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Prosper Acquires BillGuard

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sf_cityThere was a time when peer-to-peer lending networks were considered fringe. Once purely described as marketplace lending, these networks allow nonbank institutions to lend to people and businesses online. But the way consumers’ access loans have evolved since then. For years these networks have grown in loans underwritten. In JP Morgan’s April letter to shareholders, CEO Jamie Dimon warned about Silicon Valley’s encroachment in traditional banking. With revenue growth draws competition and peer-to-peer lenders are beginning to find ways to differentiate by offering complementary services.

Peer-to-peer lending giant Prosper Marketplace acquired Israel-based BillGuard, a crowdsourced security app for personal financial management. Numerous media sources reported the deal price to be US$ 30 million in cash with some equity. Prosper did the deal for a number of valid reasons. The first reason is BillGuard’s foreseeable integration onto Prosper’s platform, offering an ancillary service to its customer base. Second is access to diversified talent. Third, BillGuard touts a community of 1.3 million registered users and flags unauthorized charges – giving Prosper exposure to the cybersecurity market and helping indirectly lower default rates (better cash management).

In January 2015, Prosper acquired American Healthcare Lending, a patient-financing platform, for US$ 21 million.

BlackRock Contemplates Stake in Eurizon

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Asset management giant BlackRock is contemplating purchasing a 30% ownership stake in Intesa SanPaolo’s asset management unit called Eurizon Capital SGR S.p.A. BlackRock is keen on growing its technology business and increase market adoption of its Aladdin platform.

Intesa has been working with UBS to seek out strategic options for Eurizon. Intesa is keen on maintaining control over Eurizon.

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SWFI First Read, June 22, 2018

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JPMorgan Fund Buys 40% of Oxford Properties’ French Portfolio

A fund advised by JP Morgan Asset Management committed €400 million in Oxford Properties’ French portfolio. Essentially, Oxford Properties sold a 49.9% non-managing interest in 32 Rue Blanche, 92 Avenue de France and Paris Bastille. Oxford Properties made its maiden investment in Paris in 2014 when it acquired 32 Rue Blanche.

Oxford Properties is the real estate unit of OMERS.

Temasek Explores Further Cash Commitments to FirstCry

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DOL Fiduciary Role is Struck Down by Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

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The U.S. Court of Appeal, Fifth Circuit, confirmed a March 15th decision to strike down the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) fiduciary rule. The fiduciary rule is a series of seven different rules that broadly interpret the term “investment advice fiduciary” and redefine exemptions to provisions concerning fiduciaries that appear in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a decision by a Dallas federal court that had upheld the DOL fiduciary rule.

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