KeyBank closes acquisition of Laurel Road Bank’s digital lending business

Source: KeyBank National Association

KeyBank National Association today announced that it has successfully completed the acquisition of Laurel Road Bank’s digital lending business.

The acquisition underpins KeyBank’s strategic growth efforts, by enhancing its digital capabilities through customized, end-to-end lending products.

Laurel Road, based in New York City, has built a compelling student loan refinancing platform, which launched in 2013 and has rapidly grown to total more than $4 billion in loan originations to date. The digital platform offers a simple and personalized process with attractive refinancing options, providing customers with potentially meaningful savings over the life of their loans.[i] In 2018, the company introduced an online mortgage platform using the same simple and secure lending technology to offer home buyers and owners a streamlined digital process, from application to payment.

In acquiring Laurel Road, KeyBank continues its strategy of building targeted scale against defined client segments such as healthcare professionals, lawyers, and graduate students. Specific to Laurel Road, KeyBank will focus in three areas to drive growth:

1. Expand national, digital-only lending capabilities: Capitalize on Laurel Road’s sustained success in delivering its capabilities through strategic partnerships and direct-to-market branding to enhance KeyBank’s digital-lending offerings to customers.
2. Boost KeyBank’s client experience through compelling digital tools: Maximize the industry-leading technology behind Laurel Road’s platform to drive growth and improve efficiencies.
3. Deliver a holistic banking experience to a targeted segment of consumers: Leverage Laurel Road’s expertise within the millennial professional market to build on its success and expand product offerings to acquire, broaden, and deepen relationships.

“Part of KeyBank’s strategy is to pair the best of the best in fintech with our industry expertise and scale. Now that the deal is officially closed, we’re thrilled to begin work with Laurel Road,” said Jamie Warder, Head of Digital for KeyBank. “The three pillars we’ve outlined aim to expand our business and offer more customer segments a comprehensive, digitally-led suite of services, and Laurel Road is a pivotal piece of this growth plan.”

“We’re deeply proud of what we’ve built at Laurel Road and share in Jamie’s excitement to get to work integrating and growing our combined products and business,” said Gary Lieberman, Founder and Chairman of Laurel Road Bank. “Laurel Road set out to deliver a simple yet superior lending experience for millennials at every financial milestone. As part of KeyBank, our capabilities and scale have even more potential, and together we’re committed to enhancing the digital financial experience for all customers.”

KeyBank seeks to accelerate growth by leveraging Laurel Road’s national reach, existing infrastructure and technology capabilities. The Laurel Road brand will remain in place. Laurel Road’s three bank branches located in southeast Connecticut are not part of this transaction.

Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed. KeyBank was advised by KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., and Debevoise & Plimpton. Laurel Road Bank was advised by RBC Capital Markets and Fried Frank. 

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