James Alexander

James Alexander

Co-founder, Zopa, Disruptive Entrepreneur & Futures Expert

Synopsis

As Zopa co-Founder and former CEO, James was a pioneer in peer-to-peer lending. Putting those with a small amount to invest in front of reliable borrowers has proved a successful business model, creating what is now globally £100bn sector. James is now helping organisations make more informed strategic choices and deliver more impactful innovation as part of FutureAgenda.org, the world’s largest open foresight programme and advisory in foresight, strategy and innovation. James tells a powerful founder story as a bridge into discussing and sharing practical approaches for disruption, innovation and foresight.

Biography

It’s all very well to have a bright idea, but it takes someone with James Alexander’s vision to turn it into a reality. As co-founder of ZOPA (‘zone of possible agreement’), James developed not just a profitable online business, but also a new way of borrowing and lending money. He has now taken those lessons in disruption, growth and strategy to a broad range of sectors.

Zopa is like eBay, but for money, facilitating those with money to lend to connect to borrowers who need it. Because it cuts out the banks, everyone benefits. Zopa was the disruptive pioneer in what has become Fintech. Its approach paved the way for other collaborative and crowdfunding concepts from AirBnB and Uber to Funding Circle. James continues to advise a number of Fintech players including Giffgaff Gameplan, Seedrs, Loot, Environmental Finance and LandBay.

James was also involved in the development of Smile, the Co-operative Bank’s online division, when he worked for LEK Consulting. He went on to become Strategy Director for Egg, launching their pioneering digital TV, aggregation and mobile services. He steered Egg through a period of rapid growth in the UK and laid the foundations for its entry into the US market.

Having served as CEO and board director of Zopa, James moved away from the business to become a Partner at The Foundation, a company that helps businesses develop growth and customer-focused strategies. He is now a Director of FutureAgenda.org, the leading foresight, strategy and innovation advisory.

In presentations, James tells a powerful founder story as a bridge into discussing and sharing practical approaches for disruption, innovation and foresight. He is also a committed environmental campaigner and has been a trustee of the RSPB, Suffolk Wildlife Trust and dothegreenthing.org, an online social movement to mobilise the masses and pit creativity against the threat of climate change.

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