Daily News: May 23, 2012

Triumph Expands Commercial Finance Platform, Adds Karas, Copple

Triumph Commercial Finance, a wholly owned subsidiary of Triumph Savings Bank, announced the addition of two senior executives to lead its asset-based lending and equipment finance operations. Dan Karas has been named EVP, Asset Based-Lending and Dirk Copple will serve as EVP, Equipment Finance.

“The expansion into asset based lending and commercial finance is a logical next step for Triumph,” said Aaron P. Graft, CEO of Triumph Savings Bank, SSB. “Earlier this year, we acquired Advance Business Capital, a best in class factoring company. Our plan was to leverage the strength of Advance Business Capital’s leadership team and platform to build a mutli-faceted commercial finance organization. With the addition of Dan Karas and Dirk Copple, we’ve assembled a top notch team to lead us forward.”

“Both of these guys are terrific relationship lenders,” said Steven Hausman, who besides leading Advance Business Capital will now serve as president and CEO of Triumph Commercial Finance. “Dan Karas and Dirk Copple have each built organizations that really got to know their customers.” George Thorson, Advance Business Capital’s chief operating officer, will also serve as the chief credit officer for the Triumph Commercial Finance.

Karas brings nearly thirty years’ of experience in all aspects of commercial finance to Triumph Commercial Finance. For the last five years Karas has been executive vice president and managing director of Marquette Business Credit, where he led Marquette’s general factoring business as well as marketing for its asset-based lending platform. Prior to that, he spent seven years at GE Commercial Finance/Heller Financial as managing director of the Corporate Lending Group, then the Enterprise Client Group and finally Energy Financial Services. He received his BS in Finance and Management from Temple University and his MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

Said Karas, “I’m thrilled to be joining a team with the capacity, vision and drive to build an organization that delivers superior value to our clients and stakeholders. Triumph Commercial Finance is a client-centric business designed to meet the growth needs of the small and middle market businesses that play such a critical role in our economy.”

Dirk Copple is a twenty-two year veteran of commercial equipment finance, beginning his career the Associates Commercial Corporation and, subsequently, CitiCapital Commercial Corp. He joined Financial Federal Corporation in 2002, building a significant transportation portfolio for the Southwest region. After Financial Federal was acquired by People’s United Bank in 2010, Copple’s responsibilities were expanded to include construction equipment and other asset financing. He has a BS in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas.

Said Copple, “There’s an energy level to this Triumph team that is truly irresistible. Core values are visible and communicated openly, and there’s a commitment to doing business the right way. I’m very honored to be part of the Triumph Commercial Finance team.”

Triumph Commercial Finance is a wholly owned subsidiary of Triumph Savings Bank. Triumph Savings Bank was founded in November 2010 when a group of investors led by Dallas entrepreneur Aaron P. Graft, acquired and recapitalized the financially troubled Equity Bank. Triumph is now pursuing its goal of expanding into non-traditional banking sectors. The bank’s commercial finance subsidiary, Triumph Commercial Finance, acquired Advance Business Capital, a transportation factoring company in January of 2012.

Said Graft, “When we evaluate any new business opportunity, we primarily focus on the quality of the people who will lead the team. Our secondary consideration is the market fundamentals for the particular segment. Whenever we find outstanding people with experience in structurally underserved market segments, we move quickly. That’s what led to the decision to bring Dan Karas and Dirk Copple to Triumph Commercial Finance to lead us into these new markets, and we are very excited about the future.”