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The Cool Kids of Finance Join the Peer-to-Peer Bandwagon

The bold-faced names of government, technology and finance have jumped into peer-to-peer lending, one of the fastest-growing - and buzziest - new segments of financial services, led by players like Lending Club and Prosper. Here are some of the celebrities who have decided to embrace peer-to-peer lending.

Second Act Second Act Vikram Pandit, who was abruptly ousted from the top job at Citigroup in 2012, has made a quiet comeback by investing in a couple of startup lenders. In September, he was part of a group of investors in the education-focused lender CommonBond, and last week Pandit helped back a new startup called Orchard.

(Image: Bloomberg News)

Alumni Club Alumni Club Lending Club is the undisputed champion of recruiting high-profile, well-respected veterans to the crowdfunding firm's board. They include director John Mack, a former Morgan Stanley chairman and CEO, and venture capitalist Mary Meeker, of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

(Image: Bloomberg News)

White House Stalwart White House Stalwart Lawrence Summers, a Treasury secretary under President Clinton and a former economic advisor to (and would-be Fed chairman nominee of) President Barack Obama, also sits on the Lending Club board. It seems fitting for someone who was the president of Harvard when Mark Zuckerberg was inventing Facebook there.

(Image: Bloomberg News)

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Social Networks Social Networks Tech giants and their executives also have bought into the promise of peer-to-peer lending. Facebook Chief Marketing Officer Gary Briggs is a Lending Club advisor, as is Google executive Jeff Huber, who helps the online search company plan for future technology. Google in May led a $125 million investment round in Lending Club.

(Image: Bloomberg News)

Wall Street Backers Wall Street Backers

Prosper, another cutting-edge lender, in September raised $25 million from investors including BlackRock, the giant money manager run by Larry Fink.

Credit Card Veterans Credit Card Veterans Lending Club CEO Renaud Laplanche says he wants to take on big banks' credit card businesses, and he's recruited several longtime card industry insiders to help him. Hans Morris, the former president of Visa, sits on Lending Club's board, and former MasterCard CEO Alex W. "Pete" Hart is an advisor to the startup.

(Image: Bloomberg News)

Human Capital (One) Human Capital (One)

Lending Club has also recruited several executives from Capital One to build up its competency in traditional lending. In October it hired Sid Jajodia, who ran small-business lending for the McLean, Va., bank, to develop Lending Club's planned small-business platform.

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From Stagecoaches to Crowdfunding From Stagecoaches to Crowdfunding Prosper, meanwhile, has focused its poaching efforts on Wells Fargo. The company in January hired Stephan Vermut, Wells Fargo's head of prime brokerage and a former Bear Stearns investment banker, to be its CEO.

(Image: Bloomberg News)

Extra G-Men Extra G-Men Besides Summers, Lending Club also counts among its advisors Michael S. Barr, a former U.S. Treasury assistant secretary for financial institutions and an architect of the Dodd-Frank Act, and Richard H. Neiman, a former superintendent of banks for New York.

(Image: Bloomberg News)

The bold-faced names of government, technology and finance have jumped into peer-to-peer lending, one of the fastest-growing - and buzziest - new segments of financial services, led by players like Lending Club and Prosper. Here are some of the celebrities who have decided to embrace peer-to-peer lending.

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