Former FDIC Head Sheila Bair joins Avant’s board.
US Consumer lending platform Avant has announced the appointment of Sheila Bair, current President of Washington College and former Head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), as a new board member. We learned that Ms Bair's appointment is effective immediately.
Founded in November 2012, Avant started its operations as a balance-sheet based consumer-lending platform, with a strong emphasis on the use of big data, automation and machine learning. Last April, the platform rolled out a marketplace sales programme allowing institutional investors to tap into the platform’s deal flow. To date, Avant has secured more than $1.7 billion in funding and another $1.8 billion through its institutional marketplace. The platform last raised equity capital in October 2015, pulling in $325m in a Series E round that was led by private equity firm General Atlantic.
The US-based platform has a presence in Canada and in the UK, where it trades under the name AvantCredit. The various Avant platforms have issued 480,000 loans globally and crossed the $3bn mark in cumulative loan originations as recently as March this year.
Ms Bair joins industry leaders James (Jim) Robinson III, co-founder and General Partner at RRE Ventures, and Siddarth N. (Bobby) Mehta, President and CEO of international credit bureau TransUnion, who have both served on Avant’s board since late 2014.
Al Goldstein, co-founder and CEO of Avant, observed:
"Sheila's proven track record and expertise in the financial services and regulatory spaces will be invaluable to the Avant team. We are excited to bring Sheila on board as we prepare for the next phase of Avant's strategic growth."
Prior to her five-year term at the FDIC, which began in June 2006 and included the tumult relating to the Lehman bankruptcy, Ms Bair was the Dean's Professor of Financial Regulatory Policy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has also served as Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and as Senior Vice President for Government Relations of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Ms Bair commented on her appointment:
"In a short period of time, Avant has become a visionary leader within the financial services industry. Its core focus of providing responsible access to credit for the middle-class consumer and enhancing the borrowing experience is filling a void in the market. I look forward to joining the Avant team as they continue to drive innovation within an industry that has traditionally lacked change."