Fort Worth Fintech Exec Named to List of ‘Innovators to Watch’

Elevate Credit CEO Ken Rees was one of 44 financial leaders recognized in Bank Innovation's “2017 Innovators to Watch” list.


Months after taking Fort Worth-based Elevate Credit public, CEO of the online lender, Ken Rees, has been named one of the top executives “shaping the future of banking,’ by Bank Innovation

The financial services industry news website noted Elevate’s “extensive growth.” In May, the fintech company said it had more than $200 million in total outstandings for its Elastic online solution — a bank-issued line of credit, backed by Republic Bank. To date, the company said it has originated $4 billion in credit to more than 1.6 million non-prime consumers.

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Elevate’s revenue hit $580.4 million in 2016, which was up from $434 million in 2015. Projected revenue for 2017 is $675 million. 

“We believe that further improvements in technology, analytics, and scale should benefit our customers.” 

Ken Rees

Elevate started to enable non-prime Americans or those with credit scores below 700 to have access to credit. In addition to Elastic, the company has two other online credit products — RISE is for installment loans and helps users “smooth cash flows and avoid financial crises,” while Sunny is for users in the United Kingdom. 

“We believe that further improvements in technology, analytics, and scale should benefit our customers. We are continually investing in advanced analytics that allow us to improve our underwriting capabilities,” Rees said in a letter as part of the company’s S-1 filing this spring

Rees landed at No. 38 on the Bank Innovation list and joins executives from JPMorgan Chase, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, and Fidelity. Chris Ballinger, Toyota Research Institute’s chief financial officer and director of mobility services, also made the list at No. 30 for his work with blockchain and building a mobility ecosystem which include’s Dallas startup Oaken Innovations.

“Ken has shown vision and leadership for this company since day one. His leadership has been driven by his passion for helping non-prime consumers improve not only their immediate situations, but also their long-term financial outlooks,” John Rosenberg, lead director of Elevate’s board of directors, said in a release. 

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