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Author Archive | Mark Gaffin

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Wall Street Journal misses on Bank article

While I have great respect for WSJ’s reporting overall, I think they got several material points wrong in a recent article on banking (“Banks Sit Out Riskier Deals – Regulatory Pressures Push Some Lenders to Let Lucrative Deals Go” 01/21/14). Based on my experience from front-line leveraged lending and my privilege of being involved with […]

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The Power of Focus: Optimizing PE Portfolio Investments

We have reached a point in the maturity of the private equity industry where wheat is being cut from chaff. Overall, LPs are more sophisticated in their due diligence of funds and general partners – and the latter strive to differentiate themselves. One compelling differentiator is a replicable approach to maximizing market value of portfolio […]

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The Peril of Pytr Prynciple and the Bank Meeting

We received such fascinating feedback on our post on relationships in commercial banking being a double-edged sword (see, “The Most Expensive Word in Banking? ‘Relationship’”) that we wanted to capture it in a follow on piece. Based on many of the war stories we heard, the topic touched close to home for many. Most wondered […]

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The Most Expensive Word in Banking? “Relationship”

Commercial bankers, especially those in the core and lower middle market, face so many obstacles to growth and profitability – from a looming regulatory environment to nimble, creative non-bank competitors – that it’s a wonder some don’t throw their hands up in despair and go fishing. But there is hope for those willing to address […]

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Is LBO Lending Specialized?

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge”. – Charles Darwin I am often asked whether middle market LBO lending is specialized. To a great extent, the answer is “yes”. Certainly, there are essential elements of transaction analysis, underwriting, and account management in middle-market leveraged deals that require a more sophisticated approach than is typically […]

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The CIM…sales document or due diligence?

In larger middle market transactions we typically see senior and junior debt facilities with multiple lenders. Given tight timeframes in most LBO transactions, a delicate balance is struck between how much reliance can be placed on the confidential information memorandum (the “CIM”, also known as a bank book, etc.) and how much will be invested […]

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WSJ Weekend Investor Really Misses the Mark on Private Equity

Mark Hulbert was busy elbowing his way onto the anti-private equity bandwagon on July 5th with his confusing dispatch “Real Returns: Are Private-Equity Gains Built to Last?” Mr. Hulbert heroically ignores a large body of readily accessible research and data to precariously perch his pejorative premises on quite arguable findings from a single, tax-return driven […]

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