SEAN MURRAY

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Sean Murray is the founder of deBanked (2010), deBanked Connect & Broker Fair (2018), and DailyFunder (2012).

Murray entered the nonbank finance industry in 2006 and has a Bachelors of Science in Accounting & Finance from University of Delaware. He is widely known for his extensive reporting on the merchant cash advance industry and fintech.




Sean Murray



Recently Authored by Sean Murray

IOU Introduces the "Cash Back" Concept to the Small Business Loan Market
By: Sean Murray

iou financial cash back loanImmediately following news of a management shakeup, small business lending company IOU Financial introduced a first-of-its kind offering to eligible customers, cash back. "Available only to qualified new clients," as the announcement says, the IOU Cash Back Loan enables borrowers to benefit from perfect payment history by receiving 3% of the original loan back in the form of a cash rebate. According to Carl Brabander, the new EVP of Strategy, this is not a gimmick where the rebate can only be applied to a future loan or loaded up onto a gift card. "The merchant would receive the cash back amount by ACH directly to their bank account," he writes, "provided they (a) have a perfect repayment history and (b) apply for the rebate within 30 days of repaying the loan, using the cash back certificate we would have sent them when the loan closed." Translated into dollars, this reward could be sizable given that IOU's average loan size hovers around $100,000 and can go much higher. “The IOU Cash Back Loan gives us the opportunity to give something back to new clients that put their faith in us to fund their growth plans,” said IOU CEO Robert Gloer in a public statement. The cash-back loan concept was developed scientifically through focus group testing, the company claims. The sudden flurry of activity emanating from IOU can probably be attributed to a deal struck last year when Neuberger Berman, an investment manager with $374B under management, acquired a 15% stake in the firm. Brabander says that IOU is very bullish on the rest of the year and 2022. "We see small business coming back strong now that the 2nd round of PPP has finished working its way through the system," he says. "That's why we're investing heavily in products (ex. Cash Back), technology (our IOU360 platform) and distribution right now..."
Wave of Management Changes Come to IOU Financial As it Ramps Up For the Future
By: Sean Murray

IOU FinancialSmall business lender IOU Financial is undergoing one of the largest management shakeups of 2021. The company announced a slew of new hires and new roles for existing team members early this morning. Joining the company are:
  • Carl Brabander, EVP of Strategy
  • Jason Stevens, VP of Loss Mitigation
  • Sam Abolgar, VP of Finance (US)
New roles are as follows:
  • Madeline Wade, EVP Operations
  • Stewart Yeung, EVP of Finance
  • Jeff Turner, EVP of Risk Mitigation
  • Richard Zapata, VP of Engineering
  • Lori Haygood, VP of Compliance
IOU founder Phil Marleau also recently completed his planned transition from CEO to an advisory role. President and COO Robert Gloer has taken over as CEO as previously announced. The burst of change at IOU is perhaps unsurprising given that Neuberger Berman, an investment manger with $374B under management, acquired a 15% stake in the company last year. “IOU’s new management structure lays the groundwork for growth and innovation,” Gloer said in a public statement. “With this team in place IOU Financial has never been in a better position to achieve rapid growth through innovation in the areas of technology, products and distribution.”



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06/02/2021Video: Sean Murray with Oz Konar
03/31/2021Video: Jennie Villano and Sean Murray
10/15/2018Sean Murray to moderate NYIC panel
01/23/2017Sean Murray is Finalist at LendIt Awards


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Sean Murray to Moderate Best Practices Panel at New York Institute of Credit Event

October 15, 2018
Article by:

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

Merchant Cash Advance APR Debate (Sean Murray v Ami Kassar)

November 24, 2015
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The other day, Inc. writer and loan broker Ami Kassar took some time out of his day from taking photos of his shadow in the park to engage me in a debate about the use of APRs in future receivable purchase transactions. He was apparently very bothered by my analysis of Square’s merchant cash advance program which has transacted more than $300 million to date.

To clarify my position here, I am indeed in favor of transparency, so long as it’s intelligent transparency. Coming up with phony percentages based on estimates and applying them to transactions where they don’t make sense is not transparency. Similarly, advocating that merchant cash advance companies and lenders alike move away from a dollar-for-dollar pricing model to one that requires the seller or borrower to do math or hire an accountant is also not transparency.

Even a Federal Reserve study that attempted to prove merchant cash advances were confusing inadvertently proved that APRs in general were confusing. If someone doesn’t know how to calculate an APR, then it’s unreasonable to assume that they could work backwards from an APR to determine the dollar-for-dollar cost of capital. In effect, APR is a surefire way to mask the trust cost despite arguments to the contrary.

My unplanned debate with Ami Kassar on twitter is below:

Sorry Ami. The only thing unclear is your argument.

deBanked TV Surpasses 400 Helpful Videos on Small Business Finance and Fintech

July 23, 2021
Article by:

deBanked TVdeBanked TV surpassed 400 total videos this week in its free library of content. More than 40 such videos contain basic tutorials and terminology definitions for folks in the SMB lending and MCA industries.

“The content is highly focused,” deBanked President Sean Murray said. “It’s small business lending, real estate, MCA, etc. There’s content for newbies and seasoned veterans aimed at brokers, lenders, and more.”

deBanked has produced more than a dozen original videos as part of an industry docu-series that began in 2020.

Murray also airs live on deBanked TV every Monday and Wednesday at 12:15pm ET where he discusses industry news and offers informative advice.

SEAA: 1,000+ Attendees In Atlanta Next year, Thanks deBanked

June 8, 2021
Article by:

seaa 20211,000 people registered at the Southeast Acquirers Association 20th-anniversary conference Bonita Springs Florida: a smash hit in part due to the hybrid presentation model and deBanked’s video coverage, the executive board members of SEAA said. Treasurer John McCormick said next year in Atlanta would be even bigger, following a hybrid in-person venue with recordings and live streams that would pack over 1,000 participants in the show.

“To have our biggest show on the West Coast of Florida was really gratifying,” he said. “We registered over 1,000 and were just shy of that number with check-ins. I think we’ll [surpass that] next year in Atlanta, which will be a great celebration for our board and advisory committee.”

McCormick helped co-found the organization along with Audrey Blackmon and Judy Foster in 2001. In March, he talked with deBanked, describing the difficult choice to go back in person full capacity, a decision that turned into a major win. Derek Vowels, director of partner solutions at Aliaswire and SEAA board member, thanked Cypress Planning Group for the venue support and deBanked for helping produce the in-person and online hybrid model.

Everyone rose to the occasion, Vowels told Green Sheet, thanking Sean Murray, deBanked chief editor, publisher, and deBanked reporter Johny Fernandez, who conducted live interviews at the conference. “Attendees can view every breakout session, presentation, and popular CBD panel on the app and web portal for the rest of the calendar year,” he said. “Going forward, hybrid events that combine face-to-face meetings with recordings will be the norm.”

Alongside live streaming from the show floor on May 25th from 9 am to after 6 pm, Sean and Johny pored through interviews with industry experts.

Sam Schapiro, leader of funding application platform Fundomate, talked with Johny about the resilience of the human species, American small businesses, and funding slowdown.

Shawn Smith, the CEO of Dedicated Commercial Recovery, met with Sean to talk about the new post-covid environment in the B2B space and Florida golf.

Aviv Baron, the founder of Direct Payment Group, talked with Sean about changes in merchant spending, payment processing, cannabis, and drop shipping trends in the past year.

And automated accounts receivable fintech CEO Garima Shah talked with Johny about her firm Biller Genie, and the world opening for business after a year of covid.

deBanked is looking forward to the new year as covid restrictions lift and events come back in person.

Lawsuit Alleging Google Ad Abuse is Latest Iteration of the Search War

May 20, 2021
Article by:

google searchGoogle parent company Alphabet reported a record profit in Q1 2021 of $18 billion, up 162% from 2020. The firm attributes the success to a 32% surge in Covid related advertising sales.

A recent lawsuit from ten US States filed in a district court in Texas would argue that it’s not just a covid based bump in ad sales. According to the WSJ, in response to the lawsuit, Google accidentally confirmed what prosecutors suspected: they run a secret program called “Project Bernanke” that uses proprietary data to win bids on the firm’s ad exchange, netting hundreds of millions of dollars over the years. It amounts to a digital ad monopoly, which has already pushed Google’s parent company, Alphabet, to new highs.

Google’s ad exchange works like a stock exchange for marketing, as enterprises buy and sell placements and seconds of attention within the Google advertising universe. Firms bid on purchasing slots for ads in browsers and videos, and the auctions happen lightning fast in real-time. The lawsuit from ten states through the Taxes district court alleges Google used insider information on what they knew firms were willing to pay, to drive the prices as high as they would go.

Google is both on the buy and sell-side of its transactions and admitted in the papers WSJ saw that the data they mined to inform bids in Project Bernanke was not disclosed to publishers. The papers were quickly redacted and sealed by a judge days after WSJ found the details. The documents also mention “Jedi Blue,” a sweetheart deal between Google and Facebook. Instead of competing with Google ads, Facebook agreed to bid on and automatically win a fixed percentage of Google ad auctions. The deal originated back in 2018 when Facebook announced it was joining a competitor advertising program called “open bidding.” The states’ lawsuit alleges the firms must have made a side deal then, and the leaders of the internet ad market colluded; it’s why a bipartisan coalition of ten states is pushing back.

deBanked has tracked Google’s relationship with funders who use the search engine for marketing their products. After reducing the effetiveness of SEO and forcing most businesses into buying ad space out of necessity, the new lawsuit alleges Google rigged the game for themselves. The House always wins.

Back in 2012, deBanked’s Sean Murray first evaluated the SEO landscape. Google punished blogs that were printing out backlinks by the hundreds, nose-diving the competitive market for SEO rankings.

In 2014, Google’s “penguin algorithm” inflicted further pain.

In 2017, Google outright blocked merchant cash advance as an advertising keyword.

deBanked Announces SPAC

April 1, 2021
Article by:

Wall StreetdeBanked employees were summoned to an all-hands meeting in the company’s modest Brooklyn, NY headquarters yesterday afternoon to bear witness to a special announcement.

“We’re launching a SPAC,” deBanked president and chief editor Sean Murray said to a stunned room. “I’ve been writing about fintech for more than ten years, but an inspirational meme posted by a bot on twitter got me thinking. And I was just like, ‘You know what? F*** it, let’s just buy the whole fintech industry.'”

Everyone quickly agreed that it was a genius move.

“What was the last stimulus? like what, $1.9 trillion or something? We’ll raise at least 10x that amount in our IPO,” he continued. “No financial technology company is off limits, we’re going to buy them all. I can’t believe no one has thought of this yet!”

Murray realized that such a brilliant strategy was likely to rattle the largest banks and he said that he had already placed calls to Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan and David Solomon at Goldman Sachs to ease them into his swift rise to financial power.

“I mean did I actually speak to them? Technically per se not really, but I heard them speak on Clubhouse of which I am an elite exclusive member,” Murray said.

When pressed for details about this Clubhouse conversation, Murray backpedaled and said he actually just read an article about Clubhouse but that the article referenced Elon Musk and that he was basically just as important as the famed bankers. Several sources who wished to remain anonymous said that Murray was only invited to Clubhouse after shamelessly begging for an invitation on twitter.

Attempts to verify his membership revealed a profile picture where he is giving a thumbs up while holding a glass of scotch, one of which he said came from a bottle that cost more than I would ever make in my whole life. A fact check, however, revealed that it was really just expired apple juice that a building maintenance worker had left out near the common area garbage disposal.

When asked to explain this, Murray said, “Bro, why do you think we’re doing a SPAC? Once we have the money, we’ll be drinking freaking Apple computers!”

By the end of the big company meeting, Murray pulled out a joint and began puffing it furiously through a mouth hole he cut open in his 7 simultaneously-worn covid masks, prompting one staff member to ask if his fanciful plan was at all related to New York’s newly enacted marijuana law.

“Wait, you mean this sh*t’s legal now?” he asked. “F***, make it two SPACs then!”





April Fools 🙂

Tune in Today Live: debanked.com/tv

March 31, 2021
Article by:

Update: The recording is here


deBanked will be streaming live today at approximately 12:15 with special guest Jennie Villano of NewCo Capital Group. She will be joined by host Sean Murray in the studio. This is not a Zoom or virtual discussion. There is no need to register. Anyone can tune in free at debanked.com/tv or debanked.tv

Live With Jennie Villano

Merchant Cash Advance Facebook Group Hits 1,000 Members

March 26, 2021
Article by:

facebookThe Merchant Cash Advance facebook group, a community created and administered by deBanked, has reached 1,000 members. The social media group is a popular place for those in the non-bank business finance community to engage with each other online.

“We’re seeing an uptick in collaborative business development, especially among smaller brokerage organizations and those who work independently on their own,” deBanked President Sean Murray said. “A lot of ideas, motivation, referrals, and deal-making is being conducted online, more-so than before because of the 2020 lockdowns where in-person collaboration slowed to a crawl.”

Separately, deBanked shares common ownership with DailyFunder, the largest b2b finance community on the web.

“We actually witnessed a very insightful trend on DailyFunder,” Murray said. “Approximately 7.5% of the active membership that existed on March of 2020, had left their jobs or closed their business by March of 2021. It sounds troublesome on its face except that we added more members than we lost in that timeframe. More people came in than left, a net increase. I think the data is pointing to the future being very strong!”

Threads on deBanked


07-03-2019

Inform More, Earn More...
dale laszig has written a terrific article (http://www.greensheet.com/emagazine.php?article_id=6033) on the green sheet (http://www.greensheet.com/) a...




Found on DailyFunder:

07-03-2019

Inform More, Earn More...
sean murray, president and chief editor at*debanked, makes great points about education for sales agents being paramount to their success.*if knowledgeable about the diversity of financial products, and their distinctions from one another, agents can*help customers make informed decisions, which allows them to close more deals., , *, , customers trust in the person, brand or company they are working with is...
06-07-2019

How in the WORLD!!!??...
sean murray over at debanked to do a nice piece for his magazine debanked., , this is just getting crazy!!! still waiting for approval/denial and merchant has been called 4 times already.... wwooowwwwww!!!!...
01-28-2019

Quicksilver...
sean murray would have stepped in to stop this but i guess doesnt want to hurt his bottom line...