SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--First Republic Bank (NYSE:FRC), today announced it has acquired Gradifi Inc., a Boston-based student loan repayment technology platform to assist the nation's 44 million student loan borrowers.
Gradifi pioneered the SLP PlanTM (Student Loan Paydown), a technology and service platform used by employers to make direct contributions to employees’ student loans, reducing their overall repayment time and lowering the total cost of the loan. This employee benefit is becoming increasingly popular among employers to help attract and retain key talent, particularly Millennials who are now the largest generation in the workforce and are uniquely burdened by student debt. Gradifi operates a very user-friendly and secure online platform to handle such benefit programs.
Gradifi serves many employer clients from small businesses to PricewaterhouseCoopers, Natixis Global Asset Management, and Penguin Random House.
“We completely support Gradifi’s mission in assisting with the country’s student loan challenge,” said Jim Herbert, Chairman and CEO of First Republic Bank. “They have become a market leader with their outstanding team, innovative repayment programs, and state-of-the-art technology. As education costs and student loan debt continue to rise, offering a student loan repayment benefit for employees is increasingly valuable. Companies are realizing the power of a student loan repayment assistance benefit for both recruiting and retaining employees. As such, Gradifi has a terrific opportunity to assist companies and their employees.”
First Republic is committed to helping individuals and families manage student debt through both innovative refinance and repayment solutions. Earlier this year, First Republic implemented a student loan repayment assistance benefit for its employees, utilizing the Gradifi platform. The response has been overwhelmingly positive from employees, and First Republic has since increased the value of the benefit even further.
“First Republic is the perfect partner to help Gradifi meet the growing demand for our student loan repayment solutions,” said Gradifi Founder and CEO Tim DeMello. “In addition to its commitment to help manage student debt, First Republic’s focus on extraordinary client service aligns with our approach. With client satisfaction ratings that are on par with the world’s most respected brands, First Republic has the commitment to service and entrepreneurial culture, plus the financial resources, to power our growth strategy.”
Gradifi, a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Republic Bank, will continue to operate under the Gradifi brand. Founder Tim DeMello will remain the company’s Chief Executive Officer, with extended employment contracts in place for him and several other senior management members. As part of this acquisition, Gradifi will remain headquartered in Boston and have employees based in New York, Los Angeles, Palo Alto and San Francisco.
The transaction was funded by First Republic Bank with cash on hand. Impact to earnings or capital is currently not material, and further terms of the transaction have not been disclosed. Greenhill & Co. served as financial advisor to First Republic on the transaction.
About First Republic Bank
Founded in 1985, First Republic and its subsidiaries offer private banking, private business banking and private wealth management, including investment, trust and brokerage services. First Republic specializes in delivering exceptional, relationship-based service, with a commitment to responsiveness and action. Services are offered through preferred banking or wealth management offices primarily in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Newport Beach, San Diego, Portland, Boston, New York City, Greenwich and Palm Beach. First Republic offers a complete line of banking and wealth management services for individuals and businesses. For more information, visit www.firstrepublic.com.
Gradifi is a Boston-based student loan pay down provider with the first innovative solution to the nation's $1.3 trillion student loan debt problem. The company was founded in 2014 and is led by a management team that brings decades of combined experience in consumer financial services and entrepreneurial ventures. By partnering with companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers to develop employer SLP Plans™ (Student Loan Paydown), rewards programs and brand loyalty programs, Gradifi is shifting the focus on student loan debt - from burden to empowerment. To learn more about Gradifi, visit https://www.gradifi.com/ or twitter.com/gradifi.
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