David Stevenson is a journalist extraordinaire and writes for a number of leading publications including the Adventurous Investor Column in the FT, the Investors Chronicle, Money Management and Investment Week, where he’s the contrarian columnist. He also runs the AltFi empire that spans conferences, news and as we heard in LFP010 with Rupert Taylor, AltFi Data. He has also authored a number of books on investment including three for the FT as well as having extensive interests in the visual media world.
David joins us on the show to talk about why it matters that Alternative Finance becomes viewed as an asset class in its own right – a subject that draws together his long-term role as an investment commentator as well as lynchpin of the London Alternative Finance scene.
I must say that I thought that this hypothesis about being an asset class was rather a linguistic point. However, having discussed it with David, I can see the importance of it being so and I hope you will be persuaded too.
Giles and friends have really set one of the all-time Financial Services innovation high water marks with their invention of P2P – online lending and borrowing without a bank. They literally created an industry and changed the mould globally as we have seen with multi-billion$ IPOs in the US in December 2014.
As they were the first they have always had a core of “getting it right” – aka not losing customers money – aka getting “high quality consumer credit right”. This they have certainly done as they still produced positive returns through the mega-consumer crisis of 2008.
Not just that but they really get 21stC customer-focused business and have won the “best loan provider award 5yrs in a row”. 51,000 lenders to date have put money through the platform for a total of £750m lending business.