|10/01/2018||Meet CFG Merchant Solutions in San Diego|
|03/06/2018||Interview with CFG Merchant Solutions|
|11/28/2017||CFG Merchant Solutions has line increased|
NEW YORK, New York., May 29, 2020 — CFG Merchant Solutions (“CFGMS”), a leading financier of small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”), announced today that the company is building upon its partnership with Arena Investors, LP (“Arena”), in conjunction with Ceteris Portfolio Services (“Ceteris), an Arena servicing affiliate, in servicing and providing liquidity to Platinum Rapid Funding’s (“PRF”) merchant portfolio. CFGMS has been a leading capital provider to SMEs and an originator of advances to growing merchants, providing in excess of $400 million merchant cash advances since 2015. Arena has been CFGMS’s primary capital partner since 2016.
CFGMS and Arena are determined to prioritize the needs of PRF’s existing customers in the wake of the COVID-19 crises and its resulting impact on small businesses across the country.
“Arena is pleased to continue its partnership with CFGMS and its senior management team consisting of CEO, Andrew Coon, Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel, Robert Martini, and President, William Gallagher. Together, we remain deeply committed to serving the needs of PRF’s existing customers, particularly for ongoing financing and liquidity needs in an environment when even much larger businesses struggle to attract capital,” said Victor Dupont, who leads Arena’s investments in the financing of the SME sector. “We welcome further involvement with PRF’s customers and their affiliated ISOs and are committed to working collaboratively with all throughout the COVID-19 crises and beyond”.
“Arena and its affiliates have built a reputation as a group that combines uniquely flexible capital with broad-based expertise in servicing, resolutions, and SME finance,” said Coon. “So, while we excel at sourcing, originations, and underwriting, we felt that they brought a critical level of IP and know-how that is uniquely suited to benefit all parties in today’s environment. Combining forces to offer a broader set of servicing solutions to the MCA market segment made complete sense.”
Jonathan Pike, CEO of Ceteris, added: “Ceteris is excited to work with CFGMS and Arena by offering best-in-class servicing strategies and assisting merchants in a difficult economic environment.”
The Small Business Association (“SBA”) estimates that traditional banks still reject approximately 90 percent of SME loan applications. Since 2015, CFGMS has emerged as a proven platform that leverages sales partner relationships, analytics, and proprietary underwriting to provide SMEs with a straightforward and streamlined access to critical funding. The company addresses the fundamental capital needs of SME owners across a broad credit spectrum and through every stage of a business’s life cycle.
SMEs across a wide variety of industries that include restaurants, retail stores, salons, spas, dry cleaners, auto body shops, and professional offices. All of these businesses, and more, rely on CFGMS to secure the necessary capital they need to grow.
For questions or funding solutions, please contact:
– William Gallagher
– (646) 880-3817
– Ryan Banda
– (856) 545-8322
Headquartered in New York, NY, CFGMS specializes in providing financing to support the growth and development of underserved small-to-medium sized businesses that lack access to traditional bank funding. Founded in 2010, CFGMS’s affiliated company, CapFlow Funding Group, provides factoring, purchase order finance, and asset-based lending solutions. CFGMS and CapFlow have together provided over $1 billion in liquidity solutions to their SME clients. For more information please visit www.cfgmerchantsolutions.com
About Arena Investors, LP
Arena Investors is a privately held, SEC-registered, global alternative investment firm which combines mandate flexibility, proprietary sourcing and systems-plus-servicing to enable solutions for those seeking capital. The firm was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in NewYork with additional offices in Jacksonville, London, and San Francisco. For more information, please visit www.arenaco.com.
About Ceteris Portfolio Services
Ceteris is a nationally licensed servicing company providing debt recovery solutions and other related services for consumers and commercial businesses across a broad range of financial assets. Ceteris provides first- and third-party revenue cycle management, business process outsourcing and portfolio backup servicing to heavily regulated, high volume industries including banking, automotive finance, credit card, equipment leasing, medical, telecommunications, utilities, retail and other industries. For more information please visit www.ceterisholdco.com.
United States Representative Tom MacArthur, who represents New Jersey’s 3rd District, visited the NYC office of CFG Merchant Solutions on Monday. MacArthur has been in office since 2014.
CFG Merchant Solutions moved into the 180 Maiden Lane office earlier this year. The company is a member of the Commercial Finance Coalition (CFC). Adam Sloane of Cresthill Capital, another CFC member, was also in attendance.
CFG Merchant Solutions is a sponsor of deBanked CONNECT San Diego. The half-day event for funders, lenders, brokers and industry professionals is being held at the Andaz on October 4th!
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–i2B Capital (www.i2bcap.com), a provider of direct financing to niche-market financial entrepreneurs, is pleased to announce the closing of a $4 million asset-based revolving line of credit with an accordion to $6 million with CFG Merchant Solutions (CFGMS). CFGMS is a privately owned and operated specialty finance company focused on providing working capital to small and mid-sized businesses (Merchants) in the U.S. that are historically underserved by traditional financial institutions.
Said Mr. Larry L. Curran II, CEO of i2B Capital, “CFGMS gave us the perfect opportunity to apply asset-based lending principals to non-traditional receivable assets in an early stage specialty finance company. CFGMS is a new division of an established finance business with traditional bank financing; however, these receivable assets were excluded from the existing borrowing base. The CFGMS management team is seasoned, backed by private equity, and enabled with technology—exactly what we look for in our target customer. Additionally, they have grown their financed receivables more than 500% since beginning the process.”
Barbara Anderson, Chief Operating Officer at i2B Capital commented, “Our goal over the initial 18-month funding commitment is to prepare CFGMS for more traditional institutional financing in the future. To accomplish that we will provide the growth capital along with our commercial lending expertise to help them prepare for the disciplined reporting requirements and credit processes at the next level.”
William Gallagher, President of CFGMS said, “Obtaining an asset-based loan against our non-traditional asset class within our first year of operation is instrumental in allowing us to execute on our growth strategy, and achieve some very aggressive portfolio and revenue targets. We had to work through several considerations with i2B due to the age and size of the portfolio, but through mutual collaboration we were able to put in place a facility that will enable us to take our business to the next level.”
CFGMS is a subsidiary of CapFlow Funding Group, a commercial finance company that offers an array of products such as factoring, purchase order finance, and asset-based loans. Both companies are headquartered in Rutherford, New Jersey. CFGMS with additional offices in New York City is a direct funder providing working capital to small businesses. They are entrepreneurs who understand first-hand the challenges of acquiring flexible and timely financing. CFGMS combines proprietary analytics and technology, with common sense underwriting to provide fast and efficient access to capital. Programs include Small Business Advance, Merchant Cash Advance, and Invoice Factoring. For more information about CFGMS contact William Gallagher at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.cfgmerchantsolutions.com.
i2B Capital is headquartered in Fort Collins, Colorado with offices in Herndon, Virginia. The company provides senior debt and direct asset investments for growth capital to qualifying entrepreneurs and equity-backed emerging specialty finance companies throughout the United States. For more information about i2B Capital contact Barbara Anderson at 703-871-3993 or email@example.com, or visit www.i2bcap.com.
Barbara Anderson, 703-871-3993
deBanked President and Chief Editor Sean Murray will be moderating a best practices panel at the New York Institute of Credit Event on October 16th. The event is also supported by the IFA Northeast, the Alternative Finance Bar Association, and deBanked.
The subject of the panel is to discuss best practices when dealing with different financial firms, namely ABL, factoring, and merchant cash advance. The panelists are:
- Bill Gallagher, President, CFG Merchant Solutions
- Bill Elliott, President, First Business Growth Funding
- Raffi Azadian, CEO, Change Capital
- Dean Landis, President, Entrepreneur Growth Capital
For brokers, funding partnerships are critical to success. But making the most of these connections can be elusive.
“Transparency, efficiency and a thorough scrubbing on the front end can help the whole process,” says William Gallagher, president of CFG Merchant Solutions, an alternative funder with offices in Rutherford, N.J. and Manhattan.
Gallagher recently moderated an “Underwriting 101” panel at Broker Fair 2018, which deBanked hosted in May. The panel featured a handful of representatives from different funding companies discussing various hot-button items including striking the proper balance between technology and human underwriting, trade secrets of the submission process and stacking. Here are some major takeaways from that discussion and from follow-up conversations deBanked had with panel participants.
Each funder has slightly different processes and requirements. Brokers need to understand the different nuances of each firm so they know how to properly prepare merchants and send relevant information, funders say.
Many brokers sign up with funders without delving deeper into what the different funders are really looking for, says Jordan Fein, chief executive of Greenbox Capital in Miami Gardens, Fla., that provides funding to small businesses.
For example, there are a growing number of companies that rely more heavily on advanced technology for their underwriting, while others have more human intervention. Brokers need to know from the start what the funder’s underwriting process is like—the nitty gritty of what each funder is looking for—so they can more effectively send files to the appropriate funder.
“They will look poor in front of the merchant if they don’t really know the process,” Fein says.
Certainly, it’s a different ballgame for brokers when dealing with funders that are more human based versus more automated, says Taariq Lewis, chief executive and co-founder of Aquila Services Inc., a San Francisco-based company that offers merchants bank account cash flow analysis as well as funding that ranges from 70 days to 100 business days.
At Aquila, the process is meant to be totally automated so that brokers spend more time winning deals faster, with better data to do so. This means, however, that some of the underwriting requirements differ from some other industry players. Aquila’s most important requirement is that a merchant’s business is generally healthy and shows a positive history of sales deposits. Other funders require documents and background explanations, whereas Aquila strives to be completely data-driven, Lewis says. These types of distinctions can be important when submitting deals, funders say.
Stacking is another example of a key difference among funders that brokers need to understand. It’s a controversial practice; some funders are open to stacking, while others will only take up to a second or third position; a number of funders shy away from the practice completely. Brokers shouldn’t waste their time sending deals if there’s no chance a funder will take it; they have to do their research upfront, funders say.
Most times, brokers “don’t invest enough time to understand the process,” Fein says.
Some brokers may feel competitive pressure to sign up with as many funders as possible, but it can easily become unwieldy if the list is too long, funders say. Better, they say, to deal with only a handful of funders and truly understand what each of them is looking for.
“There are brokers that deal with 20 [funders], but I don’t think it’s a good, efficient practice,” says Rory Marks, co-founder and managing partner of Central Diligence Group, a New York funder that provides working capital for small businesses.
He suggests brokers select funders that are easy to work with and responsive to their phone calls and emails. Not all funders will pick up the phone to speak with brokers who have questions, but he believes his type of service is paramount, he says. “It’s something we do all the time,” he says.
He also recommends brokers consider a funder’s speed and efficiency of funding as well as document requirements and their individual specialties. There are plenty of funders to choose from, so brokers shouldn’t feel they have to work with those that are more difficult, he says.
To prevent a broker’s list from becoming too unwieldy, Gallagher of CFG Merchant Solutions suggests brokers have two to three go-to funders in each category of paper from the highest quality down to the lowest. Having a few options in each bucket allows greater flexibility in case one funder changes its parameters for deals, he says.
Brokers “sometimes just shotgun things and throw things against the wall and hope they stick,” Gallagher says. Instead, he and other funders advocate a more precise approach –proactively deciding where to send files based on what they know about the merchant and research they’ve done on prospective funders.
It used to be that when sending files to funders, brokers would provide some background on the company in the body of the email. This was helpful because even a few sentences can help funders gain some perspective about the company and better understand their funding needs, says Fein of Greenbox Capital.
These days, however, Fein says he’s getting more emails from brokers that simply request the maximum funding offer, without providing important details about the business. The financials on ABC importing company aren’t necessarily going to tell the whole story because funders won’t know what products they import and why the business is so successful and needs money to grow. Providing these types of details could help sway the underwriting process in a merchant’s favor. Brokers don’t have to say a lot, but funders appreciate having some meaty details. “A few sentences go a long way,” Fein says.
Many brokers make the mistake of overpromising what they can get for merchants and how long the process could take, funders say. Both can cause significant angst between merchants and brokers and between brokers and funders.
If a company is doing $15k in sales volume and asking for $50k in funding, the broker should know off the bat, the merchant is not going to get what he wants, says Marks of Central Diligence Group. By managing merchant’s expectations, brokers are doing their clients—and themselves—a favor. Why waste time on deals that won’t fund because they are fighting an uphill battle? Brokers shouldn’t knowingly put themselves in the position of having to backtrack later, Marks says.
Instead, explain to the merchant ahead of time he’s likely to receive a smaller amount than he’d hoped for. To show him why, walk the merchant through a general cash flow analysis using data from the past three to four months, says Gallagher of CFG Merchant Solutions. This will help merchants understand the process better, and it can help raise a broker’s conversion rate, he says.
“It’s about setting realistic expectations,” Marks says.
Sometimes brokers take only a cursory look at a merchant’s financials, and because of this, they overlook important details that can delay, significantly alter, or sink the underwriting process, funders say.
Heather Francis, founder and chief executive of Elevate Funding in Gainesville, Fla., offers the hypothetical example of a merchant who has total deposits of $80k in his bank account. On its face, it may look like a solid deal and the broker may make certain assurances to the merchant. But if it comes out during underwriting that most of the deposits are transfers from a personal savings account as opposed to sales, there can be trouble. Based on the situation, the merchant may only be eligible for $30k, but yet the owner is expecting to receive $80k based on his discussions with the broker. Now you have an unhappy merchant, a frustrated broker and a funder who may be blamed by the merchant, even though it’s really the broker who should have dug deeper in the first place and then managed the merchant’s expectations accordingly. “We see that a lot,” says Francis.
To get the most favorable deals for merchants, some brokers only present the rosiest of information in the hopes that the funder won’t discover anything’s amiss. Several panelists expressed frustration with brokers who purposely withhold information, saying it puts deals at risk and makes the process much less efficient for everyone.
Marks of Central Diligence Group offers the hypothetical example of a merchant whose sales volume dipped in two of the past six months. To push the deal through, a broker might submit only four months of data, hoping the funder doesn’t ask about the other two months. Some funders might accept only four statements, but other shops will want to see six. If a funder then asks for six, the broker’s omission creates unnecessary friction, he says.
Funders say it’s better to be upfront and disclose relevant information such as sales dips or some other type of temporary setback that weighs a merchant’s financials. Kept hidden, even small details could easily become game-changers—or deal-breakers—a losing proposition for merchants, brokers and funders alike.
“If we have the full story upfront and we’re going in eyes wide open, we can look at the file in a little bit of a different way,” says Gallagher of CFG Merchant Solutions.
Update: Thanks to everyone who attended, participated, and sponsored!
Registration on Monday starts at 7am where you will be able to pick up your badge. The continental breakfast will be available at 8am and the opening remarks begin at 8:45am.
The lunch, sponsored by National Funding, begins at 12. There will be a kosher option available.
Later at the end of the day, the cocktail reception at Westlight, which is upstairs on the 22nd floor, will begin at 5:30pm. Westlight offers amazing outdoor views of the Manhattan skyline. That event is sponsored by RapidAdvance and all you need to enter is your Broker Fair badge.
The agenda will also be available on the backside of your badge.
Thank you also to our Gold Sponsors: National Business Capital, CFG Merchant Solutions, BFS Capital, and CanaCap
Below are excerpts from separate interviews with four industry executives when asked for tips or advice for brokers:
“I would just say to be in it for the long haul. Play the long game. Be the kind of quality partner that you would want in return. There are some brokers and referral sources in this space who see merchants only as a commission check, not as the going concern and business entities that they are. Some brokers are playing the short game, which is unfortunate, because brokers can be in a very powerful position with their clients (merchants) – they need to use that power wisely. If one were to carefully look at a business and its working capital challenges, and then tried to do what was in the best interest of that business in the long run, a broker could be creating a revenue stream for a longer period of time – on a healthier business – and in return creating a more sustainable brokerage platform for themselves. Be open and transparent – sometimes losing a deal due to full transparency can lead to many multiples of that volume with a loyal funding partner.”
– Bill Gallagher, President and Managing Partner, CFG Merchant Solutions | Read full interview
“Choose industries that you excel in—and own them.
Concentrate your marketing efforts on your core customers and target those that meet a lender’s criteria. It’s not the quantity of leads you deliver, it’s the quality—and that will save you time and money. Look for customers in growth stages, not those that are desperate for funds to stay afloat. This will also result in more renewals.
And find a lending partner with a strong brand, as this opens doors to new customers.”
– Michael Marrache, CEO, BFS Capital | Read full interview
“It is not an easy business and not for everyone. It takes quite some time – years – to either build an organization or to become a seasoned pro that truly understands the space. It is also very fast paced and ever changing, so you have to really commit and take the space seriously if you want to be successful.”
– James Webster, CEO, National Business Capital | Read full interview
“Brokering is a tough marketplace right now. I don’t want to say [it’s] saturated, but it’s getting pretty close…Everyone’s getting a million phone calls and mailings and the marketing is going crazy, and the expense is going up. So you really have to find a way to differentiate yourself.
That’s really the biggest thing about being a broker, besides quality service. It’s more: What kind of niche can I get into? How can I break into the market without having to spend like a million dollars a month on marketing? The biggest thing is: What can you do differently?”
– Evan Marmott, CEO, CanaCap | Read full interview
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