Meet the team – Neil Maurice, Chief Operating and Finance Officer at Loanpad

March 6, 2024
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Loanpad’s success is testament to the hard work and expertise of the people who operate the platform behind the scenes. In this new blog series, we meet the team and learn more about their roles. First up is Neil Maurice, Chief Operating and Finance Officer.

 

  • What did you do before Loanpad?

 

I started my career back in 2004 as an equity banker at UBS Investment Bank. I then qualified as a Chartered Accountant at BDO LLP in London. I spent about ten years at BDO in their financial services team specialising in a range of audit and consultancy work. As part of that role, I was part of the leadership team on a large remediation project at Barclays Bank focusing on the mis-selling of interest rate derivatives. This involved leading teams assessing whether a mis-sale had occurred and working to calculate any redress due.

 

I then moved to another multinational consultancy, Duff & Phelps and I was there for a couple of years focusing on a number of risk and regulatory projects for entities regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Then in 2018 I decided to branch out and that’s when I joined Loanpad.

 

  • What brought you to Loanpad?

 

Louis Schwartz, Chief Executive of Loanpad and I have known each other for more than 20 years, so we’ve always had a link. Every so often he would reach out and ask my opinion on business matters because I have a background on the advisory side of FCA regulated firms, as well as an overall understanding of the way the business works.

 

Louis needed someone who could effectively fill several senior roles within the company – I filled the criteria and I was ready for a change.

 

Joining an exciting startup is great fun. You’re forming it, you’re nurturing it, you’re deciding which way they go, what you pull, what you push. Its great fun, but its not for everyone. There’s no boredom.

 

  • What is your day-to-day role in the company?

 

My formal title is Chief Operating and Finance Officer, which means the management of the day-to-day teams, loan underwriting, regulatory compliance, day-to-day operations, and finances fall under my purview.

 

  • To what extent has the P2P lending market changed since Loanpad was launched?

 

Massively. When Loanpad was being conceived, P2P lending was a very exciting concept, in the industry. It was decentralizing finance and giving retail investors exposure to an asset class which historically only banks and large finance houses were able to have exposure to. And I think that as a concept, it was phenomenal and still is phenomenal. Why should the retail investor with £5,000 not be able to lend money on a piece of real estate, but a bank is able to do it?

 

Logically, the concept of P2P finance is a great idea and a great concept. Unfortunately, there were a number of P2P failures in the early days.

 

This resulted in more regulation around areas such as disclosure, financial promotions and senior manager accountability. The level of regulation has massively gone up, and this has made the sector less attractive for new entrants. The result is that a lot of players have looked to leave, and fewer have looked to enter.

 

The market has shrunk for certain, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It means that the good actors remain.

 

  • What are Loanpad’s core values?

 

Trust, integrity, and morals. We invest every single penny of money as if it’s our grandmothers’.  We believe in being open, transparent, highly ethical, and highly moral in the way that we act. And our main focus is always trying to ensure that investors get their money back. We don’t want to be in a position of losing people’s money. We can’t guarantee it, but everything we do is focused on getting investors money back or making sure we invest it so we expect to get it back. We don’t look for the fast buck, we don’t look for the high arrangement fees on a loan just so we can make the loan and get it out the door. We look at the security needed in order to recover the capital.

 

  • How has the business evolved to meet customer demand?

 

We constantly look for ways to make the Loanpad experience simple, efficient and friendly, whilst of course meeting all regulatory requirements on a disclosure basis. We don’t believe in complicated interfaces, we don’t believe in having to press 95 buttons to get anywhere. That’s just not how we want to be.

 

We look to constantly react to our clients’ needs, and to make incremental improvements on our site and functionality to meet customer demand. We prioritise our customer care, and make sure that we respond to all queries in a timely manner.

 

  • What are your plans and ambitions for 2024?

 

We are hoping to put out a large software release in 2024. Investors may not see a huge change on the front end of it, but behind the scenes it’s a rebuild of the back end. That’s going to mean that we’re going to be able to put through new features and new products much more quickly than we have done in the past.

 

I’d also like to launch an Apple Store and Google Play Store apps this year. Towards the end of the year, I’d like to improve our data transparency so we can actually show better graphics of our loan book and the splits between different lending partners and different loan types.

 

But beyond all of that, the big focus of 2024 is continue doing what we’re doing now and continue to serve our investors. We’re in difficult macroeconomic conditions, be under no illusion. It’s not an easy market and we just need to be laser focused on delivering over and over again in what we’re doing.

 

Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose money. This is a high-risk investment. You may not be able to access your money easily and are unlikely to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 mins to learn more.
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