Renovate America Taps Finance Industry Leader Roy Guthrie as CEO

“We set out nine years ago to give homeowners and contractors an attractive new way to pay for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation projects,” said McNeill. “We have very intentionally put in place a strong team with vision and integrity and built a responsible path for the national expansion of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. As we continue to grow our network of quality home improvement contractors using both the newly-redesigned HERO PACE product and Benji financing, Roy Guthrie will bring to our team almost four decades’ experience and a sterling reputation as a financial services leader.”

“I look forward to continuing Renovate America’s commitment to improving home improvement,” new CEO Roy Guthrie said. “I have been a CEO, a CFO, and served on the boards of leading companies in the consumer finance industry for almost 40 years, and I can tell you: the strongest, most successful companies are the ones that ask tough questions, consistently review how they deliver for customers, and have the foresight to make changes. Once again today, Renovate America is that company.”

Born in California a decade ago, PACE is an innovative financing mechanism that empowers homeowners to make energy, efficiency and storm resiliency upgrades to their properties and pay back the financing over time through an additional, voluntary line item on their property taxes. Since its inception, homeowners have used Renovate America’s PACE financing to improve more than 105,000 properties in California, Florida and Missouri.

McNeill also announced:

  • Ari Matusiak will take the newly created post of Chief Strategy Officer, leading efforts to create a regulated and sustainable multi-state PACE industry and to grow our national home-improvement platform.
  • Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Nick Fergis will be passing the baton, after helping deliver more than $2.6 billion in clean energy financing for homeowners;
  • Patrick Moore, Chief Lending Officer, will take over the role of COO, leading the development of the new income-based PACE underwriting framework nationally, and launching Renovate’s Benji financing for home improvement contractors.
  • The Board has retained Skadden Arps and Navigant to conduct and make public a third-party review of practices and procedures, taking stock of where the company can improve on where it’s been and where it’s going, as it transitions to the new, regulated marketplace for PACE.

The changes in leadership round out a series of strategic steps taken over the past two years by Renovate America, including:

  • The creation and implementation of an industry-leading Contractor Quality Rating system that steers homeowners to those contractors with the best ratings, and bars those contractors with poor records from using the company’s financing – by a team led by Chief Legal Officer Scott McKinlay.
  • The appointment of former Freddie Mac Chief Enterprise Risk Officer Paige Wisdom as the company’s new Chief Financial Officer, bringing strategic, business, and leadership abilities that reinforce our fiscal and risk integrity and enable our platform to grow nationwide.
  • The establishment of as a dynamic, homeowner-facing tool to find quality contractors, innovative financing options, and ideas for projects that make homes more efficient or resilient.
  • Renovate America’s work with consumer advocates, environmental and clean-energy groups, local governments and legislative leaders to enact California AB 2693 to require Know-Before-You-Owe disclosures and to pass SB 242 and AB 1284 –to regulate and strengthen PACE financing in California. Those bills, which were overwhelmingly approved last month, are currently on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk and will offer a model for other states.

About Roy Guthrie
Roy A. Guthrie, Chairman of the executive committee of Renovate America’s Board of Directors, brings almost 40 years of experience in the consumer financial services industry to the role of CEO of Renovate America. Roy also serves on the Board of Directors for several companies, including Synchrony Financial, a $90 billion asset holding company; Nationstar Mortgage Holdings, Inc., an originator and servicer of real estate mortgage loans; and OneMain Holdings, Inc., a financial services company. He previously served as chairman of the board of LifeLock prior to its sale earlier this year, and as a board member of Discover Bank. At Discover Financial Services, Inc., Roy served as CFO and EVP from 2005 through 2011. Prior, he served as President and CEO of various businesses of Citigroup Inc., including CitiFinancial International from 2000 to 2004 and CitiCapital from 2000 to 2001. He also served in various roles of increasing responsibility at Associates First Capital Corporation over a 22-year period from April 1978 to September 2000. Roy earned a B.A. in Economics from Hanover College and an M.B.A. from Drake University.

About Renovate America
Renovate America offers a tech-enabled financing platform for home improvements that empowers communities to modernize and make their housing stock more efficient, while giving small businesses the tools they need to grow. In addition to financing home improvements through an unsecured lending product, Benji, Renovate America offers communities HERO financing. HERO is the leading residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program in the U.S. and has been used by over 105,000 homes to make energy and efficiency improvements. It is estimated that HERO is on track to save billions of dollars in energy and water bills, and has created over 20,000 local trade jobs that cannot be offshored or automated. Renovate America has built the world’s largest green bond platform, with a volume of originations that enables securitization of HERO PACE bonds multiple times a year, attracting international investment to meet U.S. clean-energy objectives.

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SOURCE Renovate America

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About the Author: Bob Cooper

Bob Cooper is Canadian Business Tribune''s senior editor. He is also a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist and a bestselling author. He lives in London Ontario and covers the intersection of money, politics and finance. He appears periodically on national television shows and has been published in (among others) The National Post, Politico, The Atlantic, Harper’s,, Vice and He also has served as a journalist and consultant on documentaries for CBC and Global News . In 2014, he was the winner of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers' investigative journalism award, and the winner of the Izzy Award for Journalism from Ithaca College's Park Center for Independent Media. He was also a finalist for UCLA's Gerald R. Loeb Award and Syracuse University's Mirror Award. Before becoming a journalist in 2006, Sirota worked in Washington for, among others, U.S. Rep. Bernie Sanders, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee Minority Staff and the Center for American Progress.