Funding Circle appoints successor as CEO Samir Desai steps down

Ellie Duncan
10 Sep 2021

Funding Circle has announced that Lisa Jacobs, managing director of its UK business, will take over as CEO following Samir Desai’s decision to step down after 12 years at the helm.

Jacobs will succeed Desai from 1 January 2022, having joined Funding Circle in September 2012 as chief strategy officer.

Desai will step back from day-to-day activities at the end of this year and will become a non-executive director of the company.

He said: “Funding Circle is in the strongest position it has ever been, so after 12 years as CEO I have decided that now is the right time to step back from running the company and transition to a role on the board.

“I am delighted that Lisa will be our next CEO. I have worked closely with her for the last nine years and she will lead Funding Circle to the next level.”

The news came as Funding Circle reported record results for the first half of 2021, with total income up 19% year-on-year to £120.6 million, AEBITDA of £53.3 million, and operating profit of £35.5 million, compared to a £113.5 million loss in the first half of 2020.

“I feel privileged to have been asked to lead Funding Circle as its new CEO,” said Jacobs (pictured).

“We have achieved a great deal as a company so far, but the best is yet to come. Our machine learning and technology platform is transforming the small business borrowing experience and our new payment products, like FlexiPay, represent the next step in our mission to solve more funding problems for small businesses.”

Andrew Learoyd, chair of Funding Circle, added: Lisa has been a key part of the business for over 9 years. She has done an exceptional job leading our UK business and we are delighted she will take on the CEO role.

“On behalf of everyone who works at Funding Circle, I also want to recognise Samir Desai’s achievement. I have had the pleasure of knowing him since the early days of the business and have seen how his passion and vision have helped build Funding Circle into a highly innovative company transforming the borrowing experience for thousands of small businesses. We are all delighted that Samir will continue on the board and contribute to the company he created.”