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Harmoney founder and CEO Neil Roberts leaves board

31 Jul 2015

Neil Roberts, founder and majority owner of Harmoney Corp, has stepped down from the peer-to-peer lender's board but will remain as chief executive.

Roberts ceased being a director on July 24, according to documents lodged with the Companies Office. The chief executive, who owns 50.7 percent of the company, declined to say why he was no longer a director, and directed inquiries to Harmoney chairman Rob Campbell. 

"Neil has made a personal decision not to continue in a governance role," Campbell told BusinessDesk. "He remains the substantial majority share owner and remains as chief executive. The changes do not alter the Harmoney business in any way."

Harmoney, which operates an online peer-to-peer financial services platform, matches individual borrowers looking to borrow money with lenders who commit funds for borrowing. An interest rate is calculated, based on the credit risk of the borrower. The platform has been running since September.

Peer-to-peer lending and equity crowd-funding licences were introduced under the new Financial Markets Conduct Act, which came into effect last year, providing a regime to match lenders and borrowers, with a $2 million cap on the amount allowed to be borrowed. Harmoney was the first to receive a licence. 

In January, Trade Me Group, New Zealand's biggest online auction site, paid $7.7 million for a 15 percent stake as part of the peer-to-peer lender's $10 million capital-raising, joining Heartland New Zealand, the listed bank, which took a 10 percent stake last September, for an undisclosed sum. 

In the 11 months ended March 31, 2015, Harmoney reported a loss of $6.3 million on revenue of $1.9 million, according to its first financial statements lodged with the Companies Office last week.

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