Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers Joining Lending Club Board


Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summer Joining Lending Club Board
One of the most powerful positions in finance in this country is the Secretary of the Treasury. This person is the principal economic advisor to the President and is the head of the Department of the Treasury. Nominated by President Clinton in 1999, Lawrence Summers served as Treasury Secretary until George W. Bush took office in January 2001. Now, he will be joining the board of Lending Club.

It was just back in April when Lending Club announced John Mack would be joining their board. Now, with Summers they have someone with even more impressive credentials on their board. Summers’ resume also includes stints as chief economist at the World Bank, Director of the White House National Economic Council under President Obama and, of course, his controversial tenure as President of Harvard University.

This is another great move for Lending Club, something that helps brings them ever more closer to the financial mainstream. With two board members now with impressive “old guard” experience Lending Club is positioning itself to become part of the financial establishment. I am sure this makes many investors, large and small, feel more comfortable with their decision to invest in p2p lending.

You can read the official press release here as well as coverage on Techcrunch.

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Ben
Ben
Dec. 13, 2012 9:52 am

Does it not worry anyone else that LendingClub is hiring people from Big Wall Street? Wall Street became too complex for its own good with derivatives that nobody could understand and huge bets made by investment banks that led to the economy we have today. Don’t forget that Summers has been blamed by many, most specifically in the book “Confidence Men” by Ron Suskind, for driving the nation further into a hole. What’s going to happen with him on the board of LendingClub- less regulation, looser restrictions on who can apply for loans? It seems more and more like LendingClub is moving towards being a tool for institutional investors and moving away from the average investor who it was supposed to help.

Dan B
Dan B
Dec. 13, 2012 1:10 pm
Reply to  Ben

I’m not sure how you’ve come to believe that LC exists or has ever existed to help the “average investor”.

Peerlend
Dec. 13, 2012 3:13 pm
Reply to  Peter Renton

What a pig.

Philip
Philip
Dec. 13, 2012 11:17 pm
Reply to  Ben

I share your concern about the direction LendingClub is leaning. This appointment gives LC credibility within the industry and probably gets LC on track for an expansion of services – but I think it highlights questions about what LC stakeholders want in the near future and whether quality for the small investor will be there as LC grows up under established leadership. Coming on the heels of changes made for institutional investors, a trend may be emerging about who will be the foundation of tomorrow’s LC.

Mike
Mike
Dec. 13, 2012 12:32 pm

Larry brings with him name recognition, and a big ego. Tends not to ‘play well with others’.

Mike
Mike
Dec. 13, 2012 5:12 pm
Reply to  Peter Renton

How about another contest, Peter? Instead of guessing when LC will reach their second billion in loan originations, how about we take a stab at when he’ll ‘resign’?

Fred
Fred
Dec. 13, 2012 9:43 pm

For me, there are 2 kinds of Treasury Secretaries: those from the for-profit industry (Paulson, O’Neill, Rubin) and those from the not-for-profit research / academia world (Geithner, Summers).

Considering Mack as coming from the industry, it makes sense for LC to get one board member from the academia.

My first impression on hearing the news about Summers joining LC was very positive. It was as if LC gains another merit & legitimacy among big financial institutions (JP Morgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, etc.).

Dennis Nash
Dec. 20, 2012 6:40 am

On the record,
This is a really great thing for Lending Club. Of course, not everyone is going to agree but in all honesty, look at the stock market today. Look at the Mutual Fund industry as well as ETF’s.
“Ben” has to realize that yes Lending club is hiring indiviuals from Wall Street but for other reasons. Lending club needs all the backup it can get because LC is indeed getting bigger with bigger return results. No, there is no conspiracy theory here. I can’t state who I work for but yes, I’m in the Financial industry myself and I can tell you from what I see….billions of dollars are leaving Wall Street and going into P2P lending. People want great returns. LC gives them that. That’s why I’ve invested with LC for three years and so far I’ve got more $$$$ from it then stocks, Mutual Funds then I could imagine. I have no intention of turning back.
LC knew what they were doing when they took Larry Summers into the board. They know that they will need to make LC grow and need to expand for the days ahead.
Watch and wait.