KeyBank acquires Laurel Road’s under-the-radar digital lending business
- Laurel Road has quietly originated over $4 billion in consumer loans
- KeyBank wants access to its digital, millennial-friendly platform
KeyBank is acquiring Laurel Road, arguably the biggest digital consumer lender you haven't heard of. The acquisition: Based in New York, Laurel Road has rapidly scaled its business, reaching over $4 billion in originations since 2013. The firm has a specialty in student loan refinancing and has expanded into mortgages and personal loans. What Key Bank gets out of it: Key will enhance its digital capabilities by leveraging Laurel Road's proven ability to attract and serve professional millennial clients. Key also taps into Laurel Road's broad network of affinity partners offering its products, including trade associations, member groups, and employers. This aligns closely with Key's approach to strategic partnerships. "As we shared at our Investor Day in October, Key is focused on building targeted scale against discrete client segments through distinctive platforms," said vice chair and president of banking, Chris Gorman. "Laurel Road's model of focusing on advanced degree professionals is not only consistent with Key's approach but also complements our focus on specific sectors more broadly. We have invested significant resources in building our own strategic partnerships with fintech companies and we have yet to encounter a firm that so clearly matches our business and cultural approach to serving clients." Going forward as a brand: The Laurel Road lending business will continue to operate under the Laurel Road brand given the affinity to its customers and partners. Once the transaction is closed, Laurel Road’s three bank branches will operate as an independent business and likely under a different name.