#19. Peter Renton
Founder, Lend Academy Media; Co-founder, LendIt Conference
One of the champions of marketplace lending, Peter Renton has rightly been called the industry’s biggest cheerleader. As the founder of Lend Academy Media, the LendIt Conference, and most recently Lend Academy Investments, Renton has lent his voice and his vision to promoting this dynamic online approach to financing. He’s testified before Congress and appeared frequently in the pages of the Wall Street Journal and other top financial publications. A graduate with a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Technology Sydney in Australia, Renton started on this track back in 2008 after selling his printing business and looking for something new to do. Reportedly inspired by Prosper’s approach, he liked the idea of bypassing banks and connecting with borrowers directly with peer-to-peer lending, and that’s where he is today through his efforts on many dynamic platforms. He eagerly rode the surge in interest, so to speak, and established Lend Academy in 2010 as the premier resource for the online lending industry, where he continues today as the publisher and chief blogger. In 2013 he held the first LendIt Conference in New York, and it proved to be an overwhelming success. From there, Renton has taken the concept to San Francisco, China and London. He’s the co-founder of NSR Invest, an investment and analytics platform that provides financial advisors, institutional investors and individuals with access to the peer-to-peer marketplace. With two of his LendIt partners, Bo Brustkern and Jason Jones, Renton took an idea from his readers and set up Lend Academy Investments in order to, as Orchard Platform’s Larry Haertel, Jr. puts it, “ease the process of investing in marketplace lending across leading platforms by offering investment solutions to both accredited and non-accredited investors.” If anybody knows this lending space, it’s Renton, as he keeps on proving.