World Business Lenders Wants To Take On The World of Business Lending, From Jersey CityJuly 21, 2016 | By: Sean Murray
On the thirty third floor of the third tallest building in the state of New Jersey, World Business Lenders’ (WBL) CEO Doug Naidus spoke of another third to a crowd of several hundred people. WBL, which was being honored by state and local politicians for moving their office to Jersey City, is Naidus’ third company. And as he put it, his final one.
In exchange for tax incentives, WBL will bring 225 jobs to Jersey City by the end of 2016. But the perceived benefit to the community is two-fold, because the company itself helps other companies grow through the loans it makes. Collateralized though they may be and different from their many unsecured lending peers, former Congressman Ed Towns, who spoke at the event, said that what the company does makes sense. Current Congressman Donald M. Payne Jr., who was also there, welcomed WBL “to the right side of the river.”
They were joined by Jersey City Deputy Mayor Marcos Vigil, Councilwoman Candice Osborne, Archbishop David Billings and Mitchell Rudin, the CEO of Mack-Cali.
After the speeches and ceremonial ribbon cutting, Naidus told deBanked that he wants to build a company that lasts, one that he can look back on and be proud of. With an average loan size of $200,000, Naidus believes that their system is built to endure. A disbeliever in purely algorithmic underwriting, he said that he sees a correction coming for lenders that have forsaken sound underwriting. His premise for this belief comes from his experience in the mortgage industry, a type of lending that has obviously had its own highs and lows.
WBL Chief Revenue Officer Alex Gemici echoed same, who said that one of their competitive advantages is responsible underwriting and lending. “Our product is sound,” he told deBanked. And because their business model unabashedly pursues profit, they are able to redeploy capital into marketing effectively. Compared to a company like OnDeck, Gemici explained, they can often lend more because of collateral, but only up to what they believe a small business can afford. Their ideal borrower is a business looking to increase their revenue, he added.
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, reportedly said earlier that “helping small businesses thrive has been one of the guiding priorities of my administration, which makes World Business Lenders’ relocation to Jersey City even more rewarding.”
Fulop had recently just welcomed Fundry, one of WBL’s rivals, to his city a few months earlier, who also benefited from tax incentives. Fundry’s office is only a little more than three blocks away from WBL’s 101 Hudson Street address known locally as the Merrill Lynch Building.
“The Grow NJ program was designed to help New Jersey compete with other locations that are attractive for businesses looking to expand or relocate,” said Melissa Orsen, CEO of the state’s Economic Development Authority. WBL stands to receive up to $16.8 million in performance-based tax credits over ten years.
For employees of the company, the spectacular views from their new office seem to have convinced them that moving from their previous headquarters just outside of Times Square in Manhattan isn’t so bad.
“We are thrilled to contribute to the growth of Jersey City as a haven for commerce,” Naidus said. “We are delighted to call Jersey City our new home.”Last modified: July 21, 2016