Funding Circle, the peer-to-peer lender has
listed its small business investment trust on the London Stock
Based in Guernsey, the closed-ended collective investment scheme
is managed by a team of five directors including co-founder and
Chief Executive of Funding Circle, Samir Desai.
The Funding Circle SME Income fund listed on the LSE's Main
Market after raising £150 million from a group of
institutional investors and will focus on loans to small businesses
in the UK, US and Europe.
"This is the first fund that will lend exclusively to small
businesses through a marketplace lending platform, and it is the
first time investors are able to get exposure to these loans
globally,"said Mr Desai.
"This, and the low fee structure, makes it a differentiated
and attractive product for investors, and we are very pleased this
has been reflected in the take-up."
The trust is targeting a dividend yield of about 7% a year. It
is eligible for self-invested personal pensions and tax-free
individual savings accounts.
John Bishop, Director in Sanne's debt division in Guernsey
said: "We are delighted to have supported Funding Circle in
establishing their first Guernsey registered and London listed
fund. As a listed business ourselves, we understand the effort,
commitment and focus it takes to list on the Main Market of the
Mourant Ozannes' advisory team made up of Partner Gavin
Farrell, Managing Associate Helen Wyatt and Associate Gary Hall,
assisted on all Guernsey legal and regulatory law aspects.
Mr Farrell said: "It is another feather in Guernsey's
cap to have been chosen as a jurisdiction for the launch of such a
succesful, but complex, lending fund platform. Not only was
Guernsey and all its service providers able to deal together with
the complexity of the transaction, but also with all legal and
regulatory aspects associated with the launch of such a funding
Rather than invest in loans directly through a P2P platform,
individual and institutional investors can buy and sell shares in
the vehicle, which will manage a selection of loans on their
The trust also provides investors with the ability to access
business loans in a number of countries instead of limiting them to
domestic businesses as required by marketplace platforms.
Nikhil Rathi, Chief Executive, LSE plc, said: "Ambitious
SMEs are the lifeblood of a modern economy, developing the skills,
jobs and growth we need. But ambition alone is not enough; they
must be properly supported with innovative and appropriate finance.
It is fantastic to see public markets working hand-in-hand with
innovative financing partners such as Funding Circle."
Since launching in August 2010 Funding Circle has helped more
than 12,000 businesses worldwide borrow more than £1.6
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