Lending Club 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 Lending Club's investor group as head of institutional clients, the company said Wednesday. Raman Suri, who worked at BlackRock, 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, Lending Club's chief executive officer, said in a news release.
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.
Lending Club's loan originations plunged 29% 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% during the period, according to data compiled by Orchard Platform.
Lending Club 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.