An Unofficial Chat with Ron Suber, the Tom Brokaw of Fintech

If you circulate within fintech, pretty much anywhere on the planet, there is a high likelihood you’ve heard of Ron Suber.  And in case you haven’t, he’s the president of Prosper Funding, the marketplace lending platform that has now funded over $8B in loans, and recently closed a deal with a group of institutional investors to purchase up to $5 billion worth of loans over the next 24 months.

We’ve covered him a fair bit here at FintekNews, and that may be because, as he’s stated, at 52, he’s now an “elder statesman” in the industry – hence the joking referral to Tom Brokaw in the headline which he offered.  Fact is, though, he keeps a schedule that would make most 30 year olds collapse in exhaustion.

In addition to running Prosper, he travels frequently to deliver keynotes at various financial conferences all the over the world, and has invested in – or sits on the board of – several other fintech firms as well, including SoFi, Unison Home Ownership, Credible and eOriginal, amongst others.

When we spoke last week, he was on his way to France for an address, than was going to be heading to Singapore with Barney Frank and back to Washington after that to deliver the Security Traders Association keynote.

I asked him how he deals with all the travel, plus the highs ($5B deal-yeah!) and lows (Lending Club-OMG!) of the job, and he jokingly responded “Funny – (with) a unique combination of Yin Yoga and Johnny Walker Black”.  He also said he does “intention setting” before he gets out of bed every day, which he has found incredibly helpful.

During our conversation he shared the decks from 3 different keynotes he’s recently delivered – at Lendit, AltFi Australasia, and the ACFE Fintech Fraud Summit.  He mentioned that the latter has had huge interest, as it covers the underbelly of the industry – fraud – that nobody really wants to talk about.  He launched the presentation with amusing but poignant examples of 3 historic fraudulent acts, with the first dating back to an example from Greek merchant banking dating back to 300 BC.

Another slide depicted the 2013 group ATM heist in NYC by $45M in a matter of hours:

The speech covered the three legs of fiancial fraud – borrower, investor and identity.  You can download the full deck at this link:  ACFEFinTechFraudSummit.FINAL

In contrast, the speech Ron delivered at Lendit, which was attended by over 5,000 people this year including large contingencies from Asia and the Middle East,  had an entirely different tenor.  Amongst the topics discussed was the industry’s birth and growth since 2013, year by year, the ways banks and online lenders are collaborating on growth, and a snapshot of Prosper’s returns for investors.

The full deck for the Lendit 2017 presentation can be downloaded at this link: LendIt.FINAL

The last deck he shared with us from the AltFi Australasia Summit in Sydney.  The event was attended primarily by Australians and New Zealanders, with some Asians in attendance as well and also had a slightly different angle.

The speech compared online lending to online trading, showed a 5 point overview of the industry since inception, and included a picture showing traditional banks already involved in marketplace lending.  It signed off stating that the keys to success for the industry in 2017 would be to “Keep Calm & Stay Focused”, and provide loan performance, data transparency and platform profitability.

The full deck for the AltFi Australasia Summit can be viewed at this link: AltFiAustralia.RonSuber.FINAL[1] (1)

You can also view a video of the speech he delivered at the event by clicking on the image below:

We encourage you to take time to read through the decks and watch the video, and you’ll gain a much stronger insight into the marketplace lending arena, and Prosper’s unique leadership position within the industry.  And a special thanks to Ron Suber for providing us with these decks to share with our readers.