Top-50 Fintech Influencers You Should Follow (Part 1)

Written by
Kevin Perez

Each year, we publish our list of 50 Fintech Influencers You Should Follow to keep abreast of fast moving developments in fintech and financial services. Each one of these leaders delivers sharp insights about the trends, issues and ideas in fintech. These are founders, CEOs and senior executives at fintech start-ups and banks that are respected thought leaders. We also include several leading tech and finance reporters, analysts and industry watchers you should know and follow.

Today, with COVID-19 wrecking havoc, economic issues are affecting nearly every American, and leadership has never been more vital.

This group of influencers represent the vanguard of change and innovation in financial technology.

Without further ado, and in alphabetical order, here is this year’s list:

1.) Noah Breslow

CEO, OnDeck

Noah Breslow is Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of On Deck Capital, Inc., which creates innovates financing solutions for small businesses.


2.) Chris Britt

Co-founder and CEO, Chime

Chris Britt is the Co-Founder & CEO of Chime, the mobile banking app and debit card. Before founding Chime, Chris was the Chief Product Officer and SVP, Corporate Development at Green Dot.


3.) Jason Brown

CEO, Tally

Jason Brown is the CEO and co-founder of Tally, an AI-powered consumer fintech company making it easier for people to achieve their financial goals. Growing up in a family that struggled financially, Jason started Tally to democratize financial services and put billions of dollars back in people’s pockets.


4.) Mike Butler

President and CEO, Radius Bank

Since joining Radius Bank in March 2008, Mike Butler has transformed the Bank into an innovative leader in the financial services industry. Prior to joining the Bank, Mike served as President, National Consumer Finance at KeyCorp in Cleveland, Ohio. He is a graduate of Providence College and the ABA’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking.


5.) Penny Crosman

Editor at Large, American Banker

Penny Crosman is Editor at Large at American Banker. Prior to taking on this role, she was Editor in Chief of Bank Technology News, and Technology Editor of American Banker. Penny has held senior editorial roles at Bank Systems & Technology, Wall Street & Technology, Intelligent Enterprise, and Network Magazine, among other titles.


5.) Telis Demos

Wall Street Journal

Telis Demos covers U.S. capital markets and the securities industry for The Wall Street Journal in New York.


7.) Susan Ehrlich

CEO, Earnest

Susan Ehrlich is the CEO at Earnest, the innovative student and personal loan platform. Previously she served as Chief Financial Officer, Head of Enterprise Risk Management and a Member of the Board of Directors at Simple Financial Technology.


8.) Prashant Fuloria

Chief Product Officer, Fundbox

A seasoned internet technology executive, Prashant Fuloria is a leader at Fundbox, the credit and payments network for the future of small business. He was most recently SVP of Advertising Products at Yahoo, joining the Yahoo team through their acquisition of Flurry, where he was the Chief Product Officer. Prior to Yahoo, Prashant was Senior Director of Product Management at Facebook and Product Director at Google.


9.) Rob Frohwein

Co-Founder and CEO, Kabbage

Rob Frohwein is the Chief Executive Officer at Kabbage, a leading catalyst for small businesses via its creative funding options. Rob also serves as Co-founder and Chief Drummer at Drum.


10.) Gilles Gade

Founder/President/CEO, Cross River

Gilles Gade is Founder, President and CEO of Cross River, a pioneer in fintech that merges the established expertise of a bank with the innovation and product offering of a technology company. Gilles graduated from the MBA Institute IMIP (Groupe IPESUP) in Paris, with a Masters of Science in International Management. In 1990 he began his career at Citicorp Venture Capital.


11.) Professor Cornelius Hurley

Executive Director, Online Lending Policy Institute

Cornelius Hurley has over 35 years of diversified legal, entrepreneurial, and academic experience in the financial sector. His teaching and research interests focus upon the interactions between finance and the real economy.


12.) Ernie Johannson

Head of U.S. Personal and Business Banking, BMO

Ernie Johannson is BMO’s Group Head of Personal and Business Banking and a member of the bank’s Executive Committee. Ernie leads a team of 16,500 responsible for serving nearly 10 million personal and business banking customers.


13.) Renaud Laplanche

Co-Founder and CEO, Upgrade

Renaud Laplanche is a French-American entrepreneur and business executive. He is the co-founder and CEO of Upgrade which creates a new banking experience by, among their things, eliminating all fees. Prior to founding the company, Renaud co-founded and served for a decade as the CEO of Lending Club, an American peer-to-peer lending company.


14.) Alex Lintner

Group President Consumer NA, Experian

Alex Lintner is responsible for overseeing US consumer credit bureau and the Group’s Consumer Assistance Centre (MCE) for Experian. Lintner holds a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Tulsa and an MBA from Boston College. He also received an executive certificate from Harvard Business School.


15.) Ben McLannahan

U.S. Banking Editor, Financial Times

Ben McLannahan covers banks from New York. He was previously a correspondent in Tokyo.


16.) Charles Moldow

General Partner, Foundation Capital

Charles joined Foundation Capital in 2005, with a background in general management, sales, marketing, product management, and business development.


17.) George Popescu

Editor in Chief, Lending Times

George is a hands-on entrepreneur, MIT graduate, with experience creating and building 9+ companies.


18.) Nathaniel Popper

Technology Reporter, The New York Times

Nathaniel Popper is a journalist for The New York Times covering finance and technology from San Francisco. He previously worked for the Los Angeles Times, The Forward and Let’s Go Travel Guides. He graduated from Harvard University in 2002 after studying history and literature.


19.) Peter Renton

Founder, LendIt

Peter Renton is the founder of Lend Academy, the leading news and educational resource for the marketplace lending industry. He is the Co-Founder of the LendIt Conference, the world’s first and largest conference series dedicated to the fintech and online lending industries.


20.) Peter Rudegeair

Reporter, The Wall Street Journal

Peter Rudegeair is a banking and finance reporter in the New York bureau of The Wall Street Journal.


21) Denise Thomas

Co-Founder and CEO, Apple Pie Capital

Denise founded ApplePie Capital to create a new, more efficient source of capital for franchise businesses. As CEO and Chairman, she oversees all aspects of the company. She has led companies backed by leading venture capital firms, including Kleiner Perkins, Mohr Davidow and Sequoia Capital.


22.) Scott Tobin

General Partner, Battery Ventures

Scott joined Battery in 1997 and currently leads investments in Israel, the US and Europe. He graduated with honors from Brandeis University with a B.A. in International Relations and Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies.


23.) Jeff Yabuki

CEO, Fiserv

Jeff Yabuki is the Chairman and CEO of Fiserv, Ia global leader in financial services technology. In 2020, Jeff was recognized among FORTUNE World’s Most Admired Companies® for a seventh consecutive year. Jeff has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, and joined Fiserv and its Board of Directors in 2005.


24.) Rohit Arora

CEO & Co-Founder, Biz2Credit

Rohit Arora, CEO of Biz2Credit, is one of America’s top experts in small business lending and the use of FinTech to streamline the funding process. In 2011, he was named New York City’s “Top Entrepreneur” by Crain’s New York Business.

@RohitBiz2Credit @Biz2Credit

25.) Mariel Beasley

Co-Founder, Common Cents Lab

Mariel Beasley is a Principal at the Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University and Co-Founder of the Common Cents Lab – a subcenter committed to improving the financial behavior of low- to moderate-income households in the United States.


So, there you have the first 25 of our Top 50 Fintech Influencers to Follow. Stay tuned for the rest of the list — coming tomorrow.

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