Brendan Kao Joins as Head of Product Management; Marc Heenan Joins as Head of Commercial Originations
Los Angeles – June 8, 2015 – PeerStreet, the first peer-to-peer marketplace for commercial real estate, today announced the appointment of a former product manager for Amazon and a senior banking executive to key positions on the firm’s leadership team. Brendan Kao joins as Head of Product Management and Marc Heenan joins as Head of Commercial Originations.
Kao will be responsible for leading product strategy and running the product development team; a role for which he is uniquely suited based upon his background in product management, law, computer science and financial technology. Previously, Kao served as a software and product development manager for Amazon, FlashFunders, Pivotal Labs and ZestFinance. While at Amazon, Kao led the team that developed the tools and practices to keep Amazon at the forefront of ecommerce and was involved in the development of Amazon Web Services.
Since 2009 he has been a product leader in innovative financial technology startups, from big data consumer credit underwriting at ZestFinance to early stage private financing at FlashFunders, where Kao served as CPO.
“Brendan’s unique experience in engineering, product management, finance and law is an amazing fit for PeerStreet, especially as we rapidly add features to our investment platform,” said Brew Johnson, CEO and co-founder of PeerStreet.
Heenan will be responsible for overseeing the team that on-boards loan originators. Previously, Heenan was First Vice President in OneWest Bank’s Commercial Real Estate Group where he managed a team that sourced new originations in the Bank’s $15-$40 million bridge lending program between 2013 and April 2015. Between 2011 and 2012, Heenan oversaw a portfolio of distressed legacy commercial real estate loans for the Bank.
“Marc’s experience with OneWest Bank’s Commercial Real Estate Group, including originating more than $300 million in loans and working out over $300 million in distressed legacy commercial real estate loans, will allow him to lead our activities around sourcing and qualifying new lending partners, and underwriting, managing and servicing loans,” Johnson said.
“I’m incredibly excited to be part of such a talented team that is driving this fundamental change in the financial service industry,” said Heenan. “We are at the dawn of a renaissance in financial services, and PeerStreet is a clear leader.”
“Technology has played a key role in disrupting the business models of so many industries for the better,” said Kao. “I look forward to working with the team at PeerStreet to deliver on these fundamental changes to the financial services industry.”
Kao has a bachelor’s and master’s in computer science from MIT and a JD from NYU School of Law. Heenan has an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
PeerStreet was cofounded in 2013 by Brew Johnson and Brett Crosby. Johnson, who has a JD from UCLA, was previously a real estate attorney at Allen Matkins and Brobeck and was in-house counsel at VirtualTourist, where he led the sale of the firm to Expedia. Prior to co-founding PeerStreet, Crosby was a senior executive with Google where he created numerous platforms and marketplaces. Specifically, he co-created Google Analytics and led growth and marketing for Google Chrome, Gmail, Docs & Drive, Google+ and the Mobile Ads platform.
PeerStreet is the first secondary market for private moneylenders in the real estate market. The PeerStreet platform gives individual investors the ability to invest in previously difficult-to-access real estate loans while giving borrowers access to new sources of capital. PeerStreet’s platform is secure and intuitive, combining sophisticated algorithms with big data in an interface that is easy to use, provides a wealth of information and tools for every level of investor. PeerStreet seeks to change the paradigm of the financial services industry by closing the distance between borrowers and lenders, making real estate lending transactions more efficient and a better value for all parties. Currently invitation only, PeerStreet is slated to launch for general sign ups in the fall. Priority access will be given to those who join the waitlist now at PeerStreet.com.
On Behalf of PeerStreet
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