ABL Executive Profiles

Slow and Steady: Battaglia and Encina Business Credit — in the ABL Game for the Long Haul

Starting a new nonbank ABL is not for the faint of heart, says Encina Business Credit CEO Marty Battaglia. The 30-year ABL veteran spoke with ABF Journal editor Nadine Bonner about the challenges of starting a new business and the slow, sure future he envisions.

September/October 2016

Starting from Scratch: Keith Broyles and Yvonne Kizner Build an ABL Division at Blue Hills Bank

When Blue Hills Bank, a 140-year old community bank, decided to start an ABL division, it offered veteran ABL lenders Keith Broyles and Yvonne Kizner the opportunity to build the new division from scratch. The pair jumped at the chance. They spoke with ABF Journal Editor Nadine Bonner and shared their optimism and excitement about this new venture.

July/August 2016

Home in the Middle: Finding a Role on a Complex Continuum

After a 26-year career working on both regional and global enterprises, Gordon Brothers Finance CEO Gene Martin brings an optimistic work ethic to the middle market.

April 2016

Jon Lucas Looks Back At a Satisfying Career

Jon Lucas talks with ABF Journal about his time with CIT and the career in the commercial finance industry.

March 2016

The Facts About Factoring: How CIT Commercial and Its New President, Marc Heller, Have Evolved

Last January CIT Commercial Services named industry veteran Marc Heller president of the division, succeeding Jon Lucas. Heller responds to ABF Journal’s questions, provides insights into his personal experiences in factoring and offers some history of the industry and a look ahead.

March 2016

The Small and Swift Advantage — Hana Business Capital Serves the Lower Middle Market at Light Speed

Newly appointed chief risk officer, Albert D. Perez shares the threefold process that Hana Business Capital plans to employ in its quest to cater to the underserved lower middle market. Thanks to the small size, depth of knowledge and experience of his team, Perez says Hana has decision making speed unrivaled by competitors.

October 2015

Privately Owned and Ready to Grow: Miller’s ABL Journey Takes Him Back to Rosenthal & Rosenthal

When Rob Miller took over as the head of the asset based lending group at Rosenthal & Rosenthal at the end of March, it marked a homecoming for the 30-year veteran of the financial services industry. In the months that followed, Miller has assessed the portfolio of the privately-owned company and positioned it for a “limitless future.”

September 2015

Realigning for the Global Customer: WFCF’s New Team Talks Action Imperatives

ABF Journal caught up with the newly-appointed leadership team at Wells Fargo Capital Finance to discuss their plans for the recently realigned Corporate Finance, Industries and Global Capital Solutions groups. With a continued focus on growth and customer financial success, the team shares their plan of action for the first 90 days — and for any challenges they may encounter on the road ahead.

September 2015

Innovative Growth Strategies — Citizens Business Capital Growing Through Holistic Solutions

In his six years leading Citizens Bank’s ABL unit, Citizens Business Capital, Chris Carmosino has targeted his efforts on commercial bank alignment and expanding the lending group’s offerings within the larger scope of the bank, to provide clients with holistic solutions encompassing all aspects of the debt capital structure.

July/August 2015

Santander’s Key Weapon for Growth — Spada Tackles the ABL Market

As Albert Spada, managing director/head of ABL for Santander, readies to take on the ABL market, he reflects on the decisions in his past that led him to where he is, the road to leadership and his plans for 2015.

April 2015

Strategic Acquisition to Drive Profits: MB Business Capital’s Michael Sharkey Sees Bright Future for Rebranded ABL

In this Q&A with Michael Sharkey, the president of MB Business Capital discusses plans for the newly rebranded commercial bank, formerly Cole Taylor Business Capital, following MB Financial’s acquisition of Taylor Capital Group in August 2014. Sharkey aims to steer MB Business Capital toward becoming one of the country’s top ABLs.

January/February 2015

New Asset Management Vehicle… Harnessing a Market Opportunity

Walter Owens, CEO of Varagon Capital Partners, talks about co-founding the one-stop asset manager, providing transparency to build confidence in sponsors and investors, and solidifying the reputation of his new team by financing solutions up and down the capital structure.

November/December 2014

From the Ground Up — Eastern Bank Calls on Barnhard to Launch ABL Group

Eastern Bank’s recent growth has led to its launch of an asset-based lending unit, headed by Robert Barnhard as team leader. Drawing upon experience gained at RBS Citizens, LaSalle Bank, IBJ Schroder and Gordon Brothers Finance, Barnhard has just the level of expertise the bank needs to become a go-to asset-based lender.

September 2014

Lending Where Others Fear to Tread— New ABL Group Says ‘Yes’ When Other Institutions Say ‘No’

With a year under its belt, Revere Finance is carving a place for itself in the ABL world. No strangers to secured lending, the bank’s head executives worked for years at sister entity and distressed asset management company PPL Group. Now, Revere is delving deeper into providing ABL solutions for small- and middle-market businesses nationwide — taking risks where other banks and lenders fear to tread.

July/August 2014

Staying Customer-Focused… Service a Top Priority at Investors Bank’s New ABL Unit

Investors Bank jumped into asset-based lending late last year as part of a strategy to diversify its lending products. The group’s new executive team provides insights into how they intend to keep the customer at the center of the process by offering complete depository services plus robust ABL products, encompassing revolvers, term loans and equipment finance.

May/June 2014

Charting a New Course… Hudson Valley Bank’s New ABL Plans to Play Large

Mark Fagnani took the helm at Hudson Valley Bank’s new ABL Group in fall 2013 after 34 years as a lender at Wells Fargo, Wachovia, Congress Financial and First Union, in addition to several years running his own advisory company. He shares his vision for how a smaller player in a crowded market can be more agile and play large.

April 2014

A Shared Vision: Signature Bank’s New ABL Group Brings a Client-Focused Approach

ABF Journal contributing editor Howard Brod Brownstein chatted with Signature Bank’s new ABL group director, Robert Love, and his team: Wendy Nelson, Robert Wallace and Marissa Bianco Wych. The group — all of whom joined from Amalgamated Bank — share in Signature Bank’s client-focused approach and bring their expertise to the bank as it marks its entry into this specialized area.

March 2014

Bringing ABL to the Middle Market… A Conversation with the Head of Citi Commercial’s Expanding ABL Unit

In this Q&A with ABL industry veteran John DePledge, the new business head and national sales manager for Citi Commercial Banks’ ABL unit discusses his plans for the team, his build-out strategy and why the ABL market is going to get more competitive in the near future.

January/February 2014

Building One Relationship at a Time… Gerber Finance Appoints Friedman to Expand Footprint, Further Mission

In hiring Michael Friedman as VP of its new New England office, Gerber Finance expanded its ABL presence in another region of the country and reinforced its mission of getting to know its borrowers and their businesses on a personal level so they are better able to react to their clients’ changing needs.

January/February 2014

Forging Strong Growth — Sterling Merges with Provident to Expand Reach

In April 2013, Provident New York Bancorp and Sterling Bancorp announced they were to merge in a transaction valued at $344 million. As Sterling’s CFO Howard Applebaum explains to ABF Journal contributing editor Howard Brod Brownstein, the ultimate goal of the union is to expand product offerings, footprint and client base — while maintaining the high level of customer service for which both banks are known.

November/December 2013

Melding ABL & Equipment Finance… At JPMorgan Chase Sharing Similar Goals, Challenges & Opportunities

Heading Chase’s ABL unit for nearly 12 years, John Goldthorpe now has the equipment finance group under his wing and is leading his team in creating a strategic dialogue between the two businesses in order to serve as a comprehensive resource for their clients’ growth plans.

November/December 2013

‘It’s the Little Things’… TCF Capital Funding Stresses Customer Service

ABF Journal spends time with Joseph Gaffigan to discuss how he is building TCF Bank’s national commercial finance business by focusing on the lower middle market, developing a strong portfolio and supporting clients’ growth by stressing responsiveness and customer service.

October 2013

NXT Capital — Solid Growth Validates Company’s Platform & Vision

ABF Journal contributing editor Howard Brod Brownstein spends time with Robert Radway, chairman and CEO of NXT Capital, to discuss how the company has developed since its 2010 launch, including closing more than 232 deals totaling $5.3 billion in commitments through June 2013.

September 2013

Planning for Growth… RBS Citizens Expands Business Capital Group

The ABF Journal spends time with Christopher R. Carmosino, president of RBS Citizens Business Capital, to discuss the group’s expertise, recent expansion and the current state of the ABL marketplace.

September 2013

Best of Both Worlds — Trade Capital & AR/PO Groups Join Forces at Wells Fargo Capital Finance

Under Stuart Brister’s leadership, the recently launched Commercial Services Division of Wells Fargo Capital Finance brings together the company’s trade capital business and AR/PO financing group under one umbrella, resulting in greater operational and marketing efficiencies and providing the opportunity to broaden the unit’s product offerings and geographic reach.

September 2013

Young and Lean — Armstrong Builds Foundation to Grow GA Capital

In May 2012, Great American Group announced that it appointed Stuart Armstrong as president of GA Capital. Recently, he met with ABF Journal contributing editor Howard Brod Brownstein to discuss GA Capital’s evolution and to explore Armstrong’s deep industry experience, which includes serving as an executive with GE Capital and launching Tygris Commercial Finance.

September 2013

Best of All Worlds for HFG… Fifth Street Acquisition Brings Access to Capital, Continued Independence.

ABF Journal contributor Lisa Miller caught up with Dan Chapa, CEO of Healthcare Finance Group, to discuss the company’s recent acquisition by Fifth Street Finance and what it will mean in terms of future growth now that HFG has the added advantage of being affiliated with a public company that has access to capital.

July/August 2013

Monroe Capital’s Koenig — Middle Market Thought Leader of the Year

ABF Journal contributing editor Howard Brod Brownstein catches up with Ted Koenig, president & CEO of Monroe Capital LLC, who was recently named the “2012 Middle Market Thought Leader of the Year” by The Alliance of Mergers & Acquisition Advisors and Grant Thornton.

April 2013

Hitachi Capital America Sharpens Its Focus on New Markets

In October, Hitachi Capital America established Hitachi Capital Canada. Before 2012 came to a close, the company acquired Hennessey Capital. In early 2013, Hitachi announced that Hennessey would offer equipment financing. ABFJ catches up with William H. Besgen, president and COO of Hitachi Capital America, Thomas Cross, general manager of Hitachi Capital’s Trade Finance Division, and Michael Semanco, president and COO of the Hennessey Capital Division, to learn more about these strategic moves.

March 2013

Bucking the Trend… KeyBank Expands ABL With Internal & External Strategies

While all indicators, including recent articles in ABF Journal, pointed to the fact that activity decreased in 2012, KeyBank Business Capital’s Laurie Muller-Girard has noted that for the company, asset-based lending increased prompting the company to expand its division with new personnel to cover the growing market.

January/February 2013

Expanding a Footprint to ‘Cover a Lot More Ground’ Industry Veterans Launch Triumph Commercial Finance

Finding the right market or niche is important when launching a new venture. In Triumph Commercial Finance’s case, the most crucial part was how to provide financing to those borrowers that are sometimes lost in the shuffle, those on the lower end of the market. ABF Journal speaks with EVP Dan Karas about what is driving Triumph Commercial Finance.

Nov/Dec 2012

Beyond Traditional Restructuring… Gavin/Solmonese Join Forces to Fulfill a Shared Vision

Last April, the commercial finance industry learned that the venerable turnaround firm of NHB Advisors had been acquired by a newly formed corporate consulting firm bearing the name Gavin/Solmonese. While acquisitions of turnaround firms either in whole or in part have made industry headlines regularly this year — indeed, Deloitte acquired CRG Partners and CVC Capital Partners took a majority stake in AlixPartners — this announcement was a bit unique.

July/August 2012

Acquisition Prompts Expansion… With PrinSource, North Mill Enlarges Footprint, Adds Factoring Services to Offerings

What started as a business idea at the dawn of the economic crisis, North Mill Capital is now a formidable competitor in the small-ticket lending space thanks to its dedicated founding stakeholders and solid organic growth. Today, through its recent acquisition of PrinSource Capital, North Mill has expanded its footprint westward and added factoring services to its product offerings.

July/August 2012

From Gaining Market Share to Regulatory Compliance TD Bank’s Greg Braca, Joe Nemia Say It’s Full Speed Ahead

In March of this year, TD Bank announced its veteran banker in the metro-New York area Greg Braca would assume the post as head of Corporate and Specialty Banking. Some six months earlier, Joe Nemia joined the bank to lead its ABL group. Here, the two discuss everything from future plans for the unit to the bank’s ability to embrace the realities of doing business in a highly regulated environment.

May/June 2012

Filling the Gap … With Enthusiasm A Conversation With Leonard Tannenbaum, CEO of Fifth Street Finance

Leonard Tannenbaum, CEO of Fifth Street Finance Corp., shares with the ABF Journal his experience in successfully taking his business from lender to publicly traded business development company — right when the bottom dropped out of the economy in 2008 — and his forecast for middle-market lending and M&A activity for the remainder of 2012.

May/June 2012

Salus Capital Partners – Industry Veteran Finds Innovative Approaches to Serve Many Constituents

ABL industry veteran Andrew Moser follows both his head and his heart. A self-described “24/7 kind of guy” has assembled a team under the Harbinger Group Inc. umbrella to bring innovative approaches to small- and middle-market borrowers, investors and lending partners.

March 2012

As a Turnaround Takes Hold, CIT Rededicates Itself to Equipment Finance

The severe economic downturn of recent years has seen many equipment lenders leave the business or sharply curtail their activities, and CIT was no different, downsizing its Diversified Industries Group in 2007. Central to this strategy is the appointment of a senior CIT veteran, Belcastro, well-known both inside CIT, as well as throughout the asset-based finance industry, as a knowledgeable and experienced professional.

January/February 2012

Mike Maiorino & People’s United Business Capital: At Home In the Middle

With a seasoned team on board nimbly assembled in 90 days last summer, Mike Maiorino finds himself at home at People’s United Bank where he was tapped to launch People’s United Business Capital. While the model maybe “right down the middle” in terms of the broad spectrum of asset-finance companies, when it comes to customer’s and their financing needs, Maiorino shuns a “one size fits all” approach.

January/February 2012

Crystal Financial Revisited — Five Years Later & Three Times Charmed

Ward Mooney, Colin Cross and Michael Pizette are no strangers to success. Despite their collective achievements, these veteran lenders point out that the ultimate beneficiaries of all their hard work are the dozens of companies struggling to make their way in an unfriendly credit environment — companies that without their help, could very likely become casualties of an economy still struggling to recover.

November|December 2011

Armed With a Unique Platform and Intense Passion for ABL, AloStar Business Credit is Ready to Serve Its Market

How do two ABL industry executives turnaround an ailing correspondent banking business into an ABL powerhouse? For Andrew McGhee and Michael Gillfillan, executives at AloStar Bank of Commerce and AloStar Business Credit, the answer comes quite easily. Remember who you are and do what you do well. Armed with a unique platform , a top notch staff and an intense love of the ABL business, McGhee assures this relative newcomer is open for business.

November|December 2011

Asset-Based Lending Team Joins Rockland Trust to Expand Middle-Market Lending — Chris O’Connor, SVP, Leads New Initiative

In August, Rockland Trust expanded its commercial lending capabilities by hiring an experienced team of asset-based lending professionals who recently worked together at Webster Business Credit. Led by Chris O’Connor, senior vice president of asset-based lending at Rockland, the unit is poised to build on the 104-year-old bank’s strong regional reputation and robust growth in commercial lending over the past five years.

November|December 2011

FTI’s New Co-Leaders of Corporate Finance & Restructuring: For a Couple of ‘Client Service Guys’ Optimism and Opportunity Abound

This summer, ABF Journal readers learned that Robert (Bob) Duffy and Kevin Lavin had been appointed to co-lead FTI’s Corporate Finance/Restructuring practice thereby joining the executive committee comprised of practice leaders of the firm’s five key business segments. While many would fret at what lies ahead in this relatively slow period for traditional restructurings, these self-admitted “client service guys” only see advantages and opportunities.

October 2011

FirstMerit Business Credit: Launched in Adverse Times, This Two-Year Old Sets Its Sights High

Launching an ABL group in the face of the worst recession since the Great Depression proved to be a rewarding challenge for industry veteran Douglas Winget, president of FirstMerit Bank Business Credit. Starting in Q1/09, Winget has successfully developed the ABL’s strategy, management team, territory and originations, and its pipeline for the remainder of 2011 is stronger than it’s ever been.

July/August 2011

For the Love of People… Peter Schwab Reflects on His 40 Years in ABL

As an education major turned asset-based lender Peter Schwab learned his lessons well along the way. ABF Journal spent time with Schwab to find out more about the defining events of his career and the legacy he leaves behind at Wells Fargo Capital Finance. And while the deals factored heavily in his success, it’s the people he led that mattered most.

July/August 2011

A Man for All Cycles …TD Bank’s Walter Owens is Bullish on ABL

In February of this year, TD Bank’s Commercial Banking division received three Greenwich Excellence Awards for its middle-market banking capabilities. At the head of it all sits Walter Owens. Regarded by one colleague as a “true visionary in the business” who fortified TD’s ABL shop while others retrenched, it appeared to be the right time to find out what makes Owens tick.

May/June 2011

Castle Pines Joins WFCF to Serve Technology Resellers, Vendors & Distributors

In 2003, John Schmidt, Mike Gallagher and Chuck Lillis founded Castle Pines Capital to design and manage channel finance programs for technology equipment manufacturers and distributors. The new company received its first bank financing in 2005 from the Lender Finance Division of Wells Fargo Capital Finance. By 2011, both borrower and lender had come to know each other’s businesses so well that an acquisition was a natural progression.

April 2012

Ever Expanding — EverBank Commercial Finance Forms Lender Finance Group

ABF Journal spent time with EverBank Commercial Finance’s chief operating officer Jeff Hilzinger and David D’Antonio, the recently appointed managing director of EverBank’s new lender finance unit. While the initial focus will be on equipment and specialty finance companies, both executives affirm this is the first of many undertakings EverBank will take on in ABL.

April 2011

SJC Fund Manager Fills a Void While Keeping Everything in Perspective

Shakespeare once asked, “What’s in a name?” For Steve Czech, founder and portfolio manager of FrontPoint Partners’ SJC Direct Lending Fund, it means a great deal. The $1 billion-plus hedge fund provides privately negotiated senior loans to middle-market companies and is staffed by five experienced professionals. Moreover, it provides Czech with an opportunity to pursue a very important mission.

March 2011

NewStar Business Credit: A CORE Acquisition Creates the ‘Newest Star’ in the ABL Firmament

Late last year, NewStar Financial announced it intended to add asset-based lending to its product offerings by acquiring CORE Business Credit, causing something of a positive stir in the commercial finance community. ABF Journal asked NewStar’s chairman and CEO Tim Conway and CORE’s Michael Haddad to discuss the rationale behind the acquisition.

January/February 2011

Amalgamated Business Credit’s Love Discusses the ABCs of Asset-Based Lending

Working in the commercial finance industry with all the big names including GE Commercial, CIT and RBS, Robert Love always knew he wanted to strike out on his own. But it wasn’t until he picked up the phone and called Derrick Cephas, Amalgamated’s CEO, that he was able to get the new venture off the ground, in the form of Amalgamated Business Credit.

November/December 2010

The Theory of Natural Selection: An Interview With Bob Arth

For this year’s fall conference issue, Howard Brod Brownstein chats with Bank of America Business Capital’s Bob Arth, the recently appointed president of Bank of America Business Capital. Brownstein asks Arth a question that may be on the minds of asset-based lenders: How do they do it?

October 2010

Golub Capital — Unique in Every Aspect

Without question, the news from Golub Capital has been steady even during the darkest days of the recession in which the loan market all but ground to a halt. ABF Journal spent some time with Lawrence Golub, the firm’s founder and president and the leader behind this remarkable success story…Reuters Loan Pricing ranked Golub Capital as the #1 traditional middle-market bookrunner in 2009. Buyouts Magazine named the company as the “Middle-Market Lender of the Year” for two years running. And in April of this year, M&A Advisor conferred it with the distinction of “Debt Financing Agent of the Year 2010.” The list of Golub Capital’s accomplishments seems to go on and on. Without a doubt, the provider of financial solutions with capital somewhere northward of $4 billion has been recognized for keeping a robust pipeline of deal flow while others in the space pulled back noticeably.

October 2010

A Room With a View – The Sky’s the Limit for LBC Credit Partners

High atop the Cira Centre in downtown Philadelphia, big things are afoot. Though it doesn’t happen that often, today, the entire team that makes up middle-market lending house LBC Credit Partners is in the office; and there is the feeling of something electric in the air. ABF Journal decided to pay the company a visit to find out why.

September 2010

The Road to Huntington — Long, Winding and Worth It!

Huntington Bank’s James Cannella admits his personal journey to launching the Ohio-based bank’s new ABL operation has been filled with some sharp turns, short stops and a couple of repeat visits. But the ride that brought him to lead the new ABL group at Huntington Bank has been more than worth it.

July/August 2010

Harborcove Financial — Where Wall Street and Main Street Meet

Last September, two veteran equities traders were introduced to two factors, and serendipity ensued in the form of Harborcove Financial. In short order the four entrepreneurs embarked on a mission to bring the best of Wall Street together with Main Street and provide much-needed capital to small businesses. We decided to check in with two of the company’s principals — Harvey Gross and Russell Hackmann — for an update on what’s happened since.

July/August 2010

Wells Fargo Capital Finance … The Building of an ABL Powerhouse

In this issue, we explore the “new” world of Wells Fargo Capital Finance in a roundtable discussion with seven of its senior-most executives. Here we learn how the acquisition of the former Wachovia Capital Finance group has resulted in an ABL powerhouse that’s certain to prove the whole can indeed be greater than the sum of its parts.

May/June 2013

KPS Capital Partners… Making Things Happen in Turnaround Investing

From its strict use of asset-based lending structures to its strong relations with labor unions, very little about KPS Capital Partners resembles a run of the mill private equity fund. In the following profile, Michael Psaros, co-founder and managing partner, explains this team’s approach to investing in turnaround situations … and a lot more.

March 2010

At TD Bank, An Industry Veteran Finds the Right Fit

For Barry Kastner it’s always been a matter of trusting his instincts and striking the right balance. And it’s no surprise that the 33-year veteran of Congress Financial and its successor, Wachovia Capital Finance, assimilated the qualities of strong credit discipline and a customer-centric approach to find himself in the top ABL spot at America’s ‘most convenient bank.’

January/February 2010