SoFi Names Longtime Goldman Sachs Exec Michelle Gill as CFO

(Bloomberg) -- Social Finance Inc. named Michelle Gill as its next chief financial officer, filling a role that has been vacant since last summer in preparation for an initial public offering as soon as next year.

Gill comes from credit firm TPG Sixth Street Partners and previously spent 14 years at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. trading mortgages and other consumer finance debt products. She plans to start at the end of the month, SoFi said in a statement Monday. Gill replaces Steven Freiberg, who has been serving as interim CFO since last May and will remain as board vice chairman.

“She was our number one choice,” Anthony Noto, SoFi’s chief executive officer, said at a conference in San Francisco on Monday. “She is a proven leader in a tough industry, and she’s a culture builder.”

Privately held SoFi, once a darling of the fintech industry, is struggling to recover from a slew of setbacks last year. In 2017, the company faced allegations of sexual harassment and misstatements about loan products to investors. High-ranking executives, including former CEO Mike Cagney, left the company. Cagney was replaced by Noto, the former chief operating officer at Twitter Inc., in February.

Cagney had once predicted SoFi would go public as soon as 2015. Noto, previously a technology banker at Goldman Sachs who took many companies public, isn’t in a hurry. In an interview on Bloomberg TV on Monday, Noto said not to expect an IPO this year. The new CEO said he wants to focus on building new ways to generate revenue and becoming a one-stop shop for financial services before becoming a public company.

Gill arrives at SoFi, one of the largest student-loan refinancing business in the U.S., at an important time for the company. Having started out focusing on refinancing student loans, SoFi has ambitions to beat traditional banks by targeting millennials with other financial products. It currently offers mortgages, personal loans, wealth management and life insurance, and will begin adding deposit accounts and debit cards for some customers next month.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.