(US and Canada) Finitive, the leading data-driven private credit marketplace connecting borrowers with institutional investors, today announced it has hired Todd Stokes, Ph.D., as its Chief Data Officer. In his new role, Dr. Stokes will lead the formation of an analytics organization to leverage third-party and proprietary data, machine learning and algorithms to advance and accelerate how investors gain access to, and lend to, private credit borrowers on the Finitive platform.
"Todd is a leading data scientist who brings extensive knowledge of how to gather, evaluate and streamline high-quality data to deliver detailed and easy-to-consume transaction information to institutional investors," said Finitive President and co-founder Caroline Hayes. "This data-driven approach enables investors to match with borrowers at fair market terms quickly, easily and more cost-effectively than ever before."
Dr. Stokes' career spans the critical dimensions of data science – data engineering, statistics and domain expertise – including four years developing software prior to graduate school, nine years performing predictive modeling research in cancer diagnostics and mobile health, and eight years as an executive at fintechs, lenders, and private equity firms.
Dr. Stokes published extensively on machine learning algorithms, evaluating predictive models and effective visualization while earning his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University. Dr. Stokes' thesis applied machine learning to large volumes of medical data to support ethical real-time decision-making. "Medical data and financial data are similar because they both involve high stakes. A seemingly insignificant artifact in a very large dataset, called an 'outlier' from a purely statistical perspective, can reveal an enormously costly problem with an artificial intelligence system. 'Fail early and often' is not a practical strategy for advancing technology in these fields," says Dr. Stokes. "'Investigate and cross-check every step using automation' will be our methodology."
Dr. Stokes was instrumental in building the analytics department as one of the first hires at Moneylion, a mobile bank that recently IPOed with a valuation of US$2.4 billion. He later held senior positions at OnDeck Capital and served as Vice President of Risk and Analytics at Miami-based investment firm 777 Partners, where he had oversight over multiple rapidly growing consumer lending portfolios.
"Finitive is playing a transformative role in turning private credit deal matching into an efficient, transparent digital process, leveraging data to simplify scoring, pricing, papering and closing," said Dr. Stokes. "Finitive not only makes it possible for investors to source and underwrite deals in a fraction of the time, but also provides borrowers with the ability to connect with hundreds of potential investors and credit partners to fuel their growth."
Dr. Stokes joins the Finitive executive team, including recent hires Chief Information & Technology Officer Jon Burlinson and Chief Product Officer Joshua Masia.
"Having grown significantly in the past three years, Finitive now offers borrowers access to 1,000 institutional investors that are actively deploying capital across multiple asset classes and structures," said Jon Barlow, founder and CEO of Finitive. "As our platform scales, data science is increasingly central to our mission of bringing greater transparency and speed to direct lending transactions."