Nat Hoopes, executive director of a trade group that represents the chief executives of Wall Street banks, is making the jump to fintech.
Hoopes will lead the Marketplace Lending Association, whose founding members include Lending Club, Prosper Marketplace and Funding Circle, starting next month.
“This is an important moment for marketplace lending, and I'm thrilled to have an opportunity to build and grow an organization that will be a key resource in Washington," Hoopes said.
The news of Hoopes' hiring by the online lending group came as Politico reported in Morning Money on Thursday that the fate of his current organization, the Financial Services Forum, is in question. The report cited sources familiar with the matter as saying some of the forum's members are prepared to discuss its future, which could include merging with another trade group.
He takes the association's helm at a challenging time for the fintech industry as policymakers consider tougher rules in response to the explosive growth of technologies that are transforming everything from small-business lending to consumer payments. Online loan companies have been slowly building a presence in Washington in recent months, with a number of different groups forming. MLA was created in April to promote “responsible business practices and sound public policy."
Online lenders have tapped former bank regulators from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Treasury Department to sit on their boards as well as finance executives from banks including Morgan Stanley.
The MLA's founders began their businesses about a decade ago. Their online platforms matched borrowers with wealthy individuals who wanted to fund them. Since then, large money managers, hedge funds and some Wall Street firms have begun buying the debt.
The industry has come under increased scrutiny following scandal and market turmoil. Lending Club has been working to shore up confidence among investors since the San Francisco-based company's founder and former chief executive, Renaud Laplanche, resigned in May amid an internal probe into a botched loan sale that revealed weaknesses in controls.
— Bloomberg News, staff reports