Aura, a CDFI-certified fintech company that uses technology to disrupt predatory lending, today announced that Luis Ubiñas has been elected to its board of directors. As former head of McKinsey’s West Coast technology practice and a visionary leader in impact investing, Mr. Ubiñas will help Aura scale to meet the needs of America’s underbanked.
In this new role, Mr. Ubiñas will draw on his experience advising high-growth technology companies and leading the Ford Foundation to provide strategic counsel on how to further grow Aura’s affordable loan platform and expand its social bond offerings to foundations and impact investors.
“Luis is a true pioneer in the worlds of technology and social impact, and I’m honored that he’s joining our board of directors,” said James Gutierrez, CEO and Co-Founder of Aura. “Luis has unparalleled expertise in deploying capital to lift up communities and individuals. In joining our board, Luis will help Aura expand access to capital to those who have been locked out of our financial system for so long.”
Mr. Ubiñas has more than three decades of unmatched experience as a business leader, impact investor, and director of public and private companies. Currently, Mr. Ubiñas is president of the Board of Trustees of the Pan American Development Foundation, which invests $100 million in development projects in Central and South America and the Caribbean. From 2008 to 2013, he served as president of the Ford Foundation, the second largest foundation in the United States with a $12 billion endowment.
Mr. Ubiñas also serves on the Advisory Board of the United Nations Fund for International Partnerships and the New York Public Library. In the private sector, Luis is the lead director at Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) and serves on the Boards of Boston Private Financial Holdings (NASDAQ: BPFH), GFR Media and Shorelight Education. Earlier, Mr. Ubiñas was a senior partner at McKinsey & Company and was an Obama-era appointee to the Export-Import Bank and the International Trade Commission.
“I’m thrilled to join Aura’s Board, especially at this moment of incredible growth,” said Mr. Ubiñas. “By providing affordable loans to people with low and no credit, Aura is helping working families escape a cycle of debt and putting them on the road to financial prosperity. I look forward to helping Aura expand access to credit in communities across the nation.”
Mr. Ubiñas is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has published extensively, including articles and opinion pieces in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fortune and a range of other publications.
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.