From A to D: How LCF is Aiming High
Robert Kleiber was a banker. He started his career at Citi in 2000 and rose up the ranks to become Head of Small Business Banking for North America by 2014. By then times were changing and disruptive fintech technology was becoming the talk of the town. Kleiber saw it firsthand and wanted in. So, he made the daring move to leave Citi in 2016 to go make his mark in the rapidly evolving world of small business finance.
He first served as the CFO of an NYC-based fintech company until another unique opportunity presented itself. It was at a growing company on Long Island that he hadn’t really known that much about previously. The way Kleiber tells it to deBanked, the company had a way of communicating the scale of its aspirations that got him really excited. He went for it. The company was called The LCF Group, a revenue-based financing provider that was headquartered in New Hyde Park. Today, Kleiber is the CFO & COO of the LCF Group. Founded in 2011, the company has solidified itself as a stalwart in what folks often call the “C & D paper” space.
“The goal,” Kleiber reveals, “is to be largest subprime funder by the end of next year.”
That’s a lofty ambition. In an industry oft-filled with big talk and rosy projections, LCF’s trajectory actually appears to support this possible outcome. Between in-office and remote, the company already has approximately 200 employees and it’s been on a hot streak of recruiting talent. Most compelling of all, however, is that LCF recently acquired select strategic assets and licensing rights to a well-regarded name in the industry, Reliant Funding. At the time of the announcement, the company said that “This strategic move not only enhances LCF’s portfolio but also empowers us to offer merchant funding through both ISO partners and directly under the LCF and Reliant brands.”
“On the direct side, our plan is to build up Reliant on originations […] and get them back to where they were before,” Kleiber says.
In that regard, LCF fully intends to leverage the Reliant name back into a powerhouse funding arm in the prime paper arena, first by going direct to merchant and then by taking on ISO/referral business for it. Between its two brands then, the company is on its way to covering the gamut from A – D. Unsurprisingly, all of this activity requires strong technology to make everything work. Kleiber says that they have 20-25 developers constantly building out their systems, which they rely on to not only increase the speed in which they can approve deals but also to achieve maximum compliance.
“We take compliance super serious,” Kleiber says. “Our differentiator is transparency, operating above board.”
LCF’s new Director of Sales, Jason Redding, who previously spent ten years at OnDeck, echoes same. “Even though it’s C & D paper, we’re doing this the correct way,” Redding says. Redding, who experienced the incredible ride at his former employer from startup to IPO and beyond, explains that LCF is giving him a similar feeling of what that journey was like. “Being part of something like that again is something I’m looking forward to,” he says.
And yet when it comes down to product, the company is perfectly content for the time being to focus on what they’re good at, which is revenue-based financing through and through. They’ve determined it’s better to lean in and try to be the best at something rather than try to offer too many different things.
At the LCF office in New Hyde Park, one can find various departments working to carry out the company’s mission. Among the introductions and small talk made during a walkthrough, one line uttered by a veteran member of their team stands out. “In this industry you don’t have to be earth shatteringly different, just operate with honesty, integrity, and transparency, and success will follow.”Last modified: October 9, 2023
Sean Murray is the President and Chief Editor of deBanked and the founder of the Broker Fair Conference. Connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on twitter. You can view all future deBanked events here.