Peer-to-peer lender SocietyOne just signed a Westpac, Macquarie veteran to lead its investment arm

SocietyOne’s John Cummins. (Source: supplied)

Sydney fintech startup SocietyOne has scored a major hiring coup, appointing former Westpac, RBS and Macquarie veteran John Cummins as its new chief investment officer.

The newly created role has seen Cummins depart the position of head of institutional markets at FIIG Securities to take responsibility for all of SocietyOne’s funding requirements — including managing relationships with investors such as “large financial institutions, mutual banks, credit unions, high net worth individuals and SMSFs”.

Cummins will report directly to chief executive officer Jason Yetton, who said the new recruit has the experience to meet investor expectations “with a particular focus on delivering strong, sustainable and high-yielding returns”.

“In particular, he has specialist knowledge of the fixed income and credit markets, which will be of critical importance to our future growth given the opportunities that we offer our growing base of investor funders to earn solid returns from a new asset class,” said Yetton.

SocietyOne is a peer-to-peer lender established in 2012. Last month it reached the $200 million mark in total lending, including $129 million dished out in 2016. The company said that this represented a 320% growth in the loan book in the space of just one year.

In October, the startup placed number 50 in the global Fintech 100, to be one of just nine Australian companies to make the list. SocietyOne announced that Cummins would play “a key role” in its ambition to expand to 100,000 borrower customers within five years and take a 2% to 3% share of the $100 billion consumer lending market.

“I’m really looking forward to promoting the benefits that we offer investors in an asset class that has traditionally been a very profitable preserve of the traditional banks and helping to grow the company into one of the leading alternative players in the fixed income market,” said Cummins.

Cummins is an financial industry veteran, having held high-ranking positions at Macquarie, RBS, Westpac and RBC in a career spanning 30 years, before taking up the role at FIIG in December 2014.

“John impressed me from the outset with his confidence in what we are doing and what we are looking to achieve and I am delighted he has joined SocietyOne to help us reach our ambitious goals over the coming years,” Yetton said.

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