LendingClub Hires Wall Street Executives for Investor Office

  • New hires held senior roles at BlackRock, Morgan Stanley
  • Kay will focus on institutions, Suri on retail investors

LendingClub Corp. hired a pair of Wall Street executives to strengthen relationships with investors after many pulled back from buying the loans it arranges online during a tumultuous second quarter.

Valerie Kay, previously at Morgan Stanley, will join LendingClub’s investor group as head of institutional clients, the company said Wednesday in a statement. Raman Suri, who worked at BlackRock Inc., will handle retail investors. Both will be senior vice presidents and report to chief capital officer Patrick Dunne.

“Valerie and Raman will play important roles in helping our marketplace achieve its full potential in terms of scale and resiliency,” Scott Sanborn, LendingClub’s chief executive officer, said in the statement.

Sanborn has been working to shore up confidence among loan buyers since the San Francisco-based company’s founder and former CEO, Renaud Laplanche, resigned in May amid an internal probe into a botched loan sale that revealed weaknesses in controls. That, paired with global market turmoil at the start of the year and an uptick in loan charge-offs, left many buyers of the debts on edge.

LendingClub’s loan originations plunged 29 percent in the second quarter to $1.96 billion from the first three months of the year. Still, that was better than the industrywide drop of 34 percent during the period, according to data compiled by Orchard Platform.

LendingClub helped pioneer online lending in the U.S. roughly a decade ago, operates one of the largest platforms and was first to sell stock to the public in late 2014. This month it signaled that the turmoil is subsiding: The firm said it’s “substantially” done with internal reviews and many big buyers are finishing due diligence checks and resuming purchases, albeit at lower volumes.

Kay spent two decades at Morgan Stanley where she was most recently part of the institutional securities group and responsible for managing relationships with some of the investment bank’s most important clients, according to the statement. Suri held various positions at BlackRock’s iShares business, including head of insurance exchange traded funds.

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