|By Marketwired .||
|July 24, 2014 11:00 AM EDT||
SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 07/24/14 -- Affirm today announced it has hired Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Enforcement Attorney Manuel (Manny) Alvarez as its first chief compliance officer and general counsel.
The appointment coincides with Affirm naming investment partners Keith Rabois, from Khosla Ventures, and Jeremy Liew, from Lightspeed Ventures, to the new financial services technology company's board of directors.
Affirm was started in 2012 by Max Levchin, co-founder of the digital payments giant PayPal; Jeff Kaditz, formerly chief data officer of gaming company, ngmoco; and Nathan Gettings, co-founder of Palantir, the go-to company for mining massive data sets. They started Affirm on the belief that the current FICO-based credit rating system is not working for many consumers.
The announcements today come just weeks after Affirm launched its new Split Pay service that lets online merchants offer consumers simple installment payment alternatives at checkout. With Split Pay, online shoppers can spread a purchase across multiple months. Split Pay interest rates start as low as 6 percent, depending on a shopper's payment history, the dollar amount being financed, and the number of installments.
"Consumers often don't understand the fees or interest they pay on a revolving account. That has to change," said Alvarez. "Affirm's commitment to delivering honest and transparent financial products totally aligns with my long-standing commitment to consumer protection."
In his new role at Affirm, Alvarez will oversee and manage the company's regulatory compliance program and related actives to prevent illegal, unfair or deceptive conduct. He will also take charge of liaising with regulators and Affirm's service providers.
Alvarez was one of the earliest enforcement attorneys at the CFPB where he investigated and civilly prosecuted violations of federal consumer financial laws. He served as lead attorney in CFPB v. Castle & Cooke Mortgage LLC, et al., the first-ever enforcement action of the Mortgage Loan Originator Compensation Rule under Regulation Z. He also liaised with other federal and state regulators, trained housing advocates on the new mortgage servicing standards, and supported several bank examinations.
Before joining the CFPB Alvarez served as a Deputy Attorney General in the Consumer Law Section of the California Attorney General's Office.
"Banks today are stuck in the 1950s in so many ways," said Levchin. "Manny's history of consumer advocacy and regulatory knowledge will be essential as Affirm reimagines financial services from credit cards to deposit banking."
New Board Members
A partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners since 2006, Liew's current investments include Snapchat, Whisper, LivingSocial, Bonobos, Kixeye, PetFlow, Slice, The Honest Company and Zest Finance. He was also responsible for several successful Lightspeed investments including Playdom (acquired by Disney), Flixster (acquired by Warner Brothers), Kongregate (acquired by GameStop) and Serious Business (acquired by Zynga).
Rabois began his career in the technology industry as a senior executive at PayPal (acquired by eBay) and subsequently served in influential roles at LinkedIn and as chief operating officer of Square. As a board member, Rabois guided Yelp and Xoom from inception to successful initial public offerings. Simultaneously, he also invested in other like-minded entrepreneurs with early stakes in YouTube (acquired by Google), Yammer (acquired by Microsoft), Palantir, Lyft, AirBnB, Eventbrite and Quora.
"The industry knowledge, insights and business building knowhow that Keith and Jeremy bring to Affirm are truly priceless," said Levchin. "Having them on our board only makes our vision for financial utilities loved by consumers all the more attainable."
Affirm is reimagining financial services -- from credit cards to deposit banking. Starting with an amazingly simple, new way to get affordable financing at the online point of sale, Affirm lets shoppers pay for purchases across multiple months with transparent, fairly-priced fees built into every payment, and boosts conversion and basket size for eTailers at less than the cost of credit cards. Created in 2012 by PayPal Co-founder Max Levchin, Palantir Co-founder Nathan Gettings, and former Chief Data Officer of ngmoco, Jeff Kaditz, Affirm is based in San Francisco. To start working with Affirm go to affirm.com.
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