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

BOO! The deBanked Spooktacular is Coming in October (For Real)
By: Sean Murray



pumpkin piggyOh there's a Broker event in New York alright, and it's by deBanked on October 26. Join the industry for a deBanked Spooktacular at Bourbon & Branch in Midtown Manhattan. Get right to the networking and fun in the hub of the industry and enjoy bundles of swag, an open bar, treats, and more. Costumes are welcome but not required. The tickets cost a fraction of other events. If you're a broker, meet the funders and leave with a goodie bag you'll never forget! deBanked and DailyFunder website advertisers get a special privilege. To find out what that is, email: larissa@debanked.com
Don't be scared!
REGISTER HERE!

deBanked CONNECT MIAMI will follow on Jan 11, 2024 in Miami Beach.
spooktacular debanked
As IRS Announces Pause of ERC Payouts, Businesses May Resume Pursuit of Upfront Alternatives
By: Sean Murray

us treasury checksAcross the web on internet forums such as Reddit, business owners accustomed to telling ERC filing war stories are starting to worry that their checks might not be coming any time soon. "I spoke with an agent today. She said they received an organization-wide email to stop processing ERC for the time being," one user reported at the end of August. Some users replied to say that it wasn't true. But it is. On July 26, IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel said that the IRS had cleared its backlog of valid ERC claims and is now "intensifying compliance work and putting in place additional procedures to deal with fraud in the program." "The further we get from the pandemic, we believe the percentage of legitimate claims coming in is declining," Werfel said. The IRS later confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that it had in fact slowed its processing of claims. There's some truth in the assertion that the IRS had cleared out a major backlog before doing this. In late June, for example, those same internet forums were abuzz with happy check recipients and a rush of optimism that the era of long processing wait times was coming to a close. The shift in sentiment had implications. For Finance ERC, a company that provides business owners with cash upfront in return for buying their future ERC receivables, the impact was immediate. "[Early in] the summer we saw tremendous demand in our origination levels, April, May, and June, of companies coming to us with the mindset that the IRS was taking too long so they wanted to sell their ERC credit rather than wait," said David Goldin, a Managing Member of Finance ERC. "And then we saw in our portfolio, which is large checks flowing in from the IRS all at once over the summer, and then we saw our demand for new customers fall off a cliff." The IRS cranking out checks had made people reconsider not wanting to wait. "Psychologically, customers then would say, 'why would I finance it, I'm going to be getting my check any day, my friend got his check, this one got his check...'" But since then IRS checks slowed to a crawl, intentionally. And for all the talk about clearing the backlog, there were still 637,000 unprocessed 941-X forms (adjusted quarterly tax forms necessary for the credit) as of September 6th, not to mention that under current law, 2020 tax returns can be amended until April 2024, and 2021 returns can be amended until April 2025. On September 14th, the IRS upped the ante of a delay to a total pause for new claims. "New claims for the employee retention credit, or ERC, wont be processed until at least 2024," the WSJ reported. The headline leaves little room for misinterpretation: IRS Shuts Door on New Pandemic Tax Credit Claims Until at Least 2024. dollar eyeAll of which means that business owners are now back to the waiting game and potentially back to considering upfront solutions. For Finance ERC, the company saw interest suddenly pick up and then accelerate since the first WSJ story came out. "So I'm not saying the day that article came out, but we've definitely seen a spike in demand," Goldin said. "My thing would be that for anyone that was selling [ERC financing], to think about that again, or those that weren't selling it and they're feeling that the MCA market is struggling, it's too competitive, this is a new opportunity." Goldin shared this prior to the news breaking that the delay of ERC payouts had completely paused. Presumably, it would only make businesses more interested in getting the financing. As he previously told deBanked, Finance ERC's product requires no payments, can be eligible for up to 4-6x of what they would otherwise qualify for with an MCA, and can get it at a fraction of the cost of an MCA. But offering it can't be done as an afterthought, he explained, even if you're a big company with a big merchant portfolio. "...you send out one or two emails you might as well not even send them out at all," Goldin said." Unless you're actually embracing the product in your ecosystem, you know, drip marketing, follow up, you literally have to have a separate team selling it or it won't work. But the guys that have done it, I know a few MCA guys that have, they've crushed it on both filing and funding. They've set up a separate group, separate sales guys, and they're really killing it." And so the previous frontier of financing the ERC could now also be the next frontier yet again because of what's taking place. On one subreddit, now that the reality is setting in, the tone has shifted. "Has anyone tried contacting their state representative about the delay in refund?" The user began. He then adds that he's already been waiting a whole year.



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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
Article by:

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.

Murray Loses Election for ENS Foundation Directorship

May 21, 2023
Article by:

BlockchaindeBanked president Sean Murray was one of two nominees earlier this month for an open director position of the ENS Foundation. ENS stands for the Ethereum Name Service, a protocol that allows users to substitute human readable usernames for long hexadecimal strings commonly associated with crypto addresses.

Instead of one’s address looking like this: 0x64233eAa064ef0d54ff1A963933D0D2d46ab5829, it could be debanked.eth or debanked.com or sean.debanked.com or some other domain name owned by the user.

Murray has been an advocate for ENS names as a form of web-based identity. He was one of the first 500 people in the world to use a .com address as an ENS name and the first in the world to turn a .com address into an NFT on mainnet using the official ENS Namewrapper contract. debanked.com, for example, is not only a website address, but also a crypto address and an NFT. Murray has been studying crypto since 2014 and deployed his first deBanked smart contract to ethereum in 2021.

Murray lost the election in a blowout but has expressed that his candidacy led to some positive changes in the ENS ecosystem. The ENS Foundation represents the technology’s official DAO. Murray’s competition was more qualified than he was for the role. The victor, Alex Van de Sande, helped launch ethereum, launched the first Ethereum wallet and Web3 Browser, and was a co-founder of ENS.

“I anticipate there eventually being some crossover between the traditional financial system and blockchain technology,” Murray said. “A username system would be an integral part of that. I’m not into speculating on coins or anything of that nature.”

deBanked CONNECT San Diego Reviewed

September 26, 2023
Article by:

debanked connect san diegodeBanked CONNECT marked its return to San Diego at the Wyndham Bayside Hotel directly across from the waterfront on N Harbor Drive, a prime location accompanied by many museums, restaurants, and a calming view of North San Diego Bay. The timing of the event paired perfectly with the Miramar Air Show, Hispanic Heritage Weekend, Adams Avenue Street Fair and other festivities taking place that weekend.

deBanked’s Chief Editor, Sean Murray opened the event by noting that California’s Commercial Financing Disclosure Bill thankfully didn’t cause the world to end. He also highlighted that California is the industry’s third-largest market, following Miami and New York. To his surprise, many attendees were experiencing a deBanked event for the first time.

Justin Thompson, CRO at National Funding, said that prior to deBanked’s expansion to the locale in 2018/2019 that most of the events there had to do with merchant processing, SBA loans, or equipment financing and that the 2019 show set the tone for more events to be brought out to the Southern California.

“It was great, I think it was appropriate to have something out here on the West Coast – probably in terms of the count of brokers is more on the East Coast –there’s also some pretty large brokers on the West Coast and I think it was real good opportunity to have everybody here on the West Coast that maybe couldn’t have gone to the East Coast to do stuff,” said Thompson. “There’s some new faces and some new opportunities to meet the people and build new relationships.”

deBanked CONNECT San Diego showcased tech demos from Ocrolus, Onxy IQ, and Dragin. Guest speaker Tye Hanna, CEO of Titan Asset Management, touched on what MCA portfolios are worth and how to value them. And Brock Blake, CEO of Lendio, drew in a large crowd discussing tech platforms that have entered the lending space and the necessity of innovation.

The panels began with the ‘Legal and Regulatory Developments’ with David Austin, Marshall Goldberg, and Scott Pearson and concluded with ‘Navigating the New Normal’ featuring Patrick Manning, Benjamin Flowers, Josh Jones, and Shelley Shivers.

At the end, attendees gathered on the outdoor terrace to unwind and continue the networking. The sunset met guests exactly as it began, a beautiful way to conclude the day. deBanked CONNECT Miami was also announced and set to be for January 11, 2024.

A Letter About Broker Fair

May 6, 2023
Article by:

When I started in the small business finance industry in 2006, I considered myself fortunate that the work I put in translated into real world measurable impact. We helped businesses obtain capital when potentially no other options existed. Whether that was for simple cash flow, to expand, or to keep the lights on after an unexpected hardship, I got to know the customers’ stories and see the results of their efforts. Few kids straight out of college going into a “finance job” get to experience what I did. But for those that were in it at the time, we were like a family, a core group providing a service that very few other people understood.

And for a period of about five years through both underwriting and sales, which started before and went on through the Great Recession, many members of that family discovered new and different ways in which they could play a role in serving the nation’s small businesses. Some of them became big entrepreneurs, CEOs, or hard working brokers. Others went into tech, marketing, legal, and payments.

And for me, well I saw a need for something maybe a little less glamorous, but nevertheless important, and that was to tell the stories about what everyone else was doing. That’s what led to the creation of deBanked in 2010, a website that I hoped would inform others about what was going on, who was who, and how certain products worked.

Most people actually told me that starting deBanked, in its early days, was a bad idea because my knowledge and experience would be wasted on storytelling when I surely stood to gain more personally by operating in the trade of the business itself. Well, in the end they were probably right but I was convinced, just like my early days, that pursuing my path would also translate into real world impact. Whether you agree with all the content we’ve produced over the course of almost 13 years now, just about any person that’s ever read something on deBanked has walked away informed about something they didn’t know before. And as the community of the industry multiplied over time, it became clear that one major thing with deBanked was lacking, and that was to put faces to all the names. Everyone had come to know the industry online and now they deserved to see it all for themselves in person. We started with golf in the summer of 2017 and a rooftop gathering in Miami Beach in January 2018 called deBanked CONNECT. That led to Broker Fair that May where the core tenets of the event were education, inspiration, and opportunities to connect and grow. They’re the same tenets that we strive for today.

At the time of the first Broker Fair I was just 34 years-old and this industry had been basically all that I had ever known in my professional life. Just like writing, event production was not high on the glamor list, but I believed that shows like Broker Fair would foster those that make a difference. Putting them on has been hard work. It is hard work. They didn’t teach me event planning on the underwriting or sales floor, but we got there somehow. And since then we have aimed to make the experiences fun while at the same time honorable and respectable. I remember what it was like to be 23 and hungry in the business and have also come to recognize the stakes on the national stage as I now turn 40. I know that the world is watching and how important it is that everyone conduct themselves like professionals.

I have spent nearly 17 years in this business and converse with participants in the industry on a daily basis. It is a great honor that the name Broker Fair is now known by so many people. I suppose there is some glamor in having accomplished that, but more importantly that Broker Fair has had an impact on so many people who serve much more important clientele, the small businesses across the country.

I’ve said that there is “only one Broker Fair,” and that’s because when you see that very specific name on an image or billboard or t-shirt, you’ll know not just who we are, but why we are.

Thank you to all of those who acknowledge that professionalism and decency are important and are respectful of the events our team puts so much effort into bringing to life. Our team literally spends all year working on them. I look forward to Broker Fair 2023 and seeing all of you.

– Sean Murray

John Henry to Keynote Broker Fair 2023

April 3, 2023
Article by:

John HenryEntrepreneur and investor John Henry is returning to Broker Fair. He previously spoke at Broker Fair’s virtual event in 2020. At the time he was the star of the TV show ‘Hustle‘ on Viceland. He’s since co-founded LOOP and this year attendees will have the opportunity to actually see him in person.

deBanked previously interviewed Henry in 2020 when it was still believed that Broker Fair that year would be held in person. The original un-updated bio and interview have been reposted below in their entirety:

———-

About John Henry

Voted to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 and Ebony’s Power 100 lists – John Henry is a Dominican-American entrepreneur and investor. Henry started his first business at 18, an on-demand dry cleaning service for the Film and TV industry in New York City, with clients such as The Wolf of Wall Street, Boardwalk Empire, Power, and more. Henry led the company through its acquisition in 2014 — founding and selling his first business by the age of 21. On the heels of his first win, Henry launched Cofound Harlem — a non-profit incubator that aims to foster a robust tech ecosystem North of 96th street in New York City. Cofound Harlem has launched numerous high-growth companies in Harlem, gaining recognition from Fast Company, TechCrunch, Business Insider, and more. He is a former Partner at Harlem Capital, a diversity-focused early stage venture capital firm on a mission to change the face of entrepreneurship. Henry is also the host of VICELAND’s latest show, HUSTLE, which is Executive Produced by Alicia Keys and focused on helping scrappy entrepreneurs grow their business to the next level.

—–

Q (Sean Murray): You started your first business at 18 but what made you want to start one?

A (John Henry): It was driven by necessity more than a desire to be an entrepreneur, but I did exhibit some of the traits that pushed me towards that path. Entrepreneurs tend to have a history of non-conformity where there’s no pre-chartered path and in an environment that demands conformity, anyone that likes to express their own views comes up against a lot of friction. So, for me it was necessity but also part of my character to do things differently.

Q: What kind of lessons did you learn from running a business at such a young age?

A: It’s a serious game and it’s full of responsibility. I was telling myself at one point that I was just 18 and so the struggles I faced running a business could be overlooked because of my age, but the world doesn’t care how old you are. If you’re running a business, there’s no way around the responsibilities it demands.

The other thing is, when you come up against really tough situations, you need to be brave and have courage to go through those moments. I’m glad I had the courage in them. Once you take them head-on, you come out feeling better on the other side.

Q: As a former partner of a Venture Capital firm, what’s the #1 mistake you saw entrepreneurs and business owners make?

A: You’ve got to have macro understanding and micro-chops. Everything is connected, it’s not just knowing your business but knowing where you’re situated in the economic or market cycle and understanding what customer sentiment is. That’s what a lot of entrepreneurs miss. Like if your idea is to make a mobile app, that’s great, but how many apps are already out there? How long have apps been part of the market already? What’s going to make your app stand out from every other app? And this doesn’t apply just to startups, but also existing companies. Every 3 months, you should be asking yourself the business question and evolve if necessary. The hardest part though is when your gut is telling you you’re right but every other person out there is telling you you’re wrong. And that’s something you’ll really have to figure out.

Q: Why has helping minority entrepreneurs and businesses been so important to you?

A: I’m not usually asked why, but I was seeing less and less minority representation among entrepreneurs that were receiving capital. There are some systemic factors that make it harder to get ahead but at the same time people can become inclusive to the point where they’re becoming exclusive. So, I think it’s about helping those that are on their way to overcoming tremendous odds to get far.

Q: Real estate, what can you tell me about your foray into that market?

A: I can say it’s the best business that I have been in so far. Real estate is the #1 fundamental building block of wealth. When I first got into it, I was shocked that you could put down 20% and the bank would put in the other 80%. This is a game of physical assets and I’m glad I came across it when I did. I’m currently building a bedrock of business around real estate, my preference being residential multi-family apartments.


Register For Broker Fair 2023

Broker Fair Returns to New York City May 8, 2023

January 30, 2023
Article by:


Broker Fair 2023 LogoBroker Fair returns to NYC on May 8th at the New York Hilton Midtown. Once again brokers from the small business lending, commercial financing, revenue-based financing, leasing, equipment financing, factoring, and mca industries, will come together in the heart of New York.

“It’s exciting to return back to our pre-pandemic schedule and host Broker Fair in the Spring,” said event founder Sean Murray. “This is the biggest annual small business finance conference in Manhattan and we’re excited to be doing it again now for the sixth time since 2018. If you haven’t seen what this show is all about, 2023 is the best year to come and find out!”

Register here. For inquiries or questions, email events@debanked.com.



See last year’s sizzle reel:

DailyFunder Marks 10 Year Anniversary

July 26, 2022
Article by:

dailyfunderThe DailyFunder.com domain was registered ten years and 1 month ago. Formed two years after the debut of deBanked, DailyFunder went on to become the most active small business finance community in North America. The forum has generated more than 160,000 posts and has more than 12,000 members. It has regularly surpassed two million page views per year.

“There is no doubt that the DF has impacted the trajectory of the industry over the last decade,” said Sean Murray, who founded it. “The site receives thousands of visitors per day. In the early years it ushered in an era of broker commission transparency.”

Murray recalled a time when sales agents were not always aware that there were even commissions being paid at all.

“There were reps who thought that they had to charge merchants a separate fee in order to earn anything at all,” Murray said. “And their bosses were taking 50% of that. When I would bring up commissions, they’d be like ‘wait, the funders are paying my boss for these deals too?’ and I’d be like ‘how do you not know this?’ Widespread communication via the forum eliminated a lot of the secrets.”

One of the most popular categories on the forum in more recent times has been the Deal Bin, where brokers try to find placement for deals. It’s recorded more than 41,000 posts.

“Ten years is a lifetime as far as I’m concerned,” Murray said. “Love it or hate it, everybody knows the DF. If you’re a lender or funder, your brokers are lurking on there whether they admit it or not.”

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...
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