Posts in Category: Financial Industry

Peter Briger Sees Bitcoin Changing the Future of Banking

Bitcoin keeps gaining traction as an investment vehicle and has even made its way into the portfolios of Wall Street professionals. In 2013, Wells Fargo executives made their way to Fortress Investment Group’s headquarters in New York to discuss their desire to create a Bitcoin exchange that would be the first to be regulated. This project was seen as controversial, but Peter Briger, the co-chairman of the Fortress, believes in the enormous potential it may bring. Executives of several divisions of Wells Fargo made appearances at the meeting in Manhattan. The team that Fortress brought included many of the Silicon Valley experts that had gotten behind the technology and great investment opportunity early on.

Peter Briger pitched his plan to the group of a dozen people that were there in the conference room waiting to hear his ideas with a mix of excitement and hesitation. The Fortress team showed an immense interest in Bitcoin because it is not just a new form of currency it is also a low cost and quick way to transfer money anywhere around the globe without worrying about exchange rates or other issues that affect traditional currency. Peter Briger suggested to the team at Wells Fargo that they should be keeping a close eye on Bitcoin as it may rival or even replace other financial services in the near future. Some of these services may include the payment network that Wells Fargo provides to their clients.

Peter Briger first became interested in Bitcoin in early 2016 during a ski trip. Among the people on the trip were other financial experts who shared with Peter Briger how the technology worked. While many people only associated Bitcoin with shady online exchanges like the Silk Road, others knew that it had the potential to be much more than that in upcoming years. It didn’t make sense to Briger that technology allowed people to connect instantly by video to someone in another country, but did not allow them to send money easily. He saw Bitcoin as a solution to this that could possibly change the way the financial world operated.

What other firms should learn from Fortress Investment Group

Fortress Investment Group is a company that is involved with investment and asset management. The firm has been running for more than thirty years now. It is one of the organizations that have helped boost the financial sector by providing the necessary advice to customers. They have come with innovative technology which allows them to interact with customers with speed and effectiveness. The excellent leadership at Fortress Investment Group has ensured there are strategies to deal with the stiff competition in the market today. The founders first had to implement policies that could sustain the development of the company. They started the organization with the aim of shaping the asset management industry, and that is why they had to come up with unique strategies. There is always a thorough checking of customers before they can get the services of the company. They treat all the clients professionally because they deserve the right treatment as clients.

When it started, the primary aim of Fortress Investment Group was to offer quality services. They were to give customers solutions that are comprehensive to help them achieve the success they need. Since they provided best and quality services, it meant that they attracted many customers because they provided services that can be matched by the other asset management companies. Today it has become a coveted institution that offers solutions to investors worldwide. They have established an extensive network of customers, and they pride themselves in enabling their customers to achieve great success.

They have also ensured they come up with alternative methods of investments to create opportunities for all customers. They established means of investment that are ignored by investment firms and this set them apart from many firms. They achieved a competitive advantage. Their primary targets were the underrated assets because they wanted to be unique and different from what everyone else is offering. The undervalued assets like old buildings and infrastructures become their strong point.

Fortress Investment Group acquired assets at a discounted rate, and most of them belonged to the transport industry. They also got a huge boost by receiving other holdings from various organizations. They got them as they were being got rid of by companies which were facing financial issues.

GreenSky Credit: The Technological Middleman for Home Improvement Loans

Lauren Gensler’s recent article, “Handyman’s Helper: How GreenSky’s David Zalik Skipped High School on his Way to Becoming a Billionaire”, was published in Forbes. The article discusses the recent meteoric rise of the fintech lending company.

The financial technology company, GreenSky Credit, is a technological middleman between the banks and merchants to make loans to clients who need loans for home improvement, healthcare, or even solar.

GreenSky Credit has partnered with a variety of secured banks like SunTrust Banks and Regions Financial Corps. The financing is provided through institutions that are federally and state-chartered and federally insured. They have more than fourteen different partner banks since 2016.

The loans are made online or through the company’s app to a variety of customers. They have a network of nearly 12,000 merchants and retailers like The Home Depot, Inc. and individual contractors. They add the merchants who sell home improvement products like roofing, window replacement, furniture and aluminum siding. They are even expanding their network base to include medical procedures. They also have more than 1.7 million customers who have been satisfied with their services. Through their technology, they have loaned more than 12 billion dollars.

The intelligence of co-founder and CEO, David Zalik, reveal that the magic in the company takes place behind the scenes. Because the company has bank partners, they aren’t responsible for defaults on the loans. However, they are able to make a profit on both sides of the trade. Not only do the contractors pay GreenSky Credit an average of 6% of the loan amount, but the banks also pay a fee to use their services as well. The bank partners will pay nearly 1% of the balance each year.

In the same way that Airbnb has become the middleman of travel, GreenSky Credit has become the technological middleman of home improvement lending. Yet, they are beginning to expand into lending for medical treatments like plastic surgery or even braces.

The company is based in Atlanta, Georgia and has been valued at $3.6 billion. GreenSky Credit has raised more than $50 million in funding, placing the CEO and co-founder Zalik well within billionaire status.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/25/how-greensky-billionaire-david-zalik-built-a-tech-empire-from-age-14.html