending platforms whilst 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.*

Harmoney is currently fine-tuning systems and operating policies and expects begin trading very soon.

ENDS

Notes to Editors
More detailed director profiles follow.

*Peer to peer lending was enabled by the Financial Markets Conduct Act that came into effect on 1 April 2014.

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

DETAILED DIRECTOR PROFILES

Rob Campbell – Chairman
BA (Hons – first class); M.Phil (Economics)

Rob has over 30 years’ experience in investment management and corporate governance. Campbell’s current directorships include Summerset, Tourism Holdings and Localist. He recently retired as Chairman of Guinness Peat Group (GPG) having completed the divestment mandate.

Rob Campbell’s previous governance roles include being director of Bank of New Zealand, a past chairman of BNZ Finance and of the investment committee of New Zealand’s largest fund manager, ACC.

Rob trained as an economist and has worked in a variety of capital market advisory and governance roles over a long period.

Neil Roberts, Director, Founder and CEO

Neil has spent his career achieving outstanding growth in consumer finance. He wrote the business case for PRF Direct, before launching the company in 2001 achieving $50M profit in 5 years. Ultimately heading the business as GM, Neil was responsible for over 400 staff and a balance sheet of $750m in assets. He then joined FlexiGroup, leading a team of 80+ with $30m profit and $200M sales responsibility, driving development and delivering double digit revenue growth. The business is currently valued in excess of $1.5b.

As CEO of the Harmoney group of companies, Neil is responsible for leading the development and execution of the company’s long term strategy with a view to creating shareholder value.

Christina Domecq – Independent Director
BA; BS (Boston College); M.Finance (Notre Dame)

Christina Domecq is an internationally recognised technology entrepreneur and business leader as well as an investor and a director in a number of New Zealand brands. These brands include Stolen Rum, Tourism Holdings Limited, Fingertapps, Unlimited Realties and Zap Tag. Starting her first company at the age of 20, Christina has owned and invested in a large variety of companies around the world. Christina is currently Chief Executive of Localist. Christina has won a raft of awards including the Ernst and Young UK, Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Science and Technology Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006, and CBC Entrepreneur of the Year in 2009.

David Flacks - Independent Director
BA, MA (Cambridge)

David has significant commercial, governance and strategic experience gained from many years as a leading corporate lawyer, a senior executive at one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies and being involved in a number of regulator roles.

David has been a partner of Bell Gully since 1987 except for four years in the 1990’s when he gained valuable experience as General Counsel and Company Secretary of Carter Holt Harvey. David is currently a director of Vero Insurance New Zealand and Chair of the NZX Markets Disciplinary Tribunal.

Tracey Jones - Independent Director
B.Com (Canterbury), C.A.

Tracey is responsible for funds under management for one of New Zealand’s largest private investment portfolios, Tappenden Holdings Limited. In addition she has responsibility for governance, accounting and taxation for over sixty entities conducted from a single family office.

After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, Tracey worked for both Price Waterhouse and Coopers and Lybrand. She has since gained 14 years of board table experience with some of New Zealand’s most influential and successful business leaders.

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