Harmoney board chairman goes, founder returns

Boardroom reshuffle for country's first peer-to-peer lender. 

The country's first peer-to-peer lender, Harmoney Corp, has gone through a boardroom reshuffle with chairman Rob Campbell departing three days after founder and co-chief executive Neil Roberts resumed his directorship following a four-month absence.

Professional director Mr Campbell resigned from the board after a 17-month stint, according to a Companies Office filing.

His resignation came after Mr Roberts, Harmoney's biggest shareholder with almost 48%, returned to the board a few days previously. Mr Roberts stepped down from the board in July, which Mr Campbell said at the time was "a personal decision not to continue in a governance role."

Mr Campbell confirmed his resignation from Harmoney's board, saying he remained a shareholder and active investor through the peer-to-peer lending platform.

"With the first phase of establishing the business complete it was my decision to step down having done my bit," he says. "The major shareholders will now set the future strategy and governance of the business."

Last month, Mr Campbell told a Future Auckland Leaders alumni event that boards need to work more closely with management, saying "most businesses need activist, effective, participant directors."

In September, UK-based peer-to-peer lender P2P Global Investments increased its stake in Harmoney to 4.5% and put up a $200 million funding line to help the firm expand into Australia.

Online auction site Trade Me, the company's second-biggest shareholder with about 16%, says it has confidence in Harmoney's board and was "upbeat about the opportunity available to the company."

Registered bank Heartland Bank, Harmoney's third-biggest shareholder with 10%, says it wasn't in a position to comment on Mr Campbell's resignation as it didn't have boardroom representation.

The board is rounded out with Trade Me chief financial officer Jonathan Klouwens, Localist chief executive Christina Domecq, NZX Markets disciplinary tribunal chairman David Flacks, and Tracey Jones, who manages private investment portfolio Tappenden Holdings.

Harmoney didn't respond to BusinessDesk inquiries by the time of publication.


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