Fintech is all the rage in New York now but did you know that the word is a portmanteau of financial and technology? Fintech companies took off in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis when new regulations put limitations on what traditional banks could or couldn’t do. Today, there are hot companies such as Lemonade, Betterment and Stash grabbing the headlines but one of the earliest players in fintech was CommonBond.
In 2012, CommonBond was founded on a simple premise: Help relieve the student loan burden with lower rates, simpler options and great customer service. Since inception, CommonBond has funded over $3 billion in better student loans. The company is one of New York’s hottest fintech firms, receiving over $4 billion in funding (a combination of debt and equity).
David Klein is co-founder and CEO of CommonBond. While pursuing his MBA he faced the issue of paying for school as well. That’s how CommonBond was born. He dropped out of school to launch the company and over the subsequent years he has learned a lot about building a sustainable and scalable company. Last year he shared some takeaways from his entrepreneurial journey on the Dealmakers Podcast. A key skill, according to Klein, is listening:
“….Listening to what other people have to say, not just what they’re saying, but reading between the lines and understanding what they really mean is very important. That’s the case in talking to investors and trying to understand what’s important to them. That’s the case in talking to new potential employees who you’re looking to recruit onboard as well as current employees who you’re looking to make and keep happy within the four corners of business objectives. It’s important with regulators. With industry players so that what you do as a business squarely fits with what you need to be doing as a business. Hearing what the other side is trying to say both directly and between the lines is important to business building.”
Klein will join the Club for an exclusive conversation covering his entrepreneurial journey, the future of fintech and how to scale a startup.
Join us for this exciting program, moderated by HBS alumna Chitra Nawbatt.
Participants must register by January 13th to receive details on joining the discussion.
Please note that no refunds will be issued.
CEO & Co-founder at CommonBond
David Klein is CEO and co-founder of CommonBond, a financial technology company on a mission to give students and graduates more affordable, transparent, and simple ways to pay for higher education. Prior to CommonBond, David worked in consumer finance at American Express, and started his professional career at McKinsey & Company, where he advised clients in financial services.
David graduated from Brandeis University with a BA in Politics, Economics, and International Business, and attended the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He frequently speaks on topics related to student debt, social impact, and personal finance.
Chitra Nawbatt is a versatile multi-industry and multidisciplinary executive with a 20-year track record as a strategic growth and change agent, who builds collaborative teams, processes and systems to reinvent culture, go-to-market strategy to execution, business and risk management, brand and external relations.
Chitra was the Global Head of Market Solutions at Genpact, an artificial intelligence and digital transformation firm. Ms. Nawbatt was responsible for driving new customer acquisition, partnerships and innovation. She delivered strategic solutions to clients focused on revenue discovery and digital transformation, specializing in the financial services, technology, media and consumer industries.
Previously, Chitra was the Anchor for Reuters TV where her broadcasts were seen by millions globally. Chitra’s coverage and reporting were differentiated due to her diverse research discipline and in-depth domain from Wall Street. She conducted exclusive interviews with Fortune 500 CEOs such as Citigroup and Fiat Chrysler, Governor of the Bank of England, WBC Heavyweight Champion, etc.
Before media, Chitra spent more than a decade in financial services. She was a C-level leader at Deutsche Bank where she invented working capital efficiency software to enable Treasurers and CFOs of Fortune 1000 clients to diagnose issues with their cash conversion cycle. Chitra has her CPA designation, and is a graduate of Harvard Business School and Rotman School of Management.
You can reach her on twitter @chitranawbatt.
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