(Bloomberg) -- LendInvest Plc founder Christian Faes has left London to start a new fintech investment firm in the US, citing years of political problems and a difficult business environment in the UK.
Faes said in a statement that Los Angeles-based Faes & Co. will build direct-lending businesses and manage a private credit fund to invest in deals from the firms that it incubates.
“The UK has been a very tough place to build a business the last five to six years,” he said in a message. “We had the endless distraction of Brexit, Boris and the Liz Truss debacle and it’s hard to see it getting better any time soon. I am still bullish on UK fintech but I also feel the US market is a huge opportunity.”
Faes moved to London from his native Australia shortly before he set up LendInvest in 2008. He became non-executive chairman in 2023. The London-listed fintech firm has about £3.7 billion ($4.6 billion) in funds under management.
Company executives are growing increasingly outspoken about the perceived shortcomings around the UK business environment. Michael O’Leary, chief executive of Ryanair Holdings Plc, told a Bloomberg conference in April that Brexit will continue to have a “net negative” impact on the UK economy over the short to medium term. Pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca Plc has warned that Britain is falling behind in innovation, after the UK-based company opted to build a new manufacturing facility in Ireland.
Tim Martin, chairman of JD Wetherspoon Plc, has called on the UK government to develop a coherent plan encouraging free enterprise. “Any country depends on policies that encourage private enterprise in order to create jobs for people and tax income,” he said in a message earlier this month.
(Adds context from fifth paragraph. An earlier version corrected the date when Faes became non-executive chairman.)
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