#1. Renaud Laplanche

CEO & Founder, LendingClub 

 Renaud Laplanche When he’s not setting world-speed sailing records (he holds two, including the transpacific record), Renaud Laplanche is at the helm of peer-to-peer alternative lending juggernaut LendingClub, which he founded in 2006 from a self-described “disruptive idea.” As CEO, Laplanche has steered Lending Club into its current position as the world’s largest such platform, facilitating nearly $16 billion in business loans and personal loans since its infancy and added to its holdings by acquiring an elective medical procedure financing company in 2015. Key to LendingClub’s success is undoubtedly its online credit marketplace model, which among many benefits, connects investors and borrowers in real-time, enabling quicker and easier access to lower interest rate loans than traditional banks, all through the accessibility and portability of mobile devices and online interfaces. This eliminates costs associated with branch infrastructure, and ultimately delivers a more convenient, user-friendly experience while also lowering the cost of credit—savings that are passed on to borrowers. With an all-star advisory board that includes Google Senior Vice President Jeff Huber, former U.S. Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Michael S. Barr, former Mastercard CEO Alex W. “Pete” Hart, Facebook Chief Marketing Officer Gary Briggs, and others, LendingClub is unquestionably revolutionizing peer-to-peer lending, and charting new territory along the way. Weathering a more than 50-percent drop in its share price since December and an ominous court ruling that challenges LendingClub’s very business model, as well as those of other lenders—Madden v. Midland Funding LLC—Laplanche has made strategic, preventative adjustments to help ensure the company is in compliance, whatever the case’s ultimate outcome. That’s because Laplanche isn’t building for this quarter or next quarter; he’s building to change the entire financial world.


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