Another day, another highly able young analyst has decided to leave investment banking for the more vibrant world of peer-to-peer lending.
Last week it was Hugo Davies, a Loughborough University graduate, who quit Goldman Sachs to become a ‘capital markets associate’ at LendInvest Capital. This week, it’s Elisabeth Webb, a former hedge fund rates saleswoman at UBS, who’s quit to become a business analyst in risk and capital markets at Funding Circle, the peer-to-peer lending website co-founded in 2010 by Sam Hodges, a former associate at Pequot Capital Management.
Like Davies, Webb worked hard to get her role in banking – and jumped when she was finally established on the first rungs of the ladder. After leaving Paris Dauphine University she studied a Masters in Management at the London Business School and then completed two long off-cycle internships in rates sales at Deutsche and SocGen before landing a full time role at UBS in September 2014.
Now she’s given up on rates sales after leaving for Funding Circle in January. Funding Circle doubled its headcount in 2014 (the most recent year for which accounts are available) whilst doubling its loss to £10.9m. While revenues at the company are growing fast, doubts have been expressed over the peer-to-peer business model. Adair Turner, former head of the UK Financial Conduct Authority, and author of a new book on the perils of debt, predicted yesterday that, “the losses which will emerge from peer-to-peer lending over the next five to 10 years will make the worst bankers look like lending geniuses”.