Grid Finance Appoints John Moran, Former Senior Department of Finance Official, Chairman
Grid Finance, a cash advance lender to micro and small businesses, announced on Friday that it had appointed John Moran, the former finance ministry secretary general, as chairman.
The development comes as Grid plans to also return to peer-to-peer lending or crowdfunding, as the Central Bank prepares to start regulating this sector based on new EU regulations.
Grid Finance was founded by Derek Butler, a PwC-trained accountant, in 2013 to focus on crowdfunding, after working for four years with aid agency Goal in Uganda and Haiti.
However, he pulled out of crowdfunding, an area where companies raise small amounts of funding from large numbers of people, in 2019, blaming slow industry regulatory plans.
Grid now focuses on providing short-term loans to businesses that make money from credit and debit card sales – an area known as merchant card financing. It raises its own funds from institutional investors.
He loaned out around €10m last year and Mr Butler told The Irish Times earlier this week he expects that figure to rise to €25m in 2022.
He also said the company was evaluating the new crowdfunding regulatory regime and would decide by the end of March whether to re-enter that retail funding market for businesses.
“Grid is positioning itself for growth and playing a key role in supporting business recovery as Covid-19 restrictions are eased. We have the ambition to support up to 10,000 businesses by the end of 2023,” Mr Butler said on Friday.
“With John on board as non-executive chairman, he will provide vital strategic input and expertise that will be invaluable as we continue our journey to help SMEs strengthen their financial health and well-being. We already have a number of exciting initiatives and plans for 2022 and beyond.
Mr Moran, a lawyer and banker by training, joined the Central Bank of Ireland in 2010 as head of wholesale banking supervision, before joining the Department of Finance a year later, initially to lead the involvement of the ministry in the rescue and restructuring of the company then in difficulty. banking sector. The Limerickman was the Department’s Chief Secretary between 2012 and 2014.
Mr Moran also sat on the board of the European Investment Bank between 2013 and 2018 and chaired the Spatial Planning Agency between January 2019 and last May.