i3 Leadership

Balaji Rajan – CEO

Balaji “Raj” Rajan is CEO of Ceannate Corp, a leading business process outsourcing firm focused entirely on the students and institutions in the post-secondary education sector. 


Raj took over a two-person company called Financial Management Systems in 2003 and built Ceannate Corp, which employs over 800 individuals across four wholly-owned subsidiaries - Financial Management Systems, i3 Group, IonTuition, and AuthenticAID. Each company addresses student relationship and loan management challenges specific to distinct phases in the education loan lifecycle. AuthenticAID™, one of his patents, helps government agencies deal with improper payments and enhance their data quality.


In 2011, Raj oversaw the conception, development, and implementation of IonTuition, the first web-based, user-friendly tool to help student loan borrowers manage and plan repayment of their student loans. 


Raj works closely to influence public policy relating to financial literacy, financial aid practices, and student loan management with policy-makers in Washington. 


In addition to serving as CEO, Raj sits on the Ceannate Corp Board of Directors and has been active in several higher education organizations, including the National Council of Higher Education Resources, Young President's Organization - Chicago, and is the co-founder of EdInnovation Group to help identify new disruptive solutions for post-secondary education leaders.


Raj’s focus on fintech/edtech is closely related to identifying disruptive and sustainable technologies to engage deeper with students and families – from making the college choice to helping create wealth and personal financial management after graduation.

Maureen Peterson – President & COO

Maureen Peterson, recognized as one of the Top 50 Most Influential Professionals in the sector, has managed ARM operations in increasingly senior positions for the last 20 years. She has contributed and operated in all facets of debt collection – from first-party servicing to purchased debt collections in near-shore facilities.


As President and Chief Operating Officer of Ceannate Corp., she is responsible for operations across all Company subsidiaries, including FMS’ Task Order operations for the U.S. Department of Education. Since joining Ceannate in 2008, she has led the Company through a period of unprecedented growth. The formation of i3 Group, followed shortly thereafter by the launch of IonTuition, effectively expanded the Company’s service offerings to higher education institutions with an emphasis on student-facing web services. Maureen is also a member of Ceannate’s Board of Directors. Prior to joining Ceannate, Maureen served as President of Van Ru Credit Corporation where she grew the organization to over 1,400 employees and top rankings across all competitive client contracts.

Brent Givens – Senior Vice President

Brent Givens has over 25 years of experience in the student loan financial services industry. He has full responsibility for all operations and business development initiatives of i3 Group, a subsidiary of Ceannate Corp. Brent leverages his student loan program knowledge at the school, guarantor, and servicer level to enhance i3’s cohort management services, focusing on the Company’s data aggregation solutions and student outreach services. Today, the i3 Group is the best performing third party servicer in all competitive contracts, dealing with over 900 campus codes, and monitoring over 750,000 students.


Prior to joining i3, Brent most recently served as Corporate Director of Student Loan Management with Career Education Corporation (CEC), a leading collection of higher education institutions serving over 100,000 students across 90 campuses. Before CEC, Brent held a series of escalating management positions during his 16 years with Sallie Mae., including Director of Lender Due Diligence, where he led a team of over 200 employees and managed over 500,000 student accounts monthly. While at Sallie Mae, Brent was also responsible for business development and service for United Student Aid Funds (USAF) among other national accounts.

Jim Crone – Vice President, Sales

Jim Crone is an accomplished business development professional with over 28 years of experience in the accounts receivable industry. He has managed key client relationships and large scale projects in a variety of vertical markets including education, financial services, healthcare, telecommunications, and utilities. Over the course of his career, Jim has led numerous, successful project deployments by ensuring that client objectives and operational processes stay aligned from implementation throughout contract performance.

Jim holds a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Dayton.



Meet the Ceannate Board of Directors

View bios for all Board members at Ceannate.com.