A fintech which likes Morgan Stanley alumni is hiring junior bankers

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A fintech which likes to recruit from Morgan Stanley is hiring junior bankers, and unlike Revolut - the digital banking service founded by an ex-Morgan Stanley trader - it doesn't have a reputation for working its staff half to death.

The fintech in question is Zopa, a peer-to-peer lending service, which hires bankers for its 'capital markets' and institutional lending arm.

Founded in March 2005, Zopa isn't exactly new. But it is still growing fast - in the 12 months to December 2017, revenues rose 37% to £46m. It's also profitable - last year's operating profit was £95k, whereas in 2016 Zopa made a loss of nearly £6m.

Zopa's capital markets arm is run by Jonathan Kramer, a former Morgan Stanley executive director and director of the bank's derivatives solutions group, who joined in 2014. Kramer has been adding to his team: he just recruited William Johnson, an analyst from Rothschild who was just 16 months into his banking career. Previous hires to the division include Tajmeet Kalra, a former analyst from UBS.

Johnson isn't Zopa's only recent hire. The company is in growth mode - headcount went from 188 to 258 last year, an increase of 70 people. Alongside Johnson, recruits in the last six months include Tom O'Dowd, a former private equity adviser from Campell Lutyens who joined the strategic planning and analysis team (also run by a Morgan Stanley executive, Vincent Alcaix) and Stephen George, a credit risk analyst from Charles River. Zopa mostly hires technologists and has a growing data science team led by Jiahang Zhong which is busy developing machine learning applications to measure credit risk and detect fraud.

The company paid an average of £62k per head last year. However, the highest paid person got £680k - albeit down from £1.2m the year before.

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