FinTech Startups Steal Talents From Wall Street

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by Tatsiana Yablonskaya · 3 min read
FinTech Startups Steal Talents From Wall Street
Over the last year, the FinTech industry has been showing rapid growth, while the overall investment in the sector reached millions of dollars. Photo: Renaud Sirigu/Flickr

Prominent Wall Streeters see the increasing value of the fintech industry.

The FinTech industry has been showing rapid growth, while the overall investment in the sector reached millions of dollars. Thus not so that we have noticed, financial technology startups turned into red hot investments. Some influential Wall Streeters enter fintech in an attempt to transform traditional financial businesses. We will cover the brightest ones.

Mike Cagney, the CEO of fintech startup SoFi, is one of those who strive to unlock the potential of fintech. He launched online lending shop SoFi and told America’s biggest banks to watch their backs. He says: “SoFi is not a bank. It’s happily not a bank. In fact, it’s better than a bank!”

Cagney is not stopping where he is now. According to him, SoFi has the potential to become a $30 billion firm. Perhaps one day his company will take on fintech’s biggest challenge, and one of Wall Street’s biggest businesses: the checking account.

Sarah Friar, CFO and Operations Lead at Square, joined the team three years ago and her arrival initiated the way towards an IPO. Prior to Square, she had spent 11 years at Goldman Sachs and 2 years at McKinsey & Co. There she got necessary experience in corporate finance, M&A, and equity research. Being a super-active personality, Sarah sits also on the Boards of ModelN, a SaaS-based revenue management software company, and Spark, a nonprofit focused on changing the lives of at-risk middle schoolers through mentorship.

Online lender Avant has provided loans in the amount of $1 billion through funding from such big Wall Street names as JPMorgan and Credit Suisse. The company has attracted some of Wall Street talents with Suk Shah being one of them. Shah currently takes the position of CFO at Avant. He used to be a head of HSBC’s commercial banking business in the US and Canada. Avant employs multiple technology tools to approve or deny loan applications within 8 to 10 seconds.

“We use various facets of technology to ensure that we are providing an even more robust underwriting mechanism than a brick-and-mortar lender would do,” Shah claims. No wonder that he’s got a nickname “head of talent” – he has now 500 employees, all hired by himself. Shah admits that thanks to his experience to lead big teams, he is good at developing, mentoring and growing people.

Sandeep Bhandari took a position of Chief Credit Officer at Lending Club several months ago. Bhandari assumes responsibility for credit risk management across all products. Lending Club said in this regard: “We’re thrilled to welcome Sandeep as a key member of the executive team. In 15 years at Capital One Sandeep demonstrated his strategic abilities to launch new products, acquire quality customers, and develop growth strategies that led to accelerated growth of originations, while prudently managing credit risk and accurately forecasting credit performance. We’re glad that they’ll be able to work side by side for a time to ensure a smooth transition.”

Aaron Vermut is currently CEO at Prosper. He started his career at Wells Fargo before taking the helm of the lending startup from his father Steve. Vermut managed to turn Prosper into the fastest growing online marketplace for consumer and business credit in the U.S.

It’s interesting to observe how large Wall Street institutions like Citigroup, JPMorgan, and Barclays are partnering with startups that, in many cases, set out to disrupt the banks they are now collaborating with. This might be the start of fintech revolution!

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