Onboard Partners has been at the forefront of trends that have reshaped the financial services industry over the past forty years. Headquartered in Boston with an office in Delaware, Onboard Partners is continually expanding beyond the original vision to maximize clients’ credit card portfolio value by creating partnerships between card issuers and renowned companies and organizations.

Our Story

Since creating the affinity credit card in the late 1970s, our team of financial services experts have spent the past four decades building and expanding the business far beyond its credit card roots. As a result, KG is widely known for developing elegant solutions to the most complex problems faced by our clients.

Innovative partnerships and concepts created by KG continue to reshape the payments industry. The result — billions of dollars of value for our financial services clients and their non-profit and co-brand partners. See timeline below


Based on his success in marketing teacher loans using a state teacher union’s endorsement, Howard Kessler takes the newly conceptualized affinity credit card to MNC Financial.

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Affinity concept expands to a wide range of sectors including colleges and universities, preferred professionals, professionals, special interests, sports, and non-profits. During the 1980s and 1990s, KG signs over 6,000 partners, while also performing marketing services for hundreds of partners.


MBNA is founded as the credit card subsidiary of MNC. KG partners with MBNA to establish card partnerships between MBNA and affinity groups, resulting in the issuance of the first affinity branded credit cards.


Further expands concept to include partnering with smaller banks to issue credit cards. Begins managing the acquisition of the smaller banks’ pre-existing credit card portfolios. Signs hundreds of banks and credit unions for MBNA, FNBO, and U.S. Bank in the 1990s and 2000s.



Partnered with NOVA (later U.S. Bank) in merchant acquiring to convince banks to sell their merchant portfolios and use NOVA to process them.


Kessler Group becomes a free standing entity.

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Creates the first affinity/co-brand partnership with 2 major bank issuers — a super-prime/prime issuer and a near-prime/sub-prime issuer — to maximize the value of the partnership to the issuers and co-brand partners.


Launches the risk-based funding business enabling issuers to expand their marketing acquisition efforts leveraging a $100 million investment by J.C. Flowers & Co.


Launches debt advisory business in Australia, facilitating the sale of debt to third party buyers and optimizing collections performance via complex, in-house data analytics practice.

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Creates new concept of “participation” model enabling agent banks to put some of their card programs’ receivables on balance sheet without moving credit card program in-house. The participation model allows the agent bank to put high-yielding credit card assets on their books while leveraging the scale and expertise of a top 10 credit card issuer.


Advises Capital One on its announced acquisition of Cabela’s credit card operation, including approximately $5.2 billion in credit card receivables and other assets. The acquisition will close concurrently with Bass Pro Shops’ acquisition of Cabela’s. See full press release here.


Signs several new Risk-Based Marketing clients and begins funding across multiple bank products.

ECN Capital, one of North America’s leading financial services companies, makes a significant strategic investment in KG. See full press release here.


ECN Capital purchases additional minority ownership resulting in 96% ownership of KG.

Builds credit card investment management platform. Acquires and manages over $1B in receivables to date.

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Investment management platform adds $500 million personal loan portfolio. Began first pre-screen wireless marketing for major telco provider.


Exciting changes are coming. Stay tuned to learn more about the new Onboard Partners (OP).

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