Simon Champ
Simon Champ

Time working for bank informed P2P expert’s jump into alt-fi

Simon Champ
Simon Champ

You can excuse Simon Champ for being a bit of a booster for the alt-finance industry. You see, he used to work in a bank.

“I could see the potential for large-scale disruption in the sector,” he told Bankless Times from London. Champ is chief executive of Eaglewood Europe, which manages P2P Global Investments, the first European fund created to invest in the peer-to-peer lending space. Eaglewood is majority-owned by Marshall Wace.

When he says ‘disruption’ he means change, a shake-up, a new way of doing things. On a micro and macro scale, respectively.

“It was this that led me to develop the proposition that is now P2P Global Investments,” he says of the investment trust that trades on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ‘P2P.’

“A recent study by Morgan Stanley estimated the global peer-to-peer market could be worth up to $490 billion by 2020.”

Champ intends to dazzle his audience at the LendIt Europe conference next week with more facts and figures, as he’s one of the guest speakers at the Oct. 21-22 event in London.

He knows they know the industry is putting up huge numbers but wait till they hear just how big: “In the UK, P2P lending more than doubled in the first quarter of 2015 to more than a billion dollars.”

He’ll have members of the global online lending community Champ-ing (couldn’t resist) at the bit to hear his take on the importance of permanent capital. Sourced via the internet, of course.

“Peer to peer lending is only a decade old,” he says, “but is growing fast. And in another 10 years’ time, I hope will become the accepted way for people or businesses to grow money.”

The dramatic growth should worry the banks, says Champ, who expanded on this theme in a a column for The Telegraph here.

Disruption or change in other industries has paved the way, Champ adds. “Expedia, Betfair and Amazon have transformed the face of high street travel, betting and book-selling. But the disruption of the banking sector has only really just started.”