Many investment bankers on Wall Street are starting to transition from their jobs to executive positions at large technology-driven companies. Some of the most notable transitions include Ruth Porat, who moved from Morgan Stanley to become Google’s CFO early in 2015 and Laurence Tosi who, more recently, left The Blackstone Group to be Airbnb’s CFO. Morgan Edwards made a similar move when he left his position as managing director of Macquarie Capital to join CommonBond, a graduate student loan startup, as its CFO in June 2015. He served as Macquarie Capital’s CFO starting in 2008 and has more than 25 years of experience in the financial sector. Edwards has a history of working with some of the finance industry’s giants including Bear Stearns and Morgan Stanley.
He started looking for a new line of work because his job in banking was not as fulfilling as it once was. Like Edwards, many finance specialists in the industry are looking for innovative new ways to use their skillset in emerging markets. When marketplace lenders started to look for loan financing from large institutions, Edwards started to see a new pathway for his skillset. The credit market was narrowing as debt financing for marketplace lending started to increase among businesses.
Marketplace lenders, a relatively new lending category, is a non-banking financial institution that uses technology to improve the debt financing process and they serve both investors and consumers. CommonBond originates loans and then sells them to investors for a premium. The company expects to grow more than $1 billion in loan originations in 2016 and to expand their offerings to non-student offerings within a year. In June, CommonBond completed its first securitization, which was a $100 million deal.
Edwards has a history underwriting credit risk and he expects the market for this type of leveraged finance to become a mainstay in the finance industry. At CommonBond, Edwards will be responsible for the underwriting process as well as developing relationships with financial institutions. CommonBond’s former CFO Mike Taormina, a cofounder of the company, left in May to pursue a MBA at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.