Funding Circle Ltd. has named Richard Stephenson as its U.S. chief compliance officer. He joins the San Francisco-based small business lending platform after working in financial services for three decades, most recently as the CCO of Silicon Valley Bank.
Stephenson has also held various senior roles with financial institutions and in private practice, including at Bank of America, Union Bank, Washington Mutual Bank and Mechanics Bank.
"With Richard's long, successful track record with major financial institutions, we're excited to have him on the team," Funding Circle U.S. managing director and co-founder Sam Hodges told Corporate Counsel.
Stephenson will oversee a team of four compliance professionals in the United States who operate separately from the company's six in-house lawyers.
For a fintech company, particularly one that partakes in lending, Hodges said it has been important to prioritize compliance, given all of the uncertainties in the regulatory space. In fact, he said his first senior hire in the United States was the company's former general counsel, John Arens. (Conor French is the current GC for the United States).
"That's an area where we've invested from the beginning," Hodges said. "From a corporate perspective, we have to make sure we're keeping the business safe and operating in the letter and spirit of the law."
Hodges also noted that Funding Circle has found that many of its employees—in legal, compliance and otherwise—are coming from traditional financial institutions.
"We get a lot of resumes," Hodges said. "I think there are a lot of people in financial services who are interested in joining a business they can help grow and scale. It's something they can get very excited about."
Stephenson said in a press release that Funding Circle's "thoughtful approach to legal, regulatory and compliance" is what sets it apart in the industry.
"As the world's leading lending platform for business financing, I'm thrilled to join Funding Circle to help drive the company's responsible growth in the U.S. market and further its mission to build a better financial world," he said.