About Mark Gaffin

Author Archive | Mark Gaffin

Mercedes Benz SLS

Getting under the Hood: Leveraged Lending and the 2014 SNC Review

In part one of this series, we noted that the 2014 SNC Review sample was heavily skewed toward leveraged loans and to criticized assets. This purposeful focus does not, in itself, undermine the report’s explicit findings (at least about the review sample) but it certainly hinders simple, drive-by use of cherry-picked elements of the Review to make […]

Continue Reading
iStock_000034637758Small

There be monsters? Middle Market Leveraged Lending and the SNC Review

Six years past the onslaught of the Great Recession, a knot of on-lookers remains committed to specters and bogeymen in the leveraged loan market. Undeterred by contrary empirical evidence and low default rates, torchbearers have tried (thus far, in vain) to enumerate any swath of banks that required rescue due to leveraged lending to commercial and industrial operating […]

Continue Reading
iStock_000016468623Small

The Middle Market has a Weight Problem

Beneath the screeching Klaxon alarms, raised by frenetic media on all things related to deal making, lies a deep – and historically vibrant – Middle Market. Undaunted, intrepid reporters dash through press rooms clutching another article decrying companies “laden with debt”, “leverage limits”, “criticized assets” of the if-it-bleeds-it-leads meme – while a vast sector of the economy […]

Continue Reading
watsons bay

Culture and Investment: Winning Platform or Ship Wreck?

I had the pleasure of seeing Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, at a recent conference in Las Vegas. While he and I are wired quite differently (maybe a reason his net worth has a ‘B’ in it), he noted several compelling tenets and principles he used to drive the cultural development of Twitter. And we […]

Continue Reading
cube construction

Critical Elements of an Effective Leveraged Lending Platform

What does it take to be an effective middle-market leveraged lender? Are traditional lending models obsolete? Is this sector now the domain of non-bank debt investors? Whether you are a private equity investor, operating company, or co-lender, these questions can be pivotal to deal viability over the investment horizon. Finding out, mid-deal, that one or […]

Continue Reading
Man in surf

Commercial Banks and Leveraged Lending: Why, It’s a Day at the Beach!

While the death of commercial banks in the leveraged, sponsor-backed sector is a bit exaggerated – it’s tough to argue that the industry is not in the Intensive Care Unit. Recent reports from S&P Capital IQ show that U.S. banks’ share of leveraged lending in the middle market has fallen to 9% in 2013 – […]

Continue Reading
Whispering statues

A Little Secret of Private Equity Investing: Financial Engineering Matters

While it may be fashionable for sponsors to assert, “We’re all about operating improvements and not financial engineering” – a little secret of private equity investing remains: Done correctly, the management of leverage through financial engineering remains a key component of differentiated returns from most investments. Ultimately, a pragmatic approach to financial engineering drives benefits […]

Continue Reading