Marty Battaglia
Eclipse Business Capital

Marty Battaglia may be in what he calls the “twilight of his career,” but what a career it has been. Currently focusing on strategic planning for Eclipse Business Capital, Battaglia has spent 40 years building asset-based lending groups.

With more than 40 years of experience in accounting and asset-based lending, Marty Battaglia, CEO of Eclipse Business Capital, has enjoyed the many experiences of his long career and the exposure to numerous industries that ABL affords.

Getting his start at the commercial finance arm of the Associates, a Gulf & Western company, and eventually taking senior positions at StanChart Business Credit, formerly Union Bank, Battaglia worked his way up from a field examiner position to junior to senior credit roles, leading to regional credit and operations manager positions.

“I knew nothing about the industry, although I was intrigued by the opportunity,” Battaglia says of his start in the industry. “While traveling solo to small town client locations as a field examiner is not exactly my idea of fun, I found experiencing all the nuances of a given borrower or prospect and their industries to be fascinating.”

A Winding Journey

After StanChart aligned with Standard Charter Bank, Battaglia’s role changed again, as he became head of credit for StanChart. In this capacity, he not only oversaw the entire portfolio and credit for all the company’s regional offices, but he was also tasked with special projects like entering new markets, analyzing opportunities, writing white papers, establishing foreign lending groups and more. Charting the course for the company was the first of what would become many ventures in leadership for Battaglia.

Following his time at StanChart, Battaglia went on to head up the Midwest regional function at LaSalle Business Credit for more than a decade between 1985 and 1997. He then became a senior managing director at PPM Finance to establish a denovo national ABL group before taking on a group senior vice president role at LaSalle Bank Midwest, heading up multiple specialty lending groups in the United States and Canada. From there, he took a two-year foray in advisory with Hilco Financial before spending three years as a managing director leading the national debt advisory practice at Deloitte Corporate Finance. Then, in 2016, he founded Encina Business Credit, establishing and leading the business as CEO since then, including last year, when the business rebranded as Eclipse Business Capital and announced a brand-new recapitalization and expanded capital base from affiliated funds of Barings and participation from the company’s own management team.

Throughout his time in the industry, Battaglia has grown to enjoy working with sponsors, intermediaries and management teams to collaborate in putting deals together. He credits Eclipse’s success to being consistent in market approach and product delivery while moving quickly and efficiently in the industry. Battaglia and Eclipse approach client relationships in a proactive way, with the business always aiming to be a financial partner as part of its relationship-oriented philosophy. It’s not just external relationships that are important to Battaglia, who identifies employee turnover as his least favorite part of an industry that has experienced many transitions during his more than four decades in the business.

“While it’s changing, the industry continues to be dominated by banks and has evolved to the point where bank ABL groups have become a significant part of commercial banking groups within banks,” Battaglia says. “ABL has become well known and much more widely accepted in the world of finance. In general, we all still follow basic ABL lending principals.”

Find Your Fire

As a leader, Battaglia tries to create a learning environment and include all of Eclipse’s functional group heads in decisions, with the hope of getting all stakeholders invested in the company’s output.

“Being passionate about what you do can also be contagious, which is a great outcome,” Battaglia says. “[I’m most proud of] successfully building several asset-based lending groups from scratch, mentoring many individuals who have become leaders in our industry and working through problem loans with an excellent history of recovery,” Battaglia says. In addition to his work with Eclipse, Battaglia says his participation within industry associations and his ability to build and focus on relationships have helped him grow his business.

Taking lessons from his extensive career, Battaglia wants to impart his hard-earned wisdom to the next generation of ABL leaders, with one of the most lessons being the need to be patient.

“This is a great industry and one I believe will exist for some time to come,” Battaglia says.“There is quite a lot to learn, but if you are dedicated and have that ‘fire.’ you will do well and find yourself in a very rewarding career.” Battaglia also believes in being challenging but patient with others and giving them the space to take on new challenges, understanding the results won’t always be immediately beneficial, but that the lessons will be.

Looking at the future of the ABL industry, Battaglia is focused on strategic and succession planning as well as ensuring a more consistent and rigorous training for future leaders, saying, “With the resurgence of nonbank asset-based lenders, training young professionals and providing a career path for them is something I believe is necessary for our industry to grow and prosper.”