volume 7 ••• Winter 2011
INsider Interview: Bob Love, Executive Vice President and Director of Amalgamated Business Credit
Amalgamated Bank Launches Amalgamated Business Credit
In this issue’s “Q&A” interview, Mr. Love discusses Amalgamated Business Credit, which is a New York-based unit of the Bank’s Commercial Banking Division, and outlines the services it will provide. Mr. Love has 20 years of experience in asset-based lending and has worked in every facet of the business from audit staff and underwriting to account management and origination. During the last 10 years—while at GE Commercial Finance, CIT and Royal Bank of Scotland—he was responsible for the origination of more than $2 billion in asset-based lending transactions.
What led Amalgamated to form Amalgamated Business Credit?
RL: The formation of Amalgamated Business Credit is the latest step in the Bank’s program aimed at filling out its suite of commercial lending capabilities. The Business Credit group complements our Middle Market and Commercial Real Estate Finance divisions and Amalgamated Capital, which was formed in September, 2009 and provides cash flow-based senior financing to support investments made by private equity sponsors in lower middle market companies. With this array of lending and financing services, Amalgamated is now able to serve a full range of financing needs for middle market companies.
Which markets is Amalgamated Business Credit serving?
RL: Essentially, we are providing asset-based financing to middle market companies with revenues of $50 million to $200 million. We will be primarily targeting firms in wholesale distribution, manufacturing and service businesses and those sectors give the Bank access to a broad-based potential market. Our platform is national in scope, and we will be serving companies across the country. Our typical transaction will be in the $5 million to $15 million range. Our clients will use the funding primarily for seasonal working capital needs, business expansion, acquisitions, turnarounds and refinancings. The financings will be collateralized by the borrower’s accounts receivable, inventory, machinery and equipment or real estate.
Our platform is national in scope, and we will be serving companies across the country.”
—Robert Love, Executive Vice President and Director of Business Credit
What do you see as your competitive edge in today’s asset-based financing market?
RL: This is an exciting opportunity for us. We are one of the very few commercial bank entrants in the last five to ten years in New York’s asset-based lending arena, a market that has undergone significant retrenchment over the past few years. Our financing will be marked, as I mentioned previously, by the fact that we are national in scope. We will cover a wide range of industries, have an ability to respond rapidly, and will be flexible with respect to the types of transactions we will consider.
What were your first steps in setting up Amalgamated Business Credit?
RL: Initially, we have been building out a team of asset-based professionals and setting up the collateral-monitoring and other systems that are needed for asset-based lending.
How will you go about marketing your services?
RL: We will be seeking new leads from four sources or channels. The first is a general intermediary channel that includes CPAs, turn-around specialists, appraisers and advisers. We will access an equity sponsor channel by leveraging Amalgamated Capital’s contacts in that sector. We will also source potential clients through other divisions of the Bank itself. Lastly, we will go direct to potential customers, building a data base of companies we want to target.
Can you describe the personal journey that brought you to Amalgamated Bank?
RL: Running my own group and calling the shots is something that I’ve wanted to do from the first day I walked in to this business. Over the years I saw the way different people did different things and I tried to take a little from each one, but I always had my own opinions on the way that things should be run. For years, I had sketched out business models in my head, preparing for the day they could be put to use. In the spring of 2010, I decided the time had come to seriously pursue my vision. I started to look at different opportunities to do a startup someplace. As fate would have it, that was also the time that Amalgamated Bank realized the time had come to establish an asset based lending unit. We came together, and here I am.