Banks Tighten Commercial Real Estate Lending and Interest Rate Hikes Are on the Horizon Says the Fed; Opens Window of Opportunity for Alternative Financing

Ascend Capital Partners steps in to fill the void, says Managing Partner Eric Fedewa.

Washington, DC, USA — Federal Reserve Bank Chair Janet Yellen testified that the Fed will likely continue its plans to implement federal funds rate hikes and balance sheet normalization measures in order to gradually raise short and long-term interest rates.

This, along with the May release of the Fed’s senior loan officer survey, highlights a “closing window of opportunity for affordable financing from commercial lenders,” according to Eric Fedewa, Ascend Capital Partners Managing Partner. The senior loan officer survey indicates that there will be a tightening in traditional lending practices for the commercial real estate sector.

With these factors in mind, Fedewa said Ascend Capital Partners can fill some of the void in traditional financing for commercial real estate by offering financing alternatives such as inexpensive institutional debt, bridge financing, and equity.

“The Fed’s May report concurs with the tightening trends we’ve been observing this year in traditional lending for commercial loans. The need for alternative financing is clear,” said Fedewa.

“The tightening of traditional lending sources comes at an inopportune time for investors as the new administration is trying to heat up the U.S. economy,” said Fedewa, noting that a tightening of monetary policies on behalf of the Fed could raise lending costs for alternative and traditional lenders alike.

“The strengthening economy is creating demand, yet traditional financing practices have tightened. Unfortunately, the window in which alternative lending sources can provide inexpensive financing could be limited as potential Fed rate hikes loom on the horizon,” he said.

Ascend Capital Partners has expanded its financial service offerings and added several new offices with strong teams of financial experts in prime market areas.

“We’ve expanded our Washington, DC area headquarters and are adding offices in Boston, New York City, Sarasota, Florida, Austin, and San Francisco. We’ve added new professionals to the D.C. team who are all top performers in their fields and can provide a broad range of services to our present and prospective clients,” he said.

“We’re not only assisting our customers with financing, but we also offer consulting and strategic advisory services,” said Anne Brensley, an attorney by trade who heads up the firm’s advisory business:

Brensley has been successfully facilitating financial deals, directly providing equity, and consulting on complex real estate matters for the past ten years.

“We’ve been able to assist in changing government attitudes towards projects, walking developers through rezoning issues, and helping owners ‘right-size’ their capital structure. Ascend has seen an unaddressed need for bridge funding with EB-5 projects, and we’ve helped our clients utilize an array of specialized funding vehicles to get their projects completed,” she said.

Ascend Capital Partners provides financing options as well as advisors in several different areas of the commercial real estate financial sector.

For instance, Fedewa and Jud Villa worked together in Florida funding commercial loans. Villa is also an expert in single family home, “fix and flip, and fix and hold” deals. “We have so many ways to assist our borrower/clients, but helping them make smart choices and matching them up with financing,” said Villa.

Rob Merkle and Vince Lane round out the Ascend commercial real estate team. Lane has been a real estate developer, and also has expertise in high tech and international business. He splits time between Austin and San Francisco. Merkle heads up the New York City office, where he has worked for years and overseen billions of dollars in deals in and around Manhattan.

In college, Merkle played football for The University of Notre Dame. He said: “I know about teams, and this is a great one. We cover some of the most dynamic markets in the country, and our people are aggressive and seasoned professionals.”

“In markets like San Francisco and Austin, there’s a huge need for the type of innovative and alternative financing that Ascend offers. Banks are not lending, but we’re picking up the slack,” said Lane.

“We have sources which include debt funds, private equity, hedge funds, and our own managed funds,” said Fedewa. “With our decades of expertise, we will assist in finding the most efficient capital stack for your project.”

For inquiries or information about Ascend Capital Partners financing and advisory services, visit the new website — http://www.ascendcapp.com — or call: (703) 982-0609.

Media Contact:
Eric Fedewa
Ascend Capital Partners
703-982-0609
eric@ascendcapp.com
http://www.ascendcapp.com

Equities First Holdings, LLC Demonstrates Viability of Securities-Based Lending with 15 Years of Success

Patience and discipline differentiate EFH from other lenders in the industry.

Indianapolis, IN, USA — Equities First Holdings, LLC (EFH), a provider of alternative shareholder financing, celebrates 15 years of success this month. The vision of founder and CEO Al Christy, Jr., EFH has successfully completed more than 700 transactions and delivered nearly $1 billion USD to clients over the past 4 years. Christy credits his success to hard-won experience, patience, and the discipline of conforming to his own tested loan and investment guidelines.

EFH continues to expand thanks to an investment model that takes advantage of the natural, organic cycles in the market. Before launching EFH in 2002, Christy spent years studying market patterns and using his own funds to test loan and investment strategies. Over time, he developed a methodology that has continued to yield returns for EFH and provide low cost capital for clients:

1. Discipline – Success relies on staying within the boundaries of the EFH model. EFH applies its own rules and guidelines tested over time, and does not deviate from the model.
2. Integrity – EFH is committed to always doing the right thing the right way. That commitment continues to serve the firm and its clients in an industry under close scrutiny by regulatory agencies, and was the genesis for EFH’s mantra – a higher level of lending.
3. Patience – Success takes time. Since the market must be allowed to complete its natural cycle in order for reward to follow risk, EFH builds patience into the terms of its deals to help maximize returns and success.

“Securities-based lending is not a new or untested concept,” said Christy. “It is a long-standing financial tool used by companies, governments, and financial institutions every day. And while securities-based lending may be offered by financial planners, investment advisers, banks, and others as a viable option for clients to raise capital, very few financial institutions, including large commercial banks, can offer non-recourse features or loans with a low cost of funds. We have a successful track record because we live and breathe equities-based lending every day.”

EFH has been able to expand its business model to eight markets. Christy has determined that market performance and the motivations of people who drive those markets is universal, and the same practices and disciplines that are successful in the U.S. are successful overseas as well.

About Equities First Holdings
Since 2002, Equities First Holdings, LLC has provided clients with alternative financing solutions, supplying capital against publicly traded stock to enable clients to meet their personal and professional financial goals. EFH provides capital against shares traded on public exchanges around the world while offering clients competitive loan-to-value rates and low costs of capital. The company has completed more than 700 transactions since its inception, and deployed nearly $1 billion to clients over the past 4 years alone.

EFH is a global company with offices in nine countries, including wholly owned subsidiaries Equities First (London) Limited, Equities First Holdings Hong Kong Limited, Equities First Holdings Singapore Limited, and Equities First Holdings (Australia) Pty Ltd. For more information, visit http://www.equitiesfirst.com.

DISCLAIMER
This release is intended for Professional Investors use only, and does not constitute an offer, stated or implied, of any type. Equities First Holdings, LLC and all of its subsidiaries work exclusively with individuals classified as Professional or sophisticated investors. The Equities First Holdings platform is not intended for Retail investors.

Media Contact:
Brandon Russell
+1-317-429-3500
media@equitiesfirst.com

Other Enquiries:
info@equitiesfirst.com

Global Lender Equities First Holdings Sees A Growing Trend Among Borrowers Who Use Stock as Loan Collateral to Secure Working Capital

As Banks and Financial Institutions Tighten Lending Criteria, Stock-Based Loans May Offer Some Investors an Attractive Alternative to Raise Capital.

Equities First Holdings Logo

Indianapolis, IN, USA — Equities First Holdings, LLC (EFH, http://www.equitiesfirst.com), a global lender and a leader in alternative shareholder financing solutions, is seeing more traction in margin loans and stock-based loans in an economic climate where banks and other institutions have tightened lending criteria. For borrowers who need to raise capital quickly or who may not qualify for more conventional credit-based loans, equities lending is gaining popularity as an alternative.

While some options still exist for these individuals, recently, many banks have cut their lending options for borrowers, tightened loan qualifications, and increased interest rates. Al Christy, Jr., Founder and CEO of EFH, sees loans collateralized by stocks as an innovative borrowing alternative for individuals seeking working capital. Stock-based loans typically have a higher loan-to-value ratio than margin loans and offer a fixed interest rate, providing certainty throughout the life of the transaction.

“During a typical three-year loan term, market fluctuation is inevitable, but stock-based loans provide a hedge because the borrower is lowering his or her investment risk in a downside market,” said Christy. “Most stock-based loans have a non-recourse feature that allows a borrower to walk away from a stock loan at any point, even if the stock’s value depreciates. The borrower is able to keep the initial loan proceeds with no further obligation to the lender.”

As Christy notes, some consider margin loans and stock-based loans to be synonymous. Although both forms of financing use securities for collateral, there are marked differences.

With a margin loan, the borrower must be pre-qualified, as with a conventional bank loan, and may require the money to be used for a specific purpose. The interest rates are variable and the borrower can expect loan-to-value ratios between 10 and 50 percent. In addition, the lending firm may liquidate the borrower’s collateral without warning in the event of a margin call.

With stock-based loans, borrowers can expect a fixed interest rate between three and four percent and a loan-to-value ratios ranging from 50 to 75 percent. There also are no restrictions on the loan, so the money can be used for any purpose. In addition, most stock-based loans are non-recourse, so borrowers can walk away without obligation, even if the value of the collateral stock has decreased.

“Any form of financial transaction has some risk associated with it,” said Christy, “But stock-based loans have been historically ignored as a viable borrowing option largely because a number of unscrupulous lenders have unceremoniously dumped borrowers’ collateral into the open market, failed to return stocks upon transaction maturity, or failed to address other concerns. We have built our business on a code of integrity and transparency and we rely on leading legal, regulatory, and trading institutions for counsel. Our mission is to deliver maximum benefit with minimum risk so our customers can meet their personal and professional financial goals.”

About Equities First Holdings
Since 2002, Equities First Holdings, LLC (EFH) has provided clients with alternative financing solutions, supplying capital against publicly traded stock to enable clients to meet their personal and professional goals. EFH provides capital against shares traded on public exchanges around the world. The company has completed more than 650 transactions worth more than $1.4 billion to date, offering customers high loan to values at low fixed interest rates.

EFH is a global company with offices in nine countries, including wholly owned subsidiaries Equities First (London) Limited, Equities First Holdings Hong Kong Limited, Equities First Holdings Singapore Limited, and Equities First Holdings (Australia) Pty Ltd. For more information, visit, http://www.equitiesfirst.com.

DISCLAIMER
This release is intended for informational use only, and does not constitute an offer, stated or implied, of any type. Equities First Holdings, LLC and all of its subsidiaries work exclusively with individuals classified as sophisticated investors. The Equities First Holdings platform is not intended for retail investors.

Media Contact:
Brandon Russell
+1-317-429-3500
media@equitiesfirst.com