Aura Appoints Former Compass Bank Chairman and CEO Manolo Sanchez to Board of Advisors

Former banking executive to help Aura partner with banks and credit unions

February 21, 2019 06:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

SAN FRANCISCO - Aura, a CDFI-certified fintech company with an innovative platform disrupting the predatory lending category, today announced that Manolo Sánchez has been appointed to its Board of Advisors, effective immediately. He joins a board with a focus on expanding credit to America’s 66 million underbanked and unbanked.

“Our nation’s financial system is undergoing a fundamental shift, and Manolo has a deep understanding of how to harness these changes to expand opportunity for millions of consumers,” said James Gutierrez, CEO and Co-Founder of Aura. “His unparalleled experience in banking and fintech will help us extend our reach to banks and credit unions so they can offer affordable small-dollar loans.”

Mr. Sánchez sits on the boards of Fannie Mae and OnDeck. Previously, he served as chairman and CEO of Compass Bank, Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A., as the bank transformed itself into an aggressive digital challenger. Mr. Sánchez is also an adjunct professor of management finance at Rice University’s Jones School of Business, where he teaches disruption in financial services.

“The American Dream remains out of reach for millions of consumers who simply do not have access to credit or fall victim to an unending cycle of debt,” said Mr. Sánchez. “It’s exciting to work with Aura to help working families build the solid credit they’ll need to buy homes and finance their children’s education.

“Bankers seeking to help low-income communities often face confusing guidance on meeting Community Reinvestment Act requirements. Having made hundreds of thousands of affordable, credit-building small loans in these neighborhoods, Aura offers powerful opportunities for partnerships to banks and credit unions seeking CRA credit.”

Mr. Sánchez is also a founding advisor to SpringLabs, a fintech company developing a blockchain-based, peer-to-peer network. He is also the founder of Adelante Ventures, LLC. During his 27 year-banking career, Mr. Sánchez worked in the US, Mexico, France and Spain, having served in executive roles in risk management, real estate, correspondent, community, corporate and investment banking.

Mr. Sánchez currently serves as a trustee or member of the Board of Directors of a number of civic, cultural and educational institutions, including the Houston Symphony, KIPP Houston Public Schools, and the Center for Houston's Future. Previously, he also served on the boards of the American Bankers Association and Financial Services Roundtable.

About Aura:

Aura is a technology-powered, Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that provides small, affordable loans to working families in America. Aura’s mission is to build financially healthy low-income communities by providing empowering financial services to America’s 66-million underbanked and unbanked. Aura has pioneered a cloud-based lending technology that enables trusted local businesses to submit credit applications for centralized review and approval by its proprietary scoring algorithms.

Currently available in nearly 1,200 locations across California, Texas, Illinois and Arizona, Aura has provided hundreds of thousands of credit-building, responsible loans to low-income households since launching in 2014. Aura was founded in 2012 by James Gutierrez, Kevin Kang, and Randy Wong. All three founders helped create and scale Oportun, a CDFI and one of Time Magazine’s Top 50 Most Genius Companies in 2018.


Scott Gerber, 408-202-4255

Aura Team