Cross River poaches execs from student refinancing firm Laurel Road

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Cross River Bank, a Teaneck, N.J.-based bank that focuses most of its energy on supporting fintechs, is hiring several people from the student loan refinancing company Laurel Road to its capital markets team.

Cross River’s fintech partners include Affirm, Circle, Best Egg, Coinbase, Rocket Loans, Stripe, Upstart and Transferwise.

“Our vision is to become a one-stop shop for the fintech industry,” said Gilles Gade, founder, president, and CEO of Cross River. “And that means if you're a marketplace lender and you're interested in payments, we'll provide that to you. If you're a payment company interested in lending, we provide that to you. We want to be able to provide to the entire fintech ecosystem. Whatever your aspirations are, whether you want to serve as a consumer market, the SMB market, the real estate market, whatever the case may be, we'd be there for you. We'll provide your back-end infrastructure and the connectivity to payment schemes to enable you to just focus on your growth.”

Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank in April 2019. The executives joining Cross River from Laurel Road include team leader Noah Cooper, who becomes Cross River’s senior vice president and head of capital markets, and Rahul Jha, Joshua Karlgaard and Ryan Callahan, who will manage the bank’s balance sheet and secondary market activities including securitization and loan pool sales.

This team members were hired for their expertise in loan origination, loan portfolio management and securitization.

“They really understand what origination means because they were part of a bank that originates student loans, and they did a lot of them,” Gade said. “They also did portfolio management. And finally they were the capital markets desk in that bank and they performed a ton of securitizations and secondary market activity. So because they have this expertise at all three levels, we've found them to be the perfect fit for us.”

Cross River is also announcing Monday that it has closed a warehouse facility with Idea Financial, a Miami-based lender that provides access to capital to small businesses. Under the terms of the agreement, Cross River will provide a warehouse facility up to $70 million. The facility is originated by Cross River’s Strategic Financing Solutions Group, a specialized team focused on providing warehouse lending, forward flow and direct lending services to early-stage fintechs.

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