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PROFILE

Veteran Recognition: Lane is a Turnaround All-Star for Willow Tree Consulting Group - Carl Lane wasn’t always in turnaround management, but he has become one of the top professionals in the field during the course of his career. With a focus on winning early and establishing relationships, Lane is set to lead Willow Tree Consulting Group and its clients through challenges in the present and future.

FEATURES

The Operating Cycle: Lame Lending School Concept or Key Performance Indicator? - Juanita Schwartzkopf of Focus Management Group argues that the operating cycle is more than just a simple calculation and walks through a real-world example to illustrate its importance for forecasting and managing working capital.

Self Disruption: Switching From an ABL Model to a Real Estate Model - By taking a new direction and consolidating its asset-class focus, Briar Capital transformed itself and found greater success than it ever had as a pure asset-based lender. The firm’s president, Jeff Van Sickle, describes the process of converting the company into a real estate financier for ABL borrowers and shares lessons learned along the way.

Lenders Should Prepare Now for the Distressed-Debt Aftershock of COVID-19 - The disruptions caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) have been far-reaching and will continue to affect all industries in the months to come. These effects are only exacerbating what were already weekening corporate foundations. Michael Fielding examines what lenders should anticipate and how they can deal with distressed debt situations during and after the pandemic.

Providing Leadership in the Wake of the Coronavirus Pandemic - Brian Gleason of Phoenix Management Services details how executives must display the most important tenets of leadership to survive the economic turmoil caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

LEGAL LINES

A Healthcare Debtor’s Friend: Implications of the True Health Bankruptcy Decision - Tyler Layne and John Tishler of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis dive into the True Health Chapter 11 bankruptcy case and the healthcare debtor-friendly trend seen in recent bankruptcy court decisions

COVER STORY

THE IMPACT OF THE TARIFF WAR ON ASSET BASED LENDERS - No one wins a trade war. Hugh Larratt-Smith examines the current take-no-prisoners tariff battle between China and the U.S. and analyzes the impact on asset-based lenders.

FEATURES

FINANCING A COMPANY THROUGH ITS UPS AND DOWNS: A Primer for Borrowers - Middle market businesses experience different stages of growth and stagnation from start-up to success. Sometimes there is a need for restructuring to turn a struggling business around. Derrick Wong explains different asset-based loan options that can help a company achieve financial stability, whatever stage it may be in.

ABL: A Sensible Financing Option for Companies in Transition - With the current economic winds blowing cold one day and hot the next, companies with solid brands may still find themselves in need of restructuring. Borrowers looking to right the ships of business may find that asset-based loans are the best way to regain solvency. Peter Ulmer explains all the advantages that ABLs offer to the borrower under stress.

TURNAROUND CORNER

GOING UNDER FOR THE THIRD TIME? The State of Restructuring in Shipping - The ancient Phoenicians, plying their trade along the Mediterranean, were in thrall to the whims of the sea and never knew if their cargo would arrive safely or end up on the ocean floor. Today’s behemoth vessels are less threatened by wind and the waves than they are by government regulations and economic trade wars. George Mangos explains the complexity of restructuring in today’s maritime industry.

SPECIALTY LENDING

THE BANK ABL CONUNDRUM: Why Do Banks Fail to Sell This Excellent Product? - An increasing number of commercial banks are creating ABL divisions. Yet, as Charlie Perer muses, these divisions are still playing second fiddle to C&I and not receiving referrals from their C&I colleagues, even when ABL might be a more appropriate product and not utilizing it will cause a client to exit. He explains that breaking down the silos between divisions will serve customers more effectively and keep them as clients.

COVER STORY

Finding White Oak: A.E. Wease Completes its Search for a New Lender - A. E. Wease Distributors, a 90-year old family-run business, spent five years as the borrower of a large Midwest-based bank. But the bank got cold feet about lending to Wease after a major customer was acquired and no longer needed a distributor. ABF Journal editor Nadine Bonner spoke with Wease’s Charles Tandy and Pete McCaffrey, who explained the process that brought them into a successful relationship with their new lender, White Oak Commercial Finance.

FEATURES

Lending to Technology Companies: Collateral versus Cashflow? - As the U.S. changed from a manufacturing to a service-based economy, ABL lenders faced a growing array of challenges, including lending to software companies and coping with rapid hardware obsolescence. Hugh C. Larratt-Smith speaks with key lenders in this industry and learns how lending to technology has changed in the last 40 years.
The Cryptocurrency Conundrum — A Primer for Secured Lenders Entering the Cryptocurrency Space - Like personal computers, smartphones and the internet, cryptocurrencies are here to stay. For the secured lender, the blockchain technology that protects the privacy of the borrower can present an obstacle to securing collateral and receiving repayment. Alan Rosenberg provides a detailed explanation of the technology and a guide for lenders to protect themselves in cybercurrency transactions.
Benefits of Fund-Level Debt in Acquisition Finance - Fund financing is one of the fastest growing areas of the leveraged loan market. Frederick C. Fisher, Zachary K. Barnett, Christopher M. Chubb and Anastasia N. Kaup explain the advantages of using fund level debt financing over traditional financing when acquiring portfolio companies.
Out of Retirement, Into a New Challenge: Fagnani Leads New Bank Leumi ABL Division - With roots in Tel Aviv and branches the world over, Bank Leumi lacked only one thing — an ABL division. The bank corrected the situation this spring and hired Mark Fagnani, a veteran of many outstanding ABL institutions, to lead it. Fagnani shares his vision for Leumi and his mantra for success with ABF Journal editor Nadine Bonner.

TURNAROUND CORNER

Factors Driving Success in Middle-Market Restructuring - What goes up must come down, and David Johnson points out that the current strong economy will eventually turn downward. Urging lenders to be prepared for the next downturn, he offers practical ways to assess a restructuring plan.

LEGAL LINES

Pitfalls and Benefits of Offering ABL Loans to Large Public Companies - Lending to large, public companies can burnish an ABL lender’s reputation and offer a unique opportunity to expand its business model. Lon M. Singer explains how to navigate through these complex and ultimately rewarding deals.

FINAL CUT

Bank Leumi Hires Fagnani to Head New ABL Division - Mark Fagnani, head of Bank Leumi’s new ABL division, has spent his career at some of the nation’s top ABL lenders. Cartoonist Jerry Gonzalez illustrates the trajectory of Fagnani’s career.

COVER STORY

2017 TMA Small Company Turnaround Award Winner: Vermont Aerospace Once Again Takes Flight - For 30 years, Vermont Aerospace crafted precision machinery for aircraft from its home in the Connecticut River Valley. A spiraling financial downturn combined with the unexpected death of its owner left the company reeling. After VA received the TMA’s 2017 Small Company Turnaround Award, the TMA invited attorney Cathy Reece to moderate a discussion by the turnaround team to learn how this unusual transformation enabled the company to avoid bankruptcy and retain its employees.

FEATURES

Results of the Capital One Annual ABS Survey: ABS, Technology on Upswing in Lending World - Thousands of financial professionals converged on Las Vegas in February for the annual SFIG Vegas event, providing a perfect opportunity to solicit their opinions on issues affecting the industry. Capital One conducted a survey at the annual conference, and Dave Kucera examines the results with ABF Journal editor Nadine Bonner.
TMA President’s Message Turnaround Management Association: Going Beyond the Ballroom - The Turnaround Management Association offers restructuring professionals tools and resources to succeed in their careers. The TMA Annual, scheduled for September 26 to 28 in Colorado Springs, CO, is a prime opportunity to network and connect with lenders and other professionals. This year’s TMA Global President, Kevin Krakora, head of KMPG’s U.S. Restructuring Practice, outlines the programs TMA is launching to expand the organization’s member benefits beyond the ballroom.
The Right Person in the Right Place: Robert Katz Enables Successful Turnarounds - No company wants to go through a turnaround process. Once the worst has happened, a company often needs the help of not only outside consultants, but lenders and creditors that won’t jump ship at the first sign of trouble. Turnaround professional Robert Katz, winner of this year’s M&A Advisor “Distressed M&A Dealmaker of the Year” award, discusses companies that have hit bottom and how they came out the other side.
She Persisted: Karen Sessions Takes the Helm at Bank of America Business Capital - Karen Sessions attributes her success in the finance world to refusing to take “no” for an answer. Her career took her to Fleet, Union, Wachovia and Wells Fargo banks before she landed at Bank of America almost five years ago. In November, she was named head of Bank of America Business Capital and Asset-Based Lending. Although she contends she was lucky, her business skills and determination to succeed have propelled her into her current role.

TURNAROUND CORNER

After a Volatile Political Year, What’s Next for Turnaround Professionals - After the 2016 election, Howard Brod Brownstein shared his observations of the challenges facing the turnaround industry. A year later, after the passage of new tax reforms and with the threat of tariffs and new world conflicts, he looks into his crystal ball once more to see what the future holds for the restructuring industry.

SPECIALTY LENDING

The New Industrial Revolution: Lending Opportunities Spurred by Growth of the Gig Economy - The war for talent is over. And the employee has won. Employees today demand the same level of choice, service and flexibility in the workplace as they do as consumers. As a result, we’re seeing a dramatic change in the shape of the global workforce. The rise of the gig economy is transforming work as […]

LEGAL LINES

State Receivership: An Alternative to Bankruptcy - Filing for Chapter 11 protection can be an expensive procedure for borrowers and lenders. Keri Wintle discusses another option, state receivership, which can offer a more frugal avenue to achieve the same goal while offering all parties more privacy and greater flexibility.

FINAL CUT

Hercules Capital Acquires Gibraltar Business Capital - Hercules Capital purchased Gibraltar Business Capital to enter the ABL market. Cartoonist Jerry Gonzalez shares his take on this mythical matchup.

COVER STORY

A Crucial Link in Complex Specialty Finance: The Role of Debt Advisors in Asset Based Lending - Navigating the waters of specialty lending can be a challenge for lenders not familiar with industries like education, staffing or cannabis. Debt advisors provide expertise in those areas and can broker deals, acting as matchmakers between borrowers and lenders. Hugh Larratt Smith takes a look at this rising industry and explains the value debt advisors can bring to specialty lending.

FEATURES

Instant Funding, Seamless Customer Transactions Fintech Lenders Transform Small Business Lending - In the past decade, growth in financial technology has spawned a new generation of online lenders. These lenders use the latest technology to underwrite and finance small business loans. Customers can apply online and receive funding in 24 hours in some cases. ABF Journal Editor Nadine Bonner speaks with executives from three fintech companies that specialize in small business loans.
New Directions: Bain Capital and Antares Capital Join Forces to Provide Unitranche Lending - Both Bain Capital and Antares Capital have global reputations as investment firms. So there was more than a bit of frisson in the lending world when the two companies announced a joint venture in December. This unique unitranche platform combines the strengths of both companies and provides an unusual opportunity for partnership. Bain Managing Director Michael Ewald and Antares Senior Managing Director Timothy Lyne share their thoughts about the new platform with ABF Journal Editor Nadine Bonner.
Once Again, the Bulls are Running: 2018 Citizens Bank M&A Survey Reflects Strong Sellers’ Market - In 2017, Citizens Bank took an unusual step with its annual M&A Advisory Survey — it polled business decision-makers before and after the election to test the impact. Optimism was high in the post-election survey, and in 2018, it is higher still. Ralph Della Ratta, head of M&A Advisory at Citizens Capital Markets, explains why this is a good time to sell and encourages lenders to push customers towards eager buyers.
Built for This: Courcier Raises the Bar for Hilco Construction & Transportation Advisory - With 30 years in the industry, Hilco Valuation Services has grown by bringing in value-added services. Its newest unit will cover Construction and Transportation Advisory. Bryan Courcier has the hands-on experience to not only develop the business, but to make it an authority.

TURNAROUND CORNER

Other People’s Money: What Turnarounds Teach Us About Working with Lenders when a Deal Goes South - While lenders carefully scrutinize companies seeking to borrow money, borrowers rarely exercise the same due diligence to screen potential lenders. No one embarks on a business venture planning to fail, but it does happen. Bayard Hollingsworth advises borrowers to investigate the ways lenders handle a deal that goes wrong before accepting other people’s money.

SPECIALTY LENDING

Accurate Appraisals Ground Airballs But Will They Hold Up if a Recession Hits? - The soaring stock market has resulted in a frothy ABL market with competition at an all-time high and liquidations, outside of retail, at a low. Appraisals from the Big Four firms have held up. Charlie Perer looks into his crystal ball to envision the ABL scenario when the next recession hits.

LEGAL LINES

Understanding Borrowers’ Claims Against Lenders - Losing its business and having to repay its debts can compel a bitter borrower to retaliate against a lender, blaming the lender for its default. Jeffrey Wurst notes the courts do not always favor borrowers, as a recent suit filed against MB Financial Bank demonstrates.

FINAL CUT

Meta Financial to Acquire Crestmark - The year kicked off with the surprise acquisition of Crestmark Bank by Meta Financial. Jerry Gonzalez provides his illustrated take on the merger.

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Guess What? Ninth Circuit Splits with Fourth Circuit in Ruling on Involuntary Petition Against Guess Founder Marciano

The Marciano decision is an important ruling for creditors that may be considering an involuntary petition. As Lesley Hawes explains, there is limited reported case law addressing involuntary petitions, and this decision creates an easy-to-follow, bright-line test for determining whether a petitioning creditor with a judgment that is on appeal but not stayed has a claim that satisfies the requirements of §303(b)(1) of the Bankruptcy Code.