While growing up in the Boston area, Jack Remondi and his father often discussed the stock market. “I was very interested in business,” Jack recalls. On his 10th birthday, Jack got his first share of stock as a gift. By age 26, Jack was a CFO.
At Navient, Jack oversees a company with more than 6,000 employees in nine states. From May 2013 through April 2014, he was president and CEO of Sallie Mae, where he’d also served as president and chief operating officer.
Going to college was always a goal. “I view education as a gateway to advancement,” Jack says. “It can take someone from any background and put them on a positive path.”
Jack, who studied economics at Connecticut College, worked summers and took out some student loans.
After graduating, he started his career in a Boston bank’s corporate training program. At that time, the bank had just started working with student loan companies, including Nellie Mae.
As part of his job, he helped companies like Nellie Mae arrange the financing to run its programs. In 1988, Nellie Mae asked him to join the company as its CFO.
“It was an exciting opportunity,” he says. “I’d previously handled transactions, and I wanted to be part of the decision-making process,” he says. “It was a tremendous learning experience. It also gave me the opportunity to develop my management skills. Because the company was small at that time, I had to learn all aspects of the business, including loan origination and processing and all the federal rules associated with the business.” He didn’t just look at the numbers but he looked at the processes, programs and people behind those numbers.
In 1999, Sallie Mae purchased Nellie Mae, and Jack held several positions, including executive vice president of corporate finance. He was instrumental in taking Sallie Mae from a government-sponsored entity to a fully private, retail-focused organization. He was as comfortable talking to investors as he was talking to the board, which is still true today.
In 2005, Jack left Sallie Mae to become portfolio manager of PAR Capital Management, a Boston-based private investment management firm, and he rejoined Sallie Mae in 2008 as vice chairman and CFO. He was named CEO in 2013, after having held the role of president and COO and leading the company’s loan servicing, collections, information and communications divisions.
“I love being able to work with a team and help motivate them toward a common goal,” he says.
At Navient, one of those goals is helping students repay their loans. “We recognize the difficult environment that some of our customers are entering after graduation and the financial implications of student loan debt. But repayment is critical for students to realize the full value of their degrees, develop a strong credit profile and build the foundation for a solid financial future.”
The father of two children, he admires people who have strong principles and stands by them. “I’ve taken to heart the advice that no matter what you do, do the best that you can do,” he says. “Taking a job and not giving it everything you’ve got is simply not acceptable.”