Eclipse Capital Group, LLC: Profit Partners to Michigan’s BanksDownload PDF
Frank Bromley founded Eclipse Capital Group in 1997 as a commercial real estate finance firm. The company achieved rapid growth as it added business lines of credit, equipment lending, and other forms of corporate financing to its portfolio. Bromley and his team quickly developed an extensive lender base – a financing network including thousands of lenders throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. The firm has also proved itself adept, as circumstances dictated, at effectively and efficiently restructuring debt and finding appropriate refinancing partners for its clients.
Now, as most community and regional banks still are healing from the economic shocks of the great recession, and nursing their slowly-reviving portfolios, Eclipse continues to cultivate its still-growing, worldwide lender base. CEO Bromley once again has his experienced and growing firm well-positioned in today’s still-tenuous climate to help banks and bankers attend to their most urgent needs, maintain their most critical relationships, and bolster their profits.
Bankers’ Profit Partners. Though the Michigan economy has been showing recent signs of life, enhanced capital requirements, and strict lending and other regulatory standards, have left most local lenders with narrow lending windows and more stringent borrowing parameters. Eclipse communicates regularly with market lenders, so it understands that many banks remain wary of commercial and non-owner occupied real estate financing. The professionals at Eclipse know how often lenders are asked to make loans they’d like to pursue, but cannot. While some might be able to accommodate certain portions of a client’s business but not others, when it turns down the new credit request, customers all too often consider the naysaying bank an enemy. They not only seek another lender, but they also take the rest of their business with them when they find a new opportunity.
Partnering with Eclipse is the best way for any bank to avoid the many difficulties that can follow from having to say “no” to a client. A bank may be able to finance one component of a series of opportunities – the line of credit or the owner-occupied real estate credit, for instance, but not the equipment loan or the plant refinancing. If Eclipse handles the troublesome portions, the bank can keep the rest – as well as the satisfied customer. Bromley built his firm on the basis of providing a safe haven for banks – not only by taking or placing those loans they can’t make, but also by encouraging would-be borrowers to keep—or even open—a new relationship with those banks in return. With a less active lending profile, other banking profit centers become that much more critical. Eclipse’s assistance is just as likely to lead to increased treasury management; opportunities for providing other lines of credit, handling payroll accounts, cross-selling insurance, 401K investments, and other products; and offering private banking and other revenue-generating business banking services. So instead of saying ‘no,’ according to Bromley, banks can say ‘yes’ if they partner with Eclipse, which will find an alternate funding source while the bank keeps the remainder of the client’s core business. “Stop turning clients, and business, away,” advises Bromley. “We bring great value by enabling bankers to gain, retain, and grow their business, as well as maintain their relationships with clients. And when the borrower’s financial condition improves, or the credit returns to a status that is acceptable to the bank, we return it.”
Go-To Partners. Given the difficult commercial and investment real estate lending climate, a referring bank’s current standards may preclude it from making the loan, but not Eclipse Capital Group, the premier source for bankers unable to make certain loans, but who still wish to acquire or retain that client’s other business. Because its lender base consists of specialty and niche lenders, Eclipse enjoys unparalleled success finding appropriate funding sources. It also is able to package one client’s loan with many others, so it attracts more attention and leverage than it ever could by itself.
Of course, not all of Eclipse’s credits are merely those that other banks have declined. Their extensive lender base and longstanding track record make them the first financing choice of many of their clients. “We bring the best financing for our clients’ situations, whatever they may be,” said Bromley. “We’re able to go into the market and typically get lenders bidding to drive down interest rates, increase amortizations, and put more reasonable covenants in place that will help sustain business growth.”
Workouts that Work. In addition to providing a critical alternative lending source to enable banks to retain client relationships, Eclipse is especially well-equipped and exceptionally experienced at dealing with a bank’s difficult and troubled assets. Most smaller community and regional banks aren’t in the business of piecing loans out to other lenders, nor do they have the time or resources to complete the kind of comprehensive analysis, evaluation, and assessment that Eclipse undertakes, which is why Eclipse is the perfect partner for bankers seeking to maximize loan recoveries from financially troubled borrowers.
Familiar with a very broad range of the marketplace, Eclipse is uniquely positioned not only to identify the most appropriate refinancing institutions, but also which portions and how much of the credit can be refinanced – and it does so quickly, even as it seeks feedback on each loan component from up to 150 different lenders. When it reports back to the bank, Eclipse helps to find solutions by providing alternatives to the usual options of selling the note; foreclosing; holding the credit; or liquidating. Moreover, Eclipse has already analyzed how much greater the recovery would be in a refinancing than in each of those other alternatives, which is especially important as banks continue to reduce loan losses, charge-offs, and defaulted loan expenses due to tightened capital requirements and pressured portfolio yields. With Eclipse’s assistance, bank reserve requirements are lessened, regulatory scrutiny is diminished, and recoveries are faster, larger, and more profitable. And Eclipse will even facilitate the new financing so clients are likely to keep their other, more profitable business, within the bank.
Burgeoning Expert Staff. Eclipse has increased its full-service staff of former bankers, experienced CPAs, and customer care consultants to meet its growing caseload. Bromley has added leading experts who can advance and enhance the firm’s knowledge base, diversify the nature of its assistance, honestly evaluate transactional viability,and to establish reasonable time-frames for success. One such expert is Dan Forhan, who spent 20 years at a large national bank before joining Eclipse in 2012.
“I’ve experienced extreme pressure from the banks’ standpoint to reduce loan losses, reserves, and expenses,” says Forhan, “which often resulted in termination of a relationship that should have been salvageable – and even then the bank incurred additional losses through foreclosure of property or liquidation of an asset. But whenever I partnered with Eclipse – with its broad base of worldwide lenders and uncanny ability to find financing solutions for deals that did not seem bankable – they were the best tool in my toolbox for exiting relationships and maximizing loan recoveries. After witnessing over a 14 year period the tremendous value Eclipse brings to successful workouts, I finally decided to join them. I now help other bankers and clients understand Eclipse’s critical role, and I’m able to enjoy sitting down at closings where banks maximize recoveries and clients continue to grow.”
More bankers are now turning to Eclipse to review not just their distressed assets but a broader range of their portfolio as well so they are better able to deal with issues before they arise – and to do so on a more comprehensive, rather than piecemeal basis. Eclipse staffers fully analyze both balance sheets and P & L statements and then make determinations and offer informed suggestions about profit and cash flow enhancements, cost burdens, capacity issues, product mix, contracts, and other issues. Eclipse also screens customers, performs all requisite due diligence, underwrites, and conducts the kind of comprehensive financial analysis, including three-year cash flow models, that ensures the legitimacy of borrowers’ representations.
Built to Last. In a business where competitors have come and gone, Eclipse has more than proven its worth and durability. Its many years of success have brought Eclipse at least three hard-earned lessons it shares with its clients and bankers: 1) Do not turn away business; we’ll find soft landings for whatever you can’t handle, and help you to retain and build on the portions you can or want to; 2) assess every option before even considering selling a note, foreclosing on the underlying property, or liquidating a business; and 3) consult Eclipse Capital Group to find out how they can help you become more profitable.
Learn how Eclipse can assist you and your business by calling 800-509-3552 or by emailing Frank Bromley, CEO (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Katie Katzman, VP (email@example.com).