Frisco’s Meritize Appoints Industry Veteran as Compliance Officer

Meritize develops merit-based financing solutions and a technology platform, connecting career starters and mid-career professionals with valuable skills training.

Frisco-based fintech Meritize has appointed Meredith Garland-Hannifin as its new compliance officer.

Meritize develops merit-based financing solutions and a technology platform, connecting career starters and mid-career professionals with valuable skills training.

“To deliver on the promise of career advancement and upward mobility for learners, quality, accountability, and outcomes have to be at the core of our approach and must always govern access to education financing,” co-founder and CEO Chris Keaveney said in a statement. “Meredith’s proven track record of success in leading and maturing compliance programs will be invaluable as we work to maintain a high standard of quality and outcomes for the learners and education and training providers that we serve.”

Expertise in risk and compliance

Meritize said that Garland-Hannifin brings more than 23 years of experience in risk, compliance, corporate governance, and information security to her role at the company. It said she brings a wealth of expertise to her role as Meritize works to scale its operations and accelerate its momentum, meeting the complex education and training needs of fast-growing industries.

A veteran compliance executive with over two decades of experience in banking, financial, and professional services, Garland-Hannifin comes to Meritize from auto finance firm Exeter Finance, where she was executive vice president and chief compliance officer.

During her tenure there, Garland-Hannifin played a key role in growing and maturing the company’s risk and compliance programs, including its compliance advisory practice, policies and procedures development, and regulatory change management.

The company said her leadership was instrumental in recruiting top talent, coaching and training a team of compliance professionals, and improving the efficiency of the company’s risk and compliance team.

Before Exeter, Garland-Hannifin was chief executive officer of J. Gallagher Consulting LLC, where she implemented and operationalized compliance and risk programs for different companies, resulting in improved risk profiles. She also developed comprehensive compliance and risk programs, and drove other proactive compliance activities.

Meritize said that earlier in her career, Garland-Hannifin was senior vice president and senior compliance officer at Citi where she directed a global compliance and risk management team for one of the Big Four banking institutions.

“During this period of innovation in our system of education and training, it’s critical that we develop compliance and governance systems capable of keeping up with important regulatory changes designed to assure program quality—and protect the interests of borrowers and education consumers,” Garland-Hannifin said in a statement. “I’ve been following Meritize’s growth and evolution for years and have been consistently impressed with the team’s rigorous approach—and the maturity of the financial model. I’m excited to join at a time during an important chapter of growth for the company.”

Merit-based credit model

Meritize’s forward-looking model is unlike traditional approaches to education credit and finance and is based on an individual’s potential to succeed, rather than credit scores or other narrow measures of economic worth.

Its platform uses an individual’s academic or military achievements to enhance credit evaluation and potentially improve financing options. Using borrower data to forecast the likelihood of completion and loan repayment, Meritize said it can significantly expand funding opportunities for students who are underserved by traditional loans.

Since its 2017 launch, Meritize has helped more than 20,000 students get access to training, through more than $500 million in funding.

Meritize said it has since grown its workforce to more than 60 employees. The company said that more than 1,100 high-quality training providers nationwide use its unique approach to merit-based finance to help professionals access and pay for training for roles in high-growth industries such as aviation, health care, information technology, and the skilled trades.

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