GreenSky Credit is an a typical finance company headquartered in Atlanta that provides loans for housing and home-improvement projects and is doing extremely well. Its CEO, David Zalik, co-founded the company in 2006 and, since then, has stood out for not only his success but also for – unlike many other financial startups – having no difficulties working with big banks. Among other things, GreenSky Credit generates and services loans for major banks and earns tidy profits as a result.
The company is known for being “frictionless.” In fact, clients can apply for a loan on their cell phone and get a decision within seconds. While GreenSky Credit rarely offers loans over $65,000, they do a tremendous volume of business, and they farm out some of their services to contractors to reduce overhead.
Zalik has become a billionaire through his company, but he’s not the type to toot his own horn; in fact, he rarely gives interviews or speaks with the press. Nevertheless, Zalik is drawing headlines in the financial press by taking the first steps towards making GreenSky Credit public, and an IPO to the tune of five billion is being forecast. Because of Zalik’s comfort in both the corporate and startup communities, the Wall Street debut of his GreenSky Credit is something savvy investors are looking forward to.
While running a highly innovative company, Zalik is known for his old-fashioned financial conservatism. The culture at GreenSky Credit isn’t like the go-go image that many startups present. There are no ping-pong tables at the office or catered concerts by rock stars for employees. Like Warren Buffet, Zalik doesn’t waste a penny no matter how successful he becomes. Perhaps this attitude comes from the company’s humble origins; for the first eight years of its history, Zalik relied on a mere 10 million, raised with his own real estate as collateral, to keep the operation going.