Anthony Noto, SoFi
Online lending service SoFi had a rough 2017, ousting CEO Mike Cagney after allegations about Cagney’s conduct. The lender’s new CEO, Anthony Noto, might be able to turn the spotlight back on.
Noto, who was announced to fill the CEO seat for the lender in late January, is probably best known as the former COO of Twitter and the head of Twitter Ventures, where he worked alongside Jack Dorsey (though not for Dorsey’s financial company, Square, which also has a lending arm).
However, Noto also has a banking background: prior to joining Twitter, Noto held a managing director position for investment banking, at, naturally, Goldman Sachs (we’ve covered their most recent innovative achievements above). While moving from an established incumbent bank, to a social media firm, to a fintech startup may seem like an odd trajectory, Noto’s experience in both the banking and social media could come to have a profound effect on SoFI’s advancements in the coming year.
For instance, he recently signaled the company’s push for a bank charter is still on.
Jack Dorsey, Square
From its humble beginnings in 2009, financial services company Square has become an integral part of the fintech ecosystem: its card readers and payment hardware are being used by more and more small businesses, entrepreneurs, and merchants, its mobile app is toying with new methods of payment (like buying and selling cryptocurrency) and its lending arm, Square Capital, is still doing a brisk business. Square Cash, its P2P arm, counts 7 million active monthly users, and is gaining on rival Venmo, which is facing regulatory scrutiny over its safety procedures.
Square meanwhile has moved from a disruptor of the banks to an acquisition target to valued partner and public company. In this, the paradigm of fintech startups may be charting the course for the entire industry.
Dorsey, CEO since the start, has been focused on growing the company from a cute alternative to finance to an essential part of banking culture. The company is no longer focused on competing with banks, but rather on offering key services and solutions to its growing horde of small business, including a growing interest in the lending sector. It’s lending arm, Square Capital, was the driving force of revenue for the company for the last two quarters of 2017, and it is only set to expand in 2018. While Dorsey is certainly dealing with challenges in other areas, Square seems set to remain a pillar of the fintech ecosystem as 2018 progresses.
Kelly Peeler, NextGenVest
Students and their loans are no doubt a sweet spot for fintechs, not only is this demograph tech-savvy, but also often likely underserved by banks and larger FIs.
But, while fintechs like SoFi might be involved in the actual lending aspect, 29-year old Kelly Peeler is looking to help students with the tedious loan application process through her two year old fintech called NextGenVest.
Launched two years ago, Peeler has created a PFM app that helps students not only apply for student loans but also provides them with advice and tips.
Prior to NextGenVest, she set up an Iraqi student-run incubator called Business Across Borders.
NextGenVest is currently available in more 36 cities. We suspect it will expand to many more in 2018.
While these ten CEOs have certainly left their mark on fintech, and are sure to continue innovating throughout 2018, this is by no means a completed list of all of the innovative minds in the fintech industry.
For more news from the minds that continuously innovating the space, continue to look to Bank Innovation.
Tatjana Kulkarni, Deputy Editor for Bank Innovation, and Phil Ryan, Senior Director for INV Global, contributed to this article.4 - Readers Like This Post