What the Orchard & Sandler O’Neill Deal Means for Bank Partnerships


Orchard recently inked a partnership deal with investment bank and broker dealer Sandler O’Neill to provide their bank and specialty finance clients access to the Orchard platform. Orchard provides an integrated platform that helps to connect online loan originators and investors with access to a variety of web-enabled tools, including market data, benchmarking, investor reporting, portfolio analytics, and cash flow simulators, as well as capital markets software.

Sandler O’Neill’s network of community banks, thrifts and specialty finance institutions will now be able to access the online lending asset class. Orchards network of originators will give these institutions a diverse group of choices so they can better understand where to allocate their capital.

Online lending has seen a surge in bank partnerships the last two years and it does not look like stopping anytime soon. 2017 looks to be the year of the bank partnership and deals like Orchard/Sandler O’Neill can only help to accelerate this trend. While the initial partnership will help Sandler’s clients allocate capital, the more interactions that traditional institutions have with emerging fintech companies the more possibilities emerge.

“Many banks and specialty finance companies are ramping up their exploration of online lending to start 2017,” said Orchard’s Chief Commercial Officer Bill Ullman. “While some are just beginning to look and to make sense of this emerging space, others are deciding on the best tools to start making an allocation. Working with Sandler O’Neill, Orchard is providing them the expertise and data to begin evaluating and monitoring the wealth of opportunities that exist across the online lending market.”

Big incumbent banks have a lot of resources at their disposal. Being able to evaluate, partner or even build their own solutions is a luxury that small firms just do not have. Using a firm like Orchard to help provide access to this emerging asset class allows for the small institutions to be a lot more efficient when looking to interact and deploy capital.

Lend Academy has been keeping a tally of fintech/bank partnerships that you can view here; as the chart points out the types of bank partnerships can vary in scope and size. Community banks and special finance institutions can benefit greatly from a partnership, though they are unable to spend the necessary time to research all of these emerging companies. This is where the partnership of Orchard and Sandler O’Neill comes in, while it is still early days, the potential for a whole host of partnerships is an exciting piece of news for the market.

  • Todd Anderson

    Todd is the host of PitchIt: the fintech startups podcast, a weekly interview show featuring emerging fintech founders and leading venture capitalists. He is responsible for leading the content team which covers fintech through daily & weekly email newsletters, editorial, virtual events, and in-person conferences. He has been covering fintech, banking, and venture capital for more than 15 years, including speaking regularly at industry events.