World Business Lenders Makes Credit Prediction, Employs Different Model

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World Business Lenders (WBL) Managing Director Alex Gemici thinks the next credit correction will take place within three years, he told a crowd at Lend360 last week in Atlanta. When he and his fellow panelists were asked what keeps them up at night, Gemici said, “irrational exuberance.” He clarified that by saying that there was an incredible amount of capital pouring in right now and insinuated that it’s not all being deployed intelligently. He also pointed to the country’s economic history and said we’re naturally due for a shift in the credit cycle.

Lend360 Panel
From Left to Right: Bob Coleman of the Coleman Report, Jason Rockman of CAN Capital, Craig Coleman of ForwardLine, Alex Gemici of World Business Lenders, David Gilbert of National Funding and Jeremiah Neal of Biz2credit

Part of WBL’s hedge (if you could call it that) against a future industry shakeout, is that their loans are actually collateralized, though they didn’t start out that way. When they launched in 2011, they initially offered unsecured loans and eventually evolved towards collateralizing them with all different types of assets. They have shifted even further in that direction and today the only collateral they accept is real estate. That makes WBL’s model quite traditional by comparison to competing products like merchant cash advances and OnDeck loans. Gemici says however, that they believe in technology and data mining to make better underwriting decisions, just like today’s unsecured fintech lenders.

But while they use technology, their process isn’t fully automated and that’s because Gemici believes algorithms aren’t advanced enough yet to make decisions on their own. You can’t ask Siri whether she’d approve a business loan yet, Gemici joked.

Will business loans backed by real-estate give them a long-term edge over unsecured lenders? Only time will tell. One thing many people agree on however is that there will most certainly be a shakeout when the next economic downturn hits.

Last modified: October 19, 2015
Sean Murray

Category: Business Lending

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