Small business lender <a href="https:\/\/bankautomationnews.com\/tag\/bfs-capital\/">BFS Capital<\/a> has hired industry veteran Fred Kauber as chief technology officer and chief product officer. Kauber will be leading a revamp of the company's core lending technology stack, its risk engine, CRM and web experience for an expected rollout later this year.\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_181701" align="alignright" width="300"]<img class="size-full wp-image-181701" src="https:\/\/bankautomationnews.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/07\/FKauber2_May2019.png" alt="" width="300" height="300" \/> Fred Kauber, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Product Officer for BFS Capital[\/caption]\r\n\r\nMark Ruddock, CEO of BFS Capital, told <strong>Bank Innovation<\/strong> that the platform revamp is just a first step. He said Kauber will not only lead efforts in targeting new strategic partners and brokers, on which the company historically has relied for customer acquisition, but he will also bolster the company's direct-to-merchant offerings. The resulting user experience should be geared at a younger customer base that is more likely to shop around for loans directly from providers, he added.\r\n\r\n"Millennial consumers are demanding new levels of transparency, control and mobile access from their financial services providers," Ruddock said. "We need to be positioned as a company to serve that new paradigm if we\u2019re going to be successful."\r\n\r\nRuddock said combining two C-suite positions is a new approach driven by a new focus and Kauber's experience, which includes platform development at fintech, e-commerce and large enterprise tech companies including IBM and First Data. "Historically, we've focused on process over product," he said. "We want him to drive technological transformation with a customer-focused product mindset."\r\n\r\nRuddock joined BFS in November, following seven years of global leadership roles in digital consumer lending, most recently as interim CEO of 4finance, an online lender with operations in 17 countries. "All of us coming here, to BFS, are coming to transform this business into a technology-first business," he said, adding that there's an appetite for new capabilities and new thinking in small business lending.\r\n\r\nBFS Capital provides financing of $5,000 to $500,000 to merchants across more than 400 industries. Its platform leverages customized underwriting and proprietary algorithms to fund businesses in the U.S., Canada,and through its U.K. subsidiary, <a href="https:\/\/bankautomationnews.com\/tag\/boost-capital\/">Boost Capital<\/a>. Competitors include business lenders like <a href="https:\/\/bankautomationnews.com\/tag\/ondeck-capital\/">OnDeck Capital<\/a> and <a href="https:\/\/bankautomationnews.com\/tag\/kabbage\/">Kabbage<\/a>, but Ruddock is also watching the development of proprietary ecosystems from firms like <a href="https:\/\/bankautomationnews.com\/tag\/amazon\/">Amazon<\/a>, <a href="https:\/\/bankautomationnews.com\/tag\/shopify\/">Shopify<\/a> and <a href="https:\/\/bankautomationnews.com\/tag\/square\/">Square<\/a>, which all dabble in lending products.\r\n\r\nRuddock said BFS's advantage is its ability to spot the "diamonds in the rough" and tackle trickier loans from which other lenders steer away. The company also\u00a0is boosting automation and algorithm-based decision making. The addition of Kauber to the team will help realize the company's transformation efforts, he added.\r\n\r\nKauber previously served as CTO and chief marketing officer at CAIS Group, a fintech marketplace platform, where he led platform development and corporate marketing initiatives. He was also CTO for marketplace platform TRANZACT, where he launched autoinsurance.com and directhealth.com, both joint ventures with Walmart.\r\n\r\n\u201cSmall business owners increasingly\u00a0are seeking compelling and empowering digital experiences that can help them unlock access to critical financial services in an on-demand, personalized manner," Kauber said in a statement. "I\u2019m excited to join the BFS Capital team to help drive the technology and product transformation that will position the company as an agile, innovative provider of financing as well as broader financial solutions."