#4. Mike Cagney
CEO, Chairman & Co-founder, SoFi
Mike Cagney founded the FinTech start-up SoFi, short for Social Finance, in 2011, with three friends he met at the Stanford Graduate School of Business who all believed that there had to be a better way to lend money to well-educated people with good earning potential so they could more quickly repay their student loans. At SoFi, a major nonbank alternative, Cagney is considered the chief evangelist, leading corporate strategy and development. A former senior vice president and head trader for the proprietary trading and financial products group at Wells Fargo Bank, Cagney calls himself a “a reformed banker.” He was the founder of Cabezon Capital Markets, LLC, a billion-dollar hedge fund. SoFi boasts $1 billion in funding from Japan-based SoftBank, which has helped it become the largest provider of student-loan refinancing, with more than $2 billion in loans and another couple of billion dollars in mortgage refinancings and personal loans. Among its backers are Third Point Ventures, RenRen and Baseline Ventures, to name a few firms that approve of SoFi’s underwriting approach, proprietary technology, and relatively high word-of-mouth referral rate (reportedly 30 percent of its current volume), which has set it apart from banks and other traditional lending institutions. Cagney’s goal is to redefine consumer expectations in financial services by dramatically advancing the expansion of their “disruptive products and experiences” and benefiting responsible borrowers along the way. The trajectory is clear to Cagney: From its headquarters in San Francisco, SoFi is poised to become the most trusted financial services partner in the country.