Everything is Achievable: Alex Pilipenka’s Approach to Attaining ABL Success

by Brianna Wilson
Alex Pilipenka
REV Capital

In his years navigating the asset-based lending space, Alex Pilipenka’s confidence in achieving the impossible and utilizing a people-first philosophy has propelled his teams to impressive heights.

Like many people entering the workforce straight out of university, Alex Pilipenka was ambitious, brooding with a lot of ideas but no real practical knowledge. His journey into the asset-based lending industry began when he took up a position as a collection agent at a factoring company. “This is where the real learning started,” Pilipenka recalls. The role was a crash course in the industry and set the foundation for his passion in factoring and asset-based lending. Today, continuing to learn remains his biggest draw to the industry.

“I keep on learning something new every single day,” Pilipenka says. “The principles on which factoring is based is not rocket science, but the details, nuances and complexities of the overall factoring process still fascinate me to this day.”

Pilipenka’s career took him from collateral agent to account executive roles, where he worked closely with the director of operations and performed some of the duties required of the job, before he moved to Vancouver to co-found PC Factors, a boutique factoring shop supporting the transportation industry in British Columbia.

When he moved back to Toronto in 2017 to help found REV Capital, he entered the company as the Director of Operations with this newfound knowledge. Starting as the Director of Operations, he was eventually promoted to COO as the company, and the list of responsibilities grew.

“Since then, we have gone through a number of mergers and acquisitions, and we continue to grow every day,” Pilipenka says.

Fostering a People-Centric Culture

As a member of SFNet and IFA, Pilipenka highlights the value of networking throughout his journey, emphasizing the importance of surrounding oneself with proactive, solution-oriented individuals rather than naysayers.

“It is the former who get things done and the latter who may drag you behind with their attitude,” Pilipenka reflects. “At the end of the day, you might not accomplish what you set out to do, but the byproducts of these actions are often beneficial in another way for the company.”

Pilipenka also believes in a “people-centric philosophy” which has been revolutionary in the way the company operates not only internally but also externally with suppliers, vendors, and clients.

“Despite our differences and perspectives, views and opinions, it’s always possible to find a way to make things work,” Pilipenka notes. “Sometimes these differences can be a real roadblock to getting things done, but often, it can enrich our problem-solving processes.”

For Pilipenka, compassion is paramount to making sound business decisions. While others often mistake compassion for weakness, he argues it’s vital for a team to thrive together and allows you to understand your employees better, especially when having to make difficult decisions.

“You can’t help but feel compassionate to the person who has just been let go. This may have been a business decision that was needed, but it can’t stop you from feeling sorry for the person, and it shouldn’t.”

Pilipenka also stresses the importance of striking a balance between getting involved at a micro level to better understand how the company operates and empowering employees to resolve issues independently.

“If you want to understand something and get things done, you need to get close to the person involved with the task to get a first-hand experience of what is going on without overstepping boundaries,” Pilipenka says.

Through his involvement in the industry and his success with REV Capital, the biggest lesson learnt is that it truly matters how people work together.

Leveraging Technology as Education

In addition to his passion for connecting with people in the industry, Pilipenka attributes his success to his practical, analytical, and systematic approach. By employing algorithmic processes, he has enhanced the efficiency and resilience of the company’s systems, enabling them to handle volumes higher than ever before.

“The system we’ve produced here can be compared to a mechanical watch, in which all the gears are working perfectly in tandem to produce the results we’ve been seeing,” says Pilipenka.

During his career, Pilipenka has observed the evolving use of automation to remove the possibility of human errors in decision-making processes. He notes that such implementations are only the beginning, particularly as organizations continue to innovate in the AI and automation technology space.

Looking ahead, Pilipenka envisions a future where the asset-based lending industry advances through education and standardization. While many may lack a comprehensive understanding of ABL, he believes that by promoting its benefits, the industry can occupy its rightful place in the broader financing landscape.

“I would like to see all the major players in the market come together to create a set of standardizations for both internal processing, client communications, and industry-specific objectives.”

Pilipenka is optimistic that REV Capital will contribute to this evolution.