Britain’s biggest crowdfunding platform Crowdcube has named a veteran banker as its new chairman.
Simon Williams spent 9 years at Citigroup, heading up its international Retail Bank, heading consumer groups for Asia Pacific and Latin America, and serving as chief risk officer for Citigroup Global consumer group. More recently Williams served as head of HSBC’s Wealth Management group from 2011 to 2014.
Williams has also made an undisclosed investment in Crowdcube, described as “significant” in a press release announcing the appointment.
Williams says in an emailed statement: “Crowdfunding has revolutionised the financial services sector, allowing entrepreneurial businesses to flourish at a time when securing finance is at an all-time low.
“Crowdcube has been the leading pioneer in this new wave of financial innovation in the UK and has a great deal more to offer business and investors alike. I am very much looking forward to working with the team during their next phase of development.”
Crowdcube, founded in 2011, is the UK’s leading equity crowdfunding platform, letting ordinary investors put money into startup businesses for as little as £10 ($12.20). It has raised more than £188 million for over 400 companies since launch.
As well as backing Crowdcube, Williams has invested in US online lenders LendingClub and OnDeck, and personal finance website Nerdwallet.
Darren Westlake, CEO of Crowdcube said: “Simon’s deep industry knowledge and experience of both the retail banking sector and his early adoption of new financial technology makes him uniquely suited to the role of Chairman of Crowdcube.
“As our industry matures, it is imperative that we continue to be innovative and retain our customer-first focus. Simon’s impressive track record in consumer banking and wealth management, combined with the regulatory landscape, makes him a perfect fit as our business and the crowdfunding industry evolves. We are delighted that he has decided to become part of our journey both as Crowdcube’s Chairman and as an investor in the company.”
Crowdcube has raised just under £14 million from investors including London VC fund Balderton, London stockbroker Numis, Silicon Valley investor Tim Draper, and members of its own platform through a crowdfunding.
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