KeyBank Completes Acquisition of Laurel Road Bank’s Digital Lending Business

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

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

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

By acquiring Laurel Road, KeyBank continues its strategy of targeted scaling against defined customer segments such as healthcare professionals, lawyers and graduate students. Specific to Laurel Road, KeyBank will focus on three areas to drive growth:

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

“Part of KeyBank’s strategy is to combine the best of the best in fintech with our expertise and scale in the industry. Now that the deal is officially closed, we are excited to begin working with Laurel Road,” said Jamie Warder, Head of Digital at KeyBank. “The three pillars we have defined aim to grow our business and offer more customer segments a full suite of digital services, and Laurel Road is a central part of this growth plan.”

“We are deeply proud of what we have built at Laurel Road and share Jamie’s enthusiasm to get to work integrating and growing our combined products and businesses,” said Gary Lieberman, Founder and Chairman of Laurel Road Bank. “Laurel Road is committed to providing a simple yet superior lending experience to millennials at every financial stage. As part of KeyBank, our capabilities and scale have even greater potential, and together we are committed to improving 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. The three Laurel Road bank branches located in southeast Connecticut are not part of this transaction.

Financial terms of the transaction were not 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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