From Peer2Here: How new-model finance is changing the game for small businesses, investors and regulators”.

A reception to mark the publication of an important new CSFI report by Andy Davis.

Held on Monday, May 8, 2017, 6.00-8.00pm

With support from CMS


  • Andy Davis

  • Paul Murphy (FT Alphaville)

  • Sam Robinson (CMS)



Five years ago, the CSFI published an important paper on SME finance in the UK, concentrating on the rapid growth of internet-based platforms. The author of the report (which was, by our standards, a best-seller) was Andy Davis – a former editor of the Weekend FT and columnist for Prospect.

Since then, Andy has become an equity investor in several of the ventures he identified and has been involved in creating the Alternative Finance Network. He has also lent funds through various platforms, has a personal loan provided by another, and has undertaken writing assignments for a number of others. In other words, he eats his own cooking…

At the end of last year, the CSFI was finally able to convince Andy to write up what he has learned about the development of the alternative lending industry since we published Seeds of Change in 2012. The result – made possible by support from Nabarro LLP (which is merging on May 1 to create CMS) – is a new report, From Peer2Here, which looks at the extent to which new internet-based lenders have succeeded in cracking the small business market, and what that means for private investors (of which Andy is one) and regulators.

The report could not be more timely, and we are delighted that CMS has agreed to host a launch reception. In addition to Andy (who will summarize the main points of his report, and the policy prescriptions that flow therefrom), we are also delighted to have two keynote speakers:

-    Paul Murphy, the editor of FT Alphaville; and
-    Sam Robinson, a partner at CMS with extensive experience of equity crowdfunding, real estate crowdfunding, P2P lending and invoice financing.

As most of you will know, Alphaville is the FT’s extremely successful financial blog, covering everything from the blockchain to Chinese debt. It provides live market commentary and offers some of the best coverage of FinTech developments. It is a past winner of the Wincott Award, as well as a multiple winner at the Webby Awards. Paul has been its editor since it was set up in 2006, and is also an Assistant Editor at the FT itself. Before joining the FT, he was Financial Editor at the Guardian, and has also worked at both the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Business.

We would all be delighted if you (or a colleague) were able to join us to launch “From Peer2Here”, and to hear what Paul, Andy and Sam have to say. Thanks to the generosity of the CMS team, there will be plenty of drinks and nibbles. If you can make it, please let us know by emailing or by calling the CSFI on 0207-621-1056.

Many thanks,

Andrew Hilton