Luke has joined from BAWAG PSK, where he was head of real estate development lending, having previously served for almost five years as part of the leadership team at Funding Circle.
In his role at Merchant Money, he will focus on finding new recruits and leveraging the foundation of the business for future growth.
“There’s such amazing talent here, such visionary leadership already in place,” said Luke.
“One of my objectives will be to attract great new talent but, just as importantly, to retain the great people we currently have.
“We want to get the business scalable, ensuring we have the right credit risk underwriting, operating models [and] skill sets to enable us to compete on a wider canvas, and be more visible in the market.”
Merchant Money provides short-term loans to SMEs across the UK, alongside a cash advance product.
Luke believed that there was an opportunity in the market for smaller players, such as Merchant Money.
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“Currently, many of the large and credible players in the UK alternative credit space are those that took advantage of the 2008 credit crunch uncertainty when banks retreated from the market.
“We see a similar opportunity emerging for smaller players from the current Brexit chaos, and Merchant Money aims to be at the forefront of that.
“Regardless of the wider macro risks, the UK still leads the way worldwide in disruptive financial services and fintech — and it’s just such an exciting time to be part of a company like this.”
Danny Girnun, managing director at Merchant Money (left), added that it had been investing in resources and infrastructure to take the business to the next evolutionary phase of growth, while growing its client base.
“We’re now at the point where we’ve proven to be a profitable business, and we felt it was the right time to bring on board someone with Luke’s extraordinary skills and experience, and track record for taking businesses like ours to the next level.”
Also pictured: Jonathan Stern, chief risk officer