Lending Club adds BlackRock veteran

Longtime BlackRock executive Patrick Dunne will join the marketplace lender as chief capital officer as part of an effort to improve investor confidence following the May departure of the firm's founder and CEO. 

Lending Club has hired Patrick Dunne as chief capital officer. Dunne comes to Lending Club after having previously spent 24 years at BlackRock, where he was most recently head of the firm's San Francisco office.

In his new role managing Lending Club's investor group, Dunne will oversee relations between the online lender and its investors, which include retail distribution partners, banks, asset managers, pensions, foundations, individual investors and endowments, according to the statement. Dunne will replace former head of the Investor Group Jeff Bogan, who was one of the Lending Club executives that left the firm in May after an internal investigation.

“Lending Club's success in democratising access to consumer credit is just the beginning, and Patrick will play a key role in reaffirming our continued commitment to our investors,” said Lending Club president and chief executive Scott Sanborn in the statement. Sanborn took over as acting CEO in May and was approved in the position permanently by the company's board of directors in June.

Dunne spent 24 years at BlackRock before leaving the firm in January. Prior to serving as head of its San Francisco office, he was global chief operating officer and head of BlackRock's iShares global markets. Dunne previously worked at Barclays Global Investors before that firm was acquired by BlackRock.

BlackRock representatives did not return calls seeking further comment by press time.

Dunne's addition is an important part of a rehabilitation effort for Lending Club, which has faced numerous challenges of late. In May, Lending Club announced the resignation of its founder and CEO Renaud LaPlanche after an internal investigation found that application dates had been altered on $3 million of loans and that LaPlanche had failed to disclose outside investments. The resulting controversy has complicated relationships with partner banks and helped lead to a decline in the company's stock price and job cuts at the online lender.

In addition, a class action lawsuit filed in May questioned whether the company's loans are exempt from state usury limits. In a report, Moody's said that the suit was credit-negative for asset-backed securities backed by consumer loans originated through online platforms with a partner-bank origination model.