FROM THE EDITOR
BY NADINE BONNER
When folks wax nostalgic about the days before the internet and cell phones, I recall a night in the 1980s when our car broke down on the highway outside Atlanta. Abandoning me with four crying kids in the backseat — overtired after a day at the beach — my husband trudged down the road, searching for a payphone. Fortunately, a passing trucker assessed the situation, picked us up and drove us home. But I still get a chill remembering that night. And I am grateful that today if I have a problem on the road, I can summon Geico with a tap of my finger.
Metaphorically, many ABL lenders are still trying to find payphones while the rest of the financial world has moved into the digital age. Craig Sproule, founder and CEO of Metavine, explains how the no-code development environment provides an entry into modern technology for ABL lenders, enabling them to streamline the funding process, from origination through asset monitoring.
Dan O’Rourke, co-founder of new ABL lender Burnley Capital, acknowledges that without technology it would have been difficult for him and his partner, James Cullen, to found their company. With O’Rourke in Boston and Cullen based in Minneapolis, the ability to interact over the internet eliminates the need to get on a plane for a face-to-face meeting, a requirement that might have been necessary only 10 years ago.
While the Burnley folks are thrilled to be the new players on the scene, Briar Capital is exiting the ABL lending marketplace to concentrate on asset-based real estate deals. Jeff Van Sickle explains the reasoning behind Briar’s move and describes ways that the company can now work with ABL lenders to seal deals that may have been difficult to close before.
In our regular departments, Howard Brownstein uses the Turnaround Corner to promote his favorite topic — the value of checking a borrower’s corporate governance before closing a loan or extending forbearance. In Legal Lines, Jeff Wurst cautions lenders not to waive waivers when completing a financial agreement. And despite the constant gripes of passengers, Jennifer Villa Tennity points out in Specialty Lending that the number of people flying every year is increasing by the millions, which in turn increases the need for new planes and loans to pay for them.
While technology offers many wonderful benefits, there is a dark side — it opens the door to hackers and increases the potential for fraud. In our upcoming Risk Management issue, we will take a look at the dangers that abound and find new ways to protect data and customers. You can’t risk missing this issue!