There are many areas of finance that are really stepping up during the crisis. We have talked at length about the fintech lenders that helped drive billions of dollars to small businesses through the PPP. In this episode we talk about impact investors and the outsized role they can play today.
Our next guest on the Lend Academy Podcast is Jacob Haar, the Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Community Investment Management (CIM). He was last on the show back in 2015 and obviously a lot has changed since then. CIM is launching a new initiative with some of their impact investors to try to really make a difference for those small businesses that might have fallen through the cracks.
Welcome to the Lend Academy Podcast, Episode No. 257. This is your host, Peter Renton, Founder of Lend Academy and Co-Founder of LendIt Fintech.
Today’s episode is sponsored by Lendit Fintech USA, the world’s largest fintech event dedicated to lending and digital banking is going virtual. It’s happening online September 29th through October 1st. This year, with everything that’s been going on, there’ll be so much to talk about. It will likely be our most important show ever. So, join the fintech community online this year where you will meet the people who matter, learn from the experts and get business done. LendIt Fintech, lending and banking connected. Sign up today at lendit.com/usa.
Peter Renton: Today on the show, I am delighted to welcome back Jacob Haar, he is the Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Community Investment Management. Now, CIM is an interesting company, they are an impact investor and they’ve been investing in the fintech space for many, many years.
I wanted to get Jacob on the show because they have an interesting new program that they’re just announcing and it’s really to help the small businesses struggling in the crisis, we go into that in some depth and Jacob’s thoughts on how we really need to focus on that last 15/30/45 days of a business much more than what happened last year and he talks about the importance of that in some depth as well. We cover racial inequality in this episode and what we can do about that, he talks about some of the student lending initiatives they’ve undertaken and small dollar credit as well. It was a fascinating interview, I hope you enjoy the show.
Welcome back to the podcast, Jacob!
Jacob Haar: Thank you for having me, Peter.
Peter: My pleasure, So, it’s been several years since you’ve been on show so maybe you could give the listeners just some background about CIM and what’s really changed in the last five years overall with your company.
Jacob: Sure. Community Investment Management is a institutional impact investment manager. We manage money for investors that are interested in not only achieving financial returns, but also in generating positive social and economic change. So, for us, the nexus of our investment thesis is around innovation lending and how that can better reach and support low income and underserved communities, whether those are small businesses where a lot of our focus has been or low income households, underserved students and looking at a range of innovations that helps to understand them better, reach them better and lower the cost of delivering the services to them to support them to improve their financial situation.
Peter: I know you’ve done a lot of work in the digital lending space, let’s just maybe dig straight into it as far as the crisis we’ve been experiencing here globally. I’d love to get your thoughts on how you feel like fintech has responded and what you’re seeing out there.
Jacob: Well, I think fintech has been tested, first of all, by the profound implications that COVID-19 has had on our economy and on the country and there’s been some tough moments out there for sure. Just like any industry that really has come into being in the last decade, this is the crisis and, in fact, stress tests that model and not everyone will survive, not everyone will be able to thrive. But, at the same time, what it also is, this is an opportunity to not only demonstrate the viability of this model and of different groups and approaches, but also be a part of the solution.
And so, as tough as it is, I think this is the moment for fintech to both show the value that it has in reaching customers, in providing productive capital to those customers, to reaching them in a time of crisis with speed, with a purely digital delivery mechanism which in the unique situation in COVID calls for that model exactly. And those banks and other lenders that were not able to use those digital channels to deliver, they are doing it now or at least are trying and certainly that’s what’s important.
But also, the third and I think most profound piece that fintech is bringing to the equation is the ability to look at real-time as digital data. We’re in a moment, right now, where whether you’re a small business or a low income household, your track record over the last three years or five years, it may not be very indicative of your current situation and what is going to be going on in the coming days.
And so, the ability for fintech to dive deep into the data and to understand what’s going on with you, not just from looking at your last three years of tax returns or even the last three account statements that you may have from the last three months, but actually to look at the last 15/30/45 days of transaction activity to try to build a picture of your existing financial situation and then to be able to actually interact with you, lend to you, support you with that real-time data where the others without that information have to sit on the sidelines. So, I think that’s a key element of where fintech can step up and although it is a period of profound challenge for anyone that’s in the lending business, it also is the moment for fintech to shine.
Peter: I completely agree. I feel like we are being tested like never before and there has been…you know, we’ve already seen it with like the PPP and some of the fintech companies that have really led the way, I mean, have just done a phenomenal job in saving hundreds of thousands of jobs bringing in hundreds of thousands of loans to these small businesses and that’s not something that’s like a traditional bank is kind of built for to use that kind of speed and for that volume.
So, anyway, I want to switch gears a little bit and talk about the role if impact investors because here we are in a really unique situation, there’s a lot of investors that are on the sidelines, there are some investors that are sort of bottom feeding and looking for bargains, looking for portfolios that are marked down considerably, what do you see as the role of impact investors in times like these?
Jacob: Having run an impact investment firm through 2008, there’s a lot of parallels to what we see today where this is not exactly to your point, this is not the moment where impact investors will take their eye off of what they’ve been investing in for the last few years to focus instead on dislocated opportunities in other spaces. In fact, this is the time for impact investors to double down and start to provide funding not only on what they’ve been doing consistently, but in the absence of all those other funders to support what we generally refer to as the real economy, the people who are out there working the jobs that are the small businesses, they are the backbone of this country.
Impact investors will not be able to meet all of that need, but they can be there at that critical moment and that’s something that…it’s important to remember that because they see it not only as the best risk adjusted opportunity to allocate to the underserved and to the broad economy, it is, in fact, their mission to do so. And so we are not going elsewhere, we’re, in fact, saying this is the moment for us to use all the tools at our disposal to support the community in it’s time of need and we also believe there’s great financial long term reasons in order to do that.
I think we’re going to come out of this crisis stronger as a country and certainly with some great tools as everything from digital adaption…..I mean, what is happening both with online education with virtual work, here we are over Zoom, right, with all of these different innovations that we’re seeing that previously had barriers to the larger community adopting them is that this is this moment of very rapid adoption where we will not see lending be the same. I mean, I think this is a one-way street where the question is not fintech being a critical part of the lending ecosystem going forward, it’s how will fintech now also serve the lenders that previously were not using these same channels and innovations and methodologies.
In fact, that’s something that I think we’re seeing in fintech, right. I think we’re seeing a lot of the different providers out there now partnering with banks on an accelerated rate because many lenders realize that the only way to interact with a lot of their customers is going to be relying on many of these innovative models that were a much smaller fraction of the market previously.
Peter: Right, right, that makes sense. So, I want to talk about this new program. I mean, we’re recording this just after the July 4th weekend and it’s going to be published later this month, but I believe you’ve got a new program you’re rolling out and love to sort of hear some of the details on that.
Jacob: Yeah. So when initially COVID-19 hit, we started thinking a lot about this theme that we’ve just been talking about, about how fintech needs to be part of the solution. In fact, we are sitting in this industry on the tools to fund small businesses at a great time of need. So, what CIM did, together with some of our core impact investors, is we put together a new program specifically to provide a small business financial first responder capital for those businesses that need capital in the face of what’s going on with COVID and relying on digital channels and speed and also that real-time date that I was just mentioning to reach some of the most underserved.
Part of this program is meant to come after the PPP Program and to go to borrowers, small business borrowers, that were not able to get access to the PPP Program, of which there are still many.
Peter: Right, right, for sure, okay. So then, how are you deciding…I know that when we chatted initially about this a few weeks ago when you first told me about it, I think it’s super interesting, can you maybe tell us some of the platforms you’re working with where you’ll be making these investments?
Jacob: Yeah. So, we’re starting off with a couple of different platforms and the first one is Camino Financial which I think has built themselves to specifically serve the underserved small business community in the Latinx market. And we’re partnering in your home state, you’re sitting there in Denver today and we’re partnering actually to roll out this program in Colorado first.
That’s a function of starting with a specific geography where we have strong impact investor support in wanting to affect their community and thinking about how do we work with Camino to use real-time data as well as the pre-COVID data to deliver with speed and a fully digital experience to Latinx small business owners including many micro enterprises that may only have a few employees and are taking quite small loans.
What is great about this program is if you look at what has been done historically, a large portion of the borrowers that are getting capital through Camino, and we expect this to be true also in Colorado, are undocumented and they were not eligible to get PPP loans. And so, we think about who’s falling between the cracks, who’s actually out there in small businesses coming to work everyday and not able to get the support that they need to continue to function in challenging market conditions and that population ranks high on our list.
So, I think we’re really excited about the impact that that’s generating and in the coming weeks, we’re going to be rolling additional partnerships with other small business lenders to reach underserved small businesses as part of this COVID response in Colorado and we’ll see where it goes from there. I think we are expecting to go outside of Colorado to other states as well, but we’re going to start in Colorado to build this out, to make this a reality for small business owners.
Peter: Interesting. You know, we had Sean Salas, the CEO of Camino, on the podcast. It was a great…..he’s a very passionate guy, it was a great episode. I’ll link it on the show notes here, it was just a few weeks ago and they really are doing a tremendous job for the Latinx community. But, I want to sort of talk about like how are you using the data, you talked about sort of real-time data, what are you bringing….obviously, Camino has their own underwriting models, they have been using their own models for a long time and you talk about bringing in real-time data, what are you adding to the equation, I guess, is what my question is using Camino as the example?
Jacob: Yeah. And really, this is drilling into how are we able to predict small business outcomes based on a changing and uncertain environment? And so, first and foremost, I think we all need to recognize that we’re looking at a period of great uncertainty so we do not know what the future will bring, of course. But, the idea is to build the best and understanding that we could possibly have of where that business is today. Are they open, is there revenue, what do their expenses look like, are they making payroll, are they paying rent?
All of these factors which you may not be able to evaluate looking at what they were doing in April or in March. I mean, Colorado, for example, many businesses are now open that were not open 60 days ago and so it’s building a picture by looking at transaction data, but also recognizing that the next 60 days may not necessarily look like the past 60 days.
Jacob: And so, I think we all need to stay humble about what information we have and what information we don’t have, but we need to arm ourselves for the best possible information which means being able to look in real-time at transaction activity and to assess from that where are these businesses in the last two weeks, four weeks, etc. and use that to be able to try to figure out whether we can extend credit to them, how much credit we can extend to them and also to build up a track record over time as you see their behavior.
So, it’s not just about giving a loan, it’s about tracking how they’re doing very closely for the coming weeks, in the coming months. It reminds me of how I got my started lending personally which was doing micro finance and lending to refugees, running micro enterprises in Azerbaijan. When they came into our doors as a brick and mortar micro finance lender, we had no information about them, zero.
So, we had to look at what’s the reality of your business, what sort of cash flow do you have today, but then also we would start by giving them a small loan and as they build up a track record with us, increase that loan size over time and it’s the classic Grameen Bank micro finance group lending model where you bring folks in without credit history and you allow them to build a credit history with you as you track them very closely.
Now, it’s being done with digital channels, with real access to data and the ability to lower operating cost so you can bring cost down significantly from what that traditional brick and mortar micro finance model are doing. But, cash flow-based underwriting for small business lending is paramount in my experience and has been, whether it’s a brick and mortar model for micro finance or SME lending in emerging markets or whether you’re doing fintech in the US.
There’s been some great work that we’ve seen for both consumer lending as well as small business lending where you can see the cash flow-based underwriting is one of the most powerful ways to lend to people on their potential to create, as opposed to just looking backwards at the assets they have and what they’ve done over the past few years which can hold people back.
Peter: Yeah, for sure, I know. We’ve had Melissa from FinRegLab on, they’ve done some really great work there and I think….it’s funny because cash flow underwriting has been around for a little while and there are certainly some companies that have been using it for years, but never really got into the mainstream. We’ve been talking about that at LendIt for many years, but it feels like now everyone is saying this is absolutely essential. I mean, you can’t make a consumer loan, you can’t make a small business loan unless you have access to that cash flow.
In most instance, when you’re talking about….not every business, obviously, but most businesses and most consumers, their financial situation is very different today than it was in January so if you’re not looking at the last three months, it feels like to me you are flying blind. So then, starting this new program I’m curious about the genesis of it… like you talk about some of the piece you’ve worked with, I know, were really impact investment focused, like did this impetus come from you, from them or where did this all come from?
Jacob: I think when COVID hit in mid-March, we started thinking about, of course, our portfolio, our team, but then, very quickly started looking at what was going on in main street in the United States and realizing that this is a critical moment for fintech to be part of the solution. And so, while we were seeing the PPP Program starting to take shape, we at CIM wanted to use the tools at our disposal to be part of meeting the need of these small businesses to keep the economy moving and to allow them to make it through this.
And we had a couple of investors, impact investors, that we’ve worked with for many years and hold in high regard, we started having very frank conversations about what the market needs and how can we potentially step up to essentially run into a crisis in a way where we’re well informed and able to support the small businesses through this. And so, I’d say that’s something where impact investors can really make a big difference. They can look at it holistically and say, we don’t need to essentially charge a price that is so high that it determines a more negative outcome as a result of doing this.
But, in fact, we can come in with market-based principles, yes, but also an approach that allows small businesses to succeed by giving them capital which is priced productively. It does not necessarily extract in her durability to understand this and that’s the challenge with credit in a crisis. The credit is essential to keeping small businesses and to keeping our economy moving, but at the same time, the risk, the premium that is associated with that capital can also be quite damaging for businesses when they are already under pressure.
And so, I think, impact investors, you know, they come in with long term perspectives of understanding that if you are committed to a sector over a long term period of time, that support will really allow everyone to benefit. We’ve seen that, like I mentioned, through the 2008 financial crisis globally. There were many impact investors that stepped up from micro finance institutions and small, medium enterprise lenders and we’re seeing that now with fintech, both here in the US and abroad.
Peter: So then, is this something…..you say you’re only out in Colorado and is this something you’re intending to roll out nationwide. I know you said you’ve got other platforms that you’re planning on rolling this out with…I’m trying to get a sense of how big you want this to be. Obviously, given the fact that we live in uncertain times, we really don’t know even if everything goes perfectly as far as underwriting, and really hitting everything exactly the way it should there could be another nationwide shutdown, we really don’t know. So, how are you rolling out the program?
Jacob: So, we’re starting in Colorado and want to put tens of millions of dollars into Colorado to support small businesses with this specific program. I think we will not go national overnight, we are certainly rolling it out wanting to see how the program is implemented and also what happens with the country. I mean, there’s a lot of unknowns so we’re going to need much more than just impact investors or fintech stepping up.
I mean, there’s the PPP Program and we’ve seen what everyone from Cross River Bank to Funding Circle and other lenders in the space have done to implement the PPP Program and make that effective. We just saw a few days ago here that the PPP Program was extended until early August, but it’s unclear what else the government will do to step up to help the economy and meet the need. Certainly also, we’re going to need significant philanthropy so that’s different from say impact investing, right. Impact investing is using the capital markets in order to generate positive impact within the community, but philanthropy is actually looking at donations, grants and different types of philanthropy which will end up supporting various programs.
And so, I think we need all of these different tools in our toolbox, we need the capital markets and private investors, we need government stimulants and we need philanthropy. And so, I think we’re taking one day at a time and trying to focus in on supporting as many businesses as we can with our partners in our core market and then we’ll take it from there. But, meanwhile, the flagship work that we do in fintech is also accelerating and we’re seeing, in fact, new partnerships that are getting struck, portfolios that are growing and a lot of fintechs are stepping up right now in order to provide capital where others are retracting from the market.
And so, I think we’re going to see the core strategy where we’ve put over $1Billion into the hands of small businesses and underserved communities out there over the last five years, that work is accelerating and continuing. We also are seeing the special COVID-type initiative and, in fact, our work is growing and entering even overseas which we’ve been focused on in the past for many years, but we’re seeing fintech acceleration, particularly in light of what’s going on with COVID as a critical next step. In fact, towards that, we’ve opened up an office in Berlin and are expanding our work outside of the US to many emerging markets where we see great needs as well.
Peter: Sure, sure, okay. So, another question I’m curious to get your thoughts on, I want to talk about racial inequality, we don’t very much cover that on the show and it’s clear to me when….obviously, we run a fintech conference and see the make-up of our event and it really isn’t very racially diverse, it’s not even gender diverse for that matter, but I’d love to kind of…..you know, what do you think we should be doing….let’s just take the racial inequality first, what should we be doing as an industry to really tackle a problem? When you look at fintech, it’s…I don’t know, is it 95% white, it feels that way sometimes, what do you think we should be doing?
Jacob: Firstly, I think we need to be encouraging, especially at this current time, black-run companies to be out there serving the communities. They specifically understand better than anyone else out there in the market and there are certain lenders that, you know, are led by black CEOs, founded by black founders and it is harder for them to raise capital. I mean, there have been some great studies that have looked at not only hiring, but also venture pitches where there is significant systemic bias in the way that capital is being allocated.
So, I think it’s a very complex question and certainly not one that I have all the answers to, but we agree with you, Peter, you and I really recognize this is a shortcoming. It’s true in financial services and it’s true in technology and so you combine the two and the fintech and it’s a perfect storm.
Jacob: It’s a perfect storm for gender and it’s a perfect storm for racial justice and for diversity and I think we all need to look at ourselves in the mirror and ask, how can we be part of the solution. It’s not enough to just go about business as usual. So, I think impact investing has gone on a journey on this as well where I think a decade ago, five years ago even, we would look and see that we have been providing affordable financial services to many members of the black community, to many women and that’s been something that we’ve been focused on trying to ensure that we continue to provide affordable financial services and access to underserved communities that suffer bias.
But, I think that in more recent years, and particularly let’s take this moment of the Black Lives Matter protest to recognize the systemic racism that is there and think creatively about how we can be part of the solution. And so, I look, for example, at our portfolio, at Kim Folsom who founded and is running Founders First that is specifically out there to provide revenue-based financing, revenue-based loans to underserved founders so those are founders of color, those are black founders, those are women-led businesses, those are businesses in low income areas and we need to….you know, there are many different founders that are out there that we need to not only support, we need to provide funding too.
If you’re a VC, look at your portfolio companies, if you’re a lender like CIM, see what credit facilities you can provide to companies that need some extra support. So, I think we all have a role to play to do our part and at the same time, we at CIM, we’re humbled, we also come up short and we want to do our best to make it better so that the next time we meet at LendIt, we’ll see much more diversity within the ranks of fintech.
Peter: Right, right. And, obviously, we’re working on that as well. We have a couple of programs we’re working on behind the scenes and we hope to roll out and share when the time is right. So, I want to talk about student loans because the primary focus has been small business and that’s what the new initiative is about, but what are doing in the student loans area?
Jacob: So, we’ve focused in student lending on two strategies to date. The first is on lending to primarily graduate school, to fund graduate school education for immigrants and we’ve done that by partnering with Empower and providing funding for many students who are new Americans, immigrants, but also some docket students in the US as well to attend primarily graduate school, there’s a small number of undergraduates as well to seek particularly STEM degrees. This is a factor that is underserved, they’re not able to get federal student loans and so believe that there’s a great opportunity to serve them better so they can achieve the same type of graduate education and career advancement as others and that’s opening up the market.
You know, when you’re an international student and you get into a great graduate program, you either have to be independently wealthy or you have to be just at the upper echelon where you will get a full merit-based scholarship. And what we’re doing is we are leaving a lot of talent out of that graduate pool where they have shown that they are qualified to attend that program and pursue that education and they can either add to the economy here in the US or go back to their home country and do great things. And so for us, there’s significant impact and also a compelling opportunity to extend this inefficient financial services that are not reaching them, to extend efficient financing to them so that they don’t have to rely to home country financing.
The other area that we focused on has been in workforce training, particularly in the area of technology. So, we work with a school called Kenzie Academy which providing high quality technology training to underserved communities, they’re based in Indianapolis and they have a focus on the heartland. They also are making significant inroads into communities of color, with women, in areas…….we aren’t just talking about in technology where you don’t see a lot of black faces, you don’t see a lot of women that are part of that.
Kenzie has done a great job of getting their new classes and cohorts are extremely diverse, both in terms of gender, in terms of racial diversity and we’re really excited to support them and doing it with an income share agreement type of program so that the school is successful only when their students are successful. And that is so key because we see a great need to align school success with student success and there is a key role that impact investors and all investors when structured well can link those two outcomes.
Peter: Right, right. Okay, we’re running out of time, but there’s a couple of things I really want to get to. We haven’t really talked much about small dollar credit, particularly for low income communities. It’s a topic that’s near and dear to my heart because I feel like it has such a role to play, it can ruin lives and it can also make lives so much better. What’s your sort of thoughts on that, maybe as an asset class and as something that…..is this something you’re looking to put your resources in as well?
Jacob: Yeah. Like you, Peter, we really believe that small dollar credit is necessary to support communities that are living on the edge, I mean, and it doesn’t necessarily take a lot of credit to make such a difference. But, I also think that, historically, there has been a lowest common denominator type of small dollar credit model and what’s so promising about fintech is it’s ability to really understand and differentiate customers better so that we can offer much more affordable products, in terms of how those are structured and we see that.
We see, for example, overdraft fees and how much the large banks are making on the part of the US economy that is living on the edge. There’s not a lot of savings and they’re taking valuable money out of their pocket every month in the form of overdraft fees and there are some great solutions to solve for that using technology. I think we also see different communities getting specific solutions so whether that’s Oportun or Aura providing it to the Latinx community, or some really innovative companies that are working on addresses for low income households across the country.
This is an area where we can’t be lazy, we can’t just say, look the price is expensive because the risk is high, we have to do better, I think, at understanding our customer, segmenting our customers and providing them with the type of financial services that can be rational, profitable products, but only because we have a certain type of insight into what’s going on with that underlying customer and it’s an area of profound inefficiency and therefore, opportunity. And so, this is exactly where fintech can come in and make a difference,
Peter: Yeah, yeah, for sure, for sure. So, last question, this sort of dovetails to what you just said there, how do you know, at the end of the day, whether the work you have done has really made a difference?
Jacob: I think we look at impact on three different levels, Peter. The first is tracking metrics around who has gotten our money so we can look at, specifically, the small businesses, the low income households, the students that have received money from the fundings which we have done of our different fintech partners. But, in some ways that is the smallest difference that we are making and how we think about impact because the step above that, if you were to go a bit further out, is to look at what we are doing to try to support, scale and demonstrate different products.
Those could be products that we have funded or that competitors have funded, but, essentially to show that there is, in fact, great opportunity and need among deserving borrowers so that ultimately that attracts different investors and competitors to look at this as innovative models that need to be scaled and will make it into the financial mainstream and that’s a greater measure of success. And whether that’s our individual dollars or whether we’re just seeing a model get traction that previously didn’t have traction, that’s important.
But, the third and biggest, almost 30,000 foot-way, is creating an enabling environment and thinking about everything from regulation to allowing for innovation. And that’s both some of the work we’ve done with the Responsible Business Lending Coalition with Small Business Borrower Bill of Rights, it’s work that we’re doing with income-shared agreements to make sure that income-shared agreements are ultimately in the students’ best interests and we will create all the space for innovation to flourish, but also real alignment around its set of standards and principles.
And, I think this is an area where fintech has done well, but we need to do better which is engaging with regulators to not only push for the opportunity to do things better, but also to push for new protections to come into place for particularly vulnerable and underserved communities and it’s by doing both, by clearing a path for a better future, but also on realizing that we need to engage with government and regulators to put guard rails in place, to protect the interest of small businesses and consumers that are being served with these innovative new approaches,
Peter: Well, it’s fascinating, we’ll have to leave it there though, Jacob. I wish you all the best and I appreciate all the work you’ve done and it’s always good to chat with you.
Jacob: You too, thank you, Peter.
Peter: Okay, see you.
You know, credit is going to be so important for small businesses, I think, until we get back to normal and credit is always important even in good times. When things are tough, credit is going to be critical for small business survival that’s why we have the PPP. So, I really applaud, Jacob, and his team working with Camino Financial to get this program, pilot program set up. Hopefully, it’s something that can be rolled out across the country because the difference between a business staying in business seeing through to times that are going to be better is really whether or not they can get a loan for government programs that aren’t going to be there once the PPP is over then it’s going to be private institutions only that really pick up the slack. So, I think we need much more than what Jacob is doing, what they’re doing is a great start.
Anyway on that note, I will sign off. I very much appreciate your listening and I’ll catch you next time. Bye.
Today’s episode was sponsored by Lendit Fintech USA, the world’s largest fintech event dedicated to lending and digital banking is going virtual. It’s happening online September 29th through October 1st. This year, with everything that’s been going on, there’ll be so much to talk about. It will likely be our most important show. So, join the fintech community online this year where you will meet the people who matter, learn from the experts and get business done. LendIt Fintech, lending and banking connected. Sign up today at lendit.com/usa.[/expand]
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Peter Renton is the chairman and co-founder of Fintech Nexus, the world’s first and largest digital media and events company focused on fintech. Peter has been writing about fintech since 2010 and he is the author and creator of the Fintech One-on-One Podcast, the first and longest-running fintech interview series. Peter has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The New York Times, CNBC, CNN, Fortune, NPR, Fox Business News, the Financial Times, and dozens of other publications.