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Figure Technologies expands leadership team

Hires former Fidelity exec and chief economist to advance mission to help homeowners access equity

Figure Technologies announced its intention to shake up home equity lending in the fall, and now it’s making key hires to help achieve this goal.

The fintech company, which focuses on home equity access as a means to support retirement, announced Wednesday that is has hired John Sweeney to lead Wealth and Asset Management and Michael Dooley as chief economist.

Figure is the brainchild of former SoFi co-founder and CEO Mike Cagney, who launched the company last March with the goal of leveraging AI, blockchain and advanced analytics to revolutionize home equity lending.

Figure unveiled its first two products this fall, announcing a quick-close, fixed-rate home equity line and a sale-leaseback product it has marketed to Boomers.

The Figure Home Equity Line promises approval in five minutes and funding in five days in a process that it entirely digital. The company says it’s a mix between a traditional home equity loan and a HELOC and that more than 1,500 borrowers across 37 states have taken advantage of the loan so far.

Figure’s Home Lease Back has been billed as an alternative to reverse mortgages, with the company declaring it ideal for homeowners on the brink of retirement. It’s currently available in Texas, Illinois and Nevada, and the company said it plans to rollout nationally mid-year.

“Figure Home Lease Back is a great example of how we can work together to help retirees and their advisers enhance income, simplify life and improve retirement,” Cagney said. “It can also open up new opportunities for homeowners who want to lock in gains in their home prices while building flexibility in their lives.” 

Just last month, the company announced that it had secured $65 million in funding to support its expansion goals, and these new hires appear to be its first step to facilitate that mission.

Sweeney worked previously as an executive VP of Retirement and Investing Strategies at Fidelity. With a particular focus on retirement, investments and the markets, Sweeney testified before the Senate Finance Committee on America’s retirement preparedness.

Sweeney was also co-founder and managing partner of Momentum Capital Partners and served as the chairman of the board of governors of the Money Management Institute.

Dooley is professor emeritus at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has previously worked with the National Bureau of Economic Research, the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System and the International Monetary Fund.

“Figure’s transformative technology and innovative products will make it significantly easier for financial advisers and our members to incorporate home equity into their retirement plans,” Sweeney said. “I’m excited to be part of an organization working to educate and empower people to improve their financial lives.”

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