By John Kell
April 15, 2015

After a string of attacks on the perils of public markets – from investor Marc Andreessen, Blackrock CEO Laurence Fink, and Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris – it was a relief yesterday to talk to a CEO who recently took his company public, and is happy about it. Renaud Laplanche is founder of Lending Club, which is an online marketplace for “peer to peer” loans. He is almost certainly who J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon had in mind last week when he said “Silicon Valley is coming” after the banking industry. The $7 billion company had a successful IPO late last year, is growing at a triple digit pace, and trading at about 20% above the IPO price.

Laplanche says he doesn’t pay much attention to the general angst about short-term pressures of public markets. He went public, not because he needed capital, but for credibility. “The goal was really to establish ourselves as a standalone entity that is here to stay,” Laplanche told me. Dimon’s comment suggests he hit his mark. Disruption is coming.

Have a pleasant tax day. And if you are wondering why the French laid down the red carpet for Nokia’s purchase of one of their national treasures, read correspondent Geoffrey Smith’s take.

Alan Murray


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