International lending services company buys Carlisle’s CampusDoor

Jennifer Wentz//June 7, 2017

International lending services company buys Carlisle’s CampusDoor

Jennifer Wentz//June 7, 2017

Incenter, which is based in Minnesota, announced the purchase in a news release Wednesday. The company did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

The CampusDoor name is now part of Incenter’s lender services group, and CampusDoor president and COO Steve Winnie will continue to lead day-to-day operations. Founding CEO Damien Elias will be leaving the company in the coming weeks, an Incenter spokesperson said.

CampusDoor has about 100 employees, including seasonal workers. Incenter expects that number to remain roughly the same under the new ownership.

The purchase marks the second time a large international company has purchased CampusDoor.

The company started life in 1995 as a private student loan lender under founder Damien Elias. By 2006, CampusDoor had loan requests worth more than $2 billion, was building a $1.5 million addition to its headquarters and had hired more than 70 employees, the Central Penn Business Journal reported in 2010.

That success attracted Lehman Bros. Bank, then the fourth-largest investment bank in the U.S. CampusDoor inked a $100 million sales deal with the company in 2007.

Lehman collapsed less than a year later, becoming one of the largest and most public casualties of the Great Recession. CampusDoor fell with it, laying off 300 people in the process, the Business Journal reported.

Elias repurchased the company from the Lehman estate in 2009 for an undisclosed price. CampusDoor reinvented itself to fit the tight post-recession lending environment, giving up lending in favor of selling its web-based software to banks and other institutions in the private student loan business.

CampusDoor rose from the ashes under this new model, reaching 120 employees as of early 2016, according to another report from the Business Journal. Its clients include some of the country’s largest student lenders, Incenter said in its release announcing the purchase.

CampusDoor’s newest owner has about 900 employees and offices from Los Angeles to New York to the Phillippines. It provides trading, advisory and fulfillment services for lenders and specialty finance companies under the umbrella of international investment firm The Blackstone Group.