SmartHippo Appoints Former LendingTree GM Lori Collins CEO

Montreal’s SmartHippo announced today it has appointed ex-GM of the LendingTree exchange Lori Collins as its new CEO.

As General Manager of the LendingTree exchange, Collins was responsible for sales, relationship management, and product management for the LendingTree Lender network and part of the executive team which increased revenues from $7 Million to $476 Million over seven years.

“SmartHippo has a very compelling business model,” Collins said. “Consumer-driven and social product comparisons have become the norm in other industries, and I’m excited to be a part of the company that is finally bringing these innovations to the finance space.”

Unlike intermediary websites which match consumers with lenders based on business relationships, SmartHippo is an open, transparent marketplace where consumers help each other find the best financial products. They can ask questions, compare rates and share reviews and experiences with other consumers to make more informed decisions. Lenders and brokers participate by answering questions and posting rates with consumer feedback keeping them in check.

As part of the move former CEO George Favvas will step aside and continue his involvement in the company as Founder and VP Corporate Strategy. In another announcement today, SmartHippo announced it is expanding into the Spanish market with the launch of in partnership with FinancialRed Network.

FYI… Collins will be delivering the closing keynote at Startup Camp Montreal tomorrow at the Society for Arts and Technology.

SmartHippo was #25 on the PEER 1 Montreal Startup Index for October 2009.