Friday, January 23, 2009

Pertuity Direct removes beta label; launches officially

After a couple weeks of live beta operations, Pertuity Direct today officially announced the launch of its "next generation social finance platform." On the Pertuity Direct Blog CEO Kim Muhota explains why this is the right time to launch a social lending platform. Earlier this week, Jessica Ward authored a review of Pertuity Direct for Prosper Lending Review.

Here is the official press release:

Pertuity Direct Launches Next Generation Social Finance Platform

Company Brings Together the Advantages of Capital Markets, Social Networking and Traditional Banking

Vienna, VA, January 22, 2009 – Pertuity Direct, an online consumer financial services company built on the foundation of mutually responsible banking, today announced the launch of its next generation social finance platform. Pertuity Direct’s platform enables borrowers and lenders to come together in a social lending network to obtain smarter financial solutions and better rates. Through the National Retail Fund, members have the potential to earn competitive returns via a regulated investment fund.

By eliminating the traditional bank as the middleman, consumers can now get better interest rates than they would typically experience with banks or credit card companies. “Our model is unique in that it combines the benefits of social lending with the strong underpinning of credit risk management, and privacy” stated Kim Muhota, CEO of Pertuity Direct. “For borrowers, Pertuity Direct does not require any public posting of personal credit information, and for lenders, there’s no bidding, researching or guessing involved. We make the process quick, safe and optimal for both parties.”

Investments are made through the National Retail Fund, a social lending mutual fund that combines lenders’ capital to fund a diversified group of approved and credit worthy borrowers. The money is lent to a large group of borrowers through the fund, and as such creates safety of automatic diversification of investment. Unlike with other social lending models, lender money is not tied up for long periods of time, nor is liquidity tied to individual loan repayment. The National Retail Fund provides liquidity through quarterly share repurchases. Currently, two funds are available via the National Retail Fund: National Retail Fund II and National Retail Fund III. Further details on both funds can be obtained in the prospectus.

“By investing in the National Retail Fund, a lender’s money goes to work immediately at account opening, and funds are deployed to available borrower loans without delay,” said Andrew Rogers, Chairman of the Board and Treasurer of the National Retail Fund and President, Gemini Fund Services, LLC. “With this approach, lender money does not sit idle until suitable borrowers are found and the bidding process concludes. This model makes the social lending process easy and efficient for the investor, and beneficial to the high credit quality borrower.”

As part of the social finance platform, the company offers a ‘Pertuity Bucks’ rewards program to lower or eliminate borrowers’ principal loan balances. Borrowers are given the opportunity to tell their story when they apply for a loan and update their profiles as their situation evolves.

Lenders have the option to browse these stories and can award Pertuity Bucks to borrowers who they find most compelling – for example, those borrowers who return to the website and update their profiles to share successes, such as starting a small business or earning a coveted degree.

Pertuity Direct is founded by executives with extensive experience in banking and financial services, including decades of experience from leading financial services firms such as Capital One, PNC, and E*TRADE FINANCIAL. Pertuity Direct is the culmination of Kim Muhota’s vision to simplify financial services for the main street consumer.

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