Editor’s Letter

by Phil Neuffer

Much has changed in the last 12 months, and not just in our little corner of the asset-based lending world. Between the more widespread use of artificial intelligence, multiple bank collapses, continued volatility of the economy, and rate hikes and pauses by the Federal Reserve, not to mention multiple devastating global conflicts, as we enter a new year, the prevailing outlook is decidedly uncertain.

Despite the many challenges facing the ABL industry (and the world overall), lenders continued to go out and close deals this year, supporting myriad businesses in pursuing growth and success. In this issue, we are celebrating some of this year’s standout transactions in our second annual Deals of the Year listing. Between standard ABLs, factoring facilities, purchase order financing and more, we covered a wide breadth of agreements from a who’s who of lenders to take a more intimate look at some of this year’s most intriguing and impactful deals. Check out the full list on pg. 29.

Aside from our Deals of the Year, we also have another varied selection of featured content in this issue. For both industry newcomers and veterans in need of a refresher, we have a look at standard accounts receivable ineligibles as well as a guide to crafting effective covenants in loan documents. In addition, since selling businesses can often be a priority in tough economic times, Robert DiNozzi of Second Wind Consultants shared how to achieve a truly successful exit and create additional business development opportunities for secured lenders when offloading a distressed business. Meanwhile, Howard Brod Brownstein, Robert Willner and Brandon Ralph teamed up to explain the benefits of leveraging employee stock ownership plans to create additional commercial lending opportunities.

Speaking of finding opportunities, when faced with a potential downturn, sometimes it is beneficial to seek out assets and industries that are recession-resistant. People listen to music in good times and bad, making music royalties a particularly intriguing asset class to investors like CJ Wei, director of private credit at Northleaf Capital Partners, who outlined the prospective benefits and risks inherent in entering this sector.

Vikram Savkar, who took over as executive vice president and general manager of Wolters Kluwer Compliance Solutions earlier this year, actually began his professional career in the music industry with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. You can learn more about how Savkar is translating his experience across multiple industries to help business achieve their goals and fulfill their potential in our profile on pg. 22.

Thank you so much for reading ABF Journal, whether online or in print, all this year. We’ll see you in 2024!