The Closer – Meet the Yellowstone Capital Rep That Originated $47 Million in Deals Last YearFebruary 10, 2016 | By: Sean Murray
Juan Monegro started working as a Verizon customer service rep when he was just 19 years old. For someone who would years later become one of the most prolific salesmen in a niche market of financial services, his beginnings are certainly humble, if not strangely improbable. But the way he tells it, the transition wasn’t that outlandish. After all, what better place to become a master of working over the phone than by working for an actual phone company?
Born and raised in New York City, it’s obvious from his stature that he likes to lift weights. While at Verizon, he was attending college part time and was just 5 classes away from graduation when he joined Yellowstone Capital. That was three and a half years ago, after Bart Maczuga, a friend of his that had just started there recently, spoke of an incredible opportunity for people who were good on the phone. Intrigued, Monegro decided it was worth checking out. He was hired immediately.
They challenged him right out of the gate by giving him a list of dead leads, standard procedure for new sales reps. It was basically a test, he said. Those that manage to turn that list into a sufficient number of funded deals get their shot at the fresh stuff.
“I closed three deals my first month,” Monegro said of that experience.
And with that, he hit the ground running. He put school on hold and in his first six months, he originated $3 million in funded deals, a feat which earned him immediate recognition among his colleagues. Monegro didn’t hold back from maximizing his potential either and after just 3 months, began to syndicate.
Some of those deals were through Maczuga, who was already running his own in-house funder. Maczuga, who had originally started in the company’s accounting department, was so impressed by the business model, that he literally told the company’s CEO, Isaac Stern, that he wanted to fund deals instead. “First week I said to Isaac, I need to put some money in,” Maczuga said.
With Stern’s blessing, Maczuga went all-in by investing ninety-five percent of his net worth in merchant cash advances. It has worked out very well for him. Today, the two pals still work together closely. Monegro closes, Maczuga funds. But only for the deals that fit the box. When they don’t, Monegro has a range of other in-house options to get his clients funded.
In an industry where top notch closers might only originate 200-350 deals a year, Monegro originated an astounding 2,350 deals in 2015. That came out to a grand total of $47.6 million, according to CEO Stern. That includes renewals, he admitted, but the bulk were new. Some quick math breaks that out to an average deal size of about $20,000. The largest deal Monegro funded last year was for $350,000. Meanwhile, the smallest deal he’s ever funded was for $1,000.
Stern explained why it was worth expending the energy to do really small deals. “It’s another customer that will eventually grow and may refer her friends and you get your name out there,” he said.
Monegro summed up his success very simply. “The secret sauce is the relationship that I have with the funders,” he said, elaborating that it allows him to get creative to get deals done. One such example was an e-cigarette business that had only been open for thirty days that he got funded through Maczuga.
A team of 8 people support him, whom Stern described as “rock stars.” Two of those members were present during the deBanked interview. They help facilitate all of the deal flow, a lot of which comes from outside ISOs.
Jeff Reece, the company’s President, later told deBanked in an e-mail, “Juan’s ability to focus and quickly identify the best path to closing a deal that is optimal for the merchant and the ISO is unrivaled.”
That’s perhaps an understatement, considering Monegro and his team are single-handedly out-originating entire brand name funding companies.
deBanked’s 2014 leaderboard only ranked companies that funded at least $100 million that year. Dozens of companies are funding less than $47 million annually however, even ones with large staffs and big name backers.
Notably, Yellowstone Capital’s numbers in aggregate, make them one of the industry’s top-ten players. The Fundry umbrella (Yellowstone’s parent company) originated nearly half a billion dollars in 2015. Because of their growth, they’re slated to move to a new 25,000 square foot office by the end of the month in Jersey City, according to CEO Stern.
“Anybody can become anything. There is no ceiling,” Stern said of the opportunity his company offers. Nobody is doomed to just work in one department or another, he explained.
With all of his success so far, Monegro has no immediate plans to re-enroll in school. And why should he? He is currently only 29 years old. Not bad for the $47 million originator.
“We love Juan,” Stern said. “They all love him.”Last modified: September 1, 2016
Sean Murray is the founder of deBanked, a 10-year veteran of the merchant cash advance industry, a casual Lending Club and Prosper investor, the co-founder of Daily Funder, an alternative lending speaker, consultant, writer, and enthusiast. Connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on twitter.