LAS VEGAS, September 30, 2014 – Fundation Group LLC Chief Executive Officer Sam Graziano was the keynote speaker at “AltLend,” a conference held last week in Las Vegas, Nevada, that focused on critical issues facing the online business lending industry.
Mr. Graziano’s opening address to the audience was focused on the key themes for the growing market known as “alternative lending.” During his address, Mr. Graziano highlighted that small business lending was a secular opportunity for alternative lenders which results from a handful of structural challenges faced by the banking sector, namely inefficient manual underwriting processes, risk tolerance, a highly diverse customer population, and a lack of collateral stemming from a service based economy. However, he further noted that capturing the opportunities available to alternative lenders is challenging.
“While the banking system’s lending activities to the small business market overall have declined, they serve the lowest risk customer segments of the market well, albeit through a slightly slower process than alternative lenders do,” said Mr. Graziano. “An alternative lender must have the risk tolerance and credit analysis skills that are capable of lending to a relatively riskier set of borrowers across market cycles to provide capital where the banks do not. At the end of the day, we are the shadow banks of small business finance, doing what banks will not do.”
Mr. Graziano further added, “Risk management is only one piece of the equation. Accessing these customers through low cost methods is also proving to be problematic for many alternative lenders, particularly those with unattractive product features.”
Mr. Graziano is the leading expert in the technology-enabled lending market, having specialized in strategy and corporate finance for banks and specialty finance companies for more than a decade prior to building Fundation. With Mr. Graziano’s leadership, Fundation has become a market leader in the online business lending market offering loan products similar to bank loans.
AltLend is an event focused exclusively on innovations within online small business finance. The conference brings together the leading constituents in small business finance market to discuss the critical aspects of the emerging alternative lending environment. The event took place September 23-24th and included representatives from Federal Deposit Insurance Company, the Federal Reserve, the Small Business Administration, SmartBiz Loans, Kabbage, Lendio, CAN Capital, Merchant Cahs & Capital, LendingClub, DealStruck, Creditera, eBureau, MultiFunding, The Business Backer and a variety of other well recognized institutions.
Fundation combines the benefits of a bank loan with the ease and efficiency of an online lender. We offer conventional loans with competitive rates to businesses with varying credit profiles. Our technology allows us to deliver capital in as few as 3 business days through streamlining the collection and evaluation of customer information and conducting the majority of the lending process electronically. As a direct lender, we use our own capital to originate and hold the loans we make, so that we can focus on building relationships with our customers. Our dedicated customer relationship model enables us to understand each unique borrower’s business. This level of service, coupled with our best-in-class products, is why many of our customers come back to us repeatedly for more capital.