A World of Experience: Lin Chua’s Commitment to Value in All Spaces
The building blocks of Lin Chua’s career landed perfectly for her to enter the secured commercial lending space with an innovative business focused on advancements in technology, data analytics and artificial intelligence.
Lin Chua, co-founder, president and CFOO of InterNex Capital, has a global background. She moved to Australia from Singapore to earn her undergraduate and law school degrees, then practiced as a tax and corporate lawyer in Australia before moving to the U.S., where she completed a master’s program at Duke University. She then practiced as a mergers and acquisitions and leveraged finance lawyer at Simpson Thacher in both New York and Europe. Chua later returned to the U.S. and worked at GE Capital for more than a decade, where she became an expert in secured commercial lending.
Running a Unique Business
In 2015, Chua founded InterNex Capital with her business partner, Paul DeDomenico. The idea was for Chua and DeDomenico to take what they already knew — secured commercial lending — and drive the industry forward with advanced technology and data analytics. Since then, the business has changed quite a bit, with Chua likening the company’s evolution to that of the iPhone.
“Who would have thought when the original iPhone was released that in the future it would not only have a camera but a telephoto lens with 25x digital zoom,” Chua says. “When we started InterNex, we thought we knew all about client experience, origination acceleration and portfolio management. Even though InterNex has been through over 75 releases of our proprietary technology, we are only at the tip of the iceberg in really discovering, investing and mastering what technology, data analytics and artificial intelligence can do for us in this space.”
InterNex is unique due to the data and analytic capabilities that its proprietary technology platform provides. For example, InterNex can offer clients additional liquidity or “stretch” beyond conventional lenders due to the real-time data provided by its analytics platform. Chua also says the company expertly manages its portfolio because its veteran risk team has been equipped with cutting-edge technology.
“We gave them data and analytics and technology so they have visibility that we’ve never had before,” Chua says. “That’s what makes InterNex very unique; we can deliver further, faster and more for our clients as a result.”
Throughout her career, Chua has embraced new cultures and dramatic career changes while maintaining an emphasis on bringing value into any space she enters.
“I have been willing to take a leap into the unknown multiple times,” Chua says. “There is clearly a deliberate pivot that we all make in our career choices, but a lot of everyone’s careers are really building blocks. Having worked globally with various products and types of companies means that I can really understand the needs of a commercial client, as well as what solutions we can bring very quickly to the table thanks in part to what data and AI have informed us.”
Chua likes the secured lending industry, particularly because of its size, noting that it is small enough to have a strong, close-knit community that embraces collaboration even in the face of competition.
“It truly is a ‘frenemy’ space, but at the end of the day, people really want to help one another,” Chua says.
Chua and her team foster an innovative culture at InterNex, and this approach is fueled by the company’s unique formula and goal to service the specific needs of clients.
“We tell our clients: Don’t worry about trying to get the biggest financing line if you’re not going to use it right at the start. We can expand our line for you at a moment’s notice,” Chua says.
One project that required plenty of creativity from Chua was the company’s launch of a program focused on providing working capital to businesses owned by members of historically underrepresented groups. Scaling the program was a difficult process at the beginning, according to Chua, who says the company initially faced challenges in hiring to scale the effort as well as in closing deals. Such challenges forced Chua and her team to refocus their goals and be innovative in addressing the market. Currently, companies InterNex classifies as business enterprises owned by members of historically underrepresented groups represent more than a third of its business portfolio, a clear reflection of what the company does, the diverse team it has built and Chua’s role in leading it forward.
“We work very hard to challenge ourselves to be innovative,” Chua says. “We have regular sessions — as often as twice a week — where we force ourselves to brainstorm, innovate and challenge our ‘veteran’ mindset to reconsider our products, our prospects, our partnerships, and always to see where data may shed light and allow us to look at things differently. They’re not deal calls, they’re innovation sessions. We will continue to invest in technology and innovation. There are many newer ‘iPhones’ in the future for InterNex.”