In an economy fraught with ongoing supply chain disruptions, rising inflation and global economic influences putting pressure on capital, some businesses may find themselves in need of financing, yet they lack the required credit to secure traditional lending products.
Enter Regions Business Capital.
A specialty finance arm of the Corporate Banking Group, Regions Business Capital offers asset-based lending, or “ABL,” as well as specialty solutions such as: supply chain finance, accounts receivable securitization, receivable purchase facilities, lender finance, retail finance, ABL energy finance and a few additional structures including ABL stretch and FILO facilities.
“Launched in 2006, Regions Business Capital is a strong business and bottom-line contributor to the Corporate Banking Group,” noted Courtney Jeans, head of Regions Business Capital. “Our vision in Regions Business Capital is to leverage the existing platform to create one of the top regional specialty finance providers in the markets we serve.”
Jeans took the reins of Regions Business Capital earlier this year when longtime Regions banker Tim Eichenlaub retired.
His first order of business towards expansion was to realign the team from a geography-based model to a functional model. Given the keen focus on partnerships within Regions, this new alignment makes working with Regions Business Capital more efficient and effective.
At its core, Regions Business Capital provides creative financing to middle-market firms, large corporations, and private equity sponsors. Operating a full-service, relationship-oriented platform – including loan origination, underwriting, portfolio management, field examination, collateral management and customer service – provides clients with the benefit of a well-coordinated team of highly experienced bankers.
“Our specialty is creating comprehensive business solutions tailored to help each client meet their strategic and financial objectives, delivered as part of an overall relationship and inclusive of Regions’ 360 approach,” Jeans said.
Our specialty is creating comprehensive business solutions tailored to help each client meet their strategic and financial objectives.
Regions Business Capital’s leadership team consists of newcomer Amy Barrentine, head of originations, and seasoned Regions and ABL finance and banking veterans Don Smith, Gene Wilson, Mark Smith, Sharon Cobb and Patti Aeschlimann. Collectively, this team has more than 50 years at Regions, including those who were part of the initial launch of Regions Business Capital 16 years ago, and well over a century of collective ABL experience.
Barrentine joined the team in mid-June and has her eyes on building upon the existing portfolio of sole-bank and left lead relationships. Having spent 17 years at Truist (and more than 32 years in banking and 25 of that in ABL), she spent the past seven years leading Truist’s ABL originations efforts in commercial and community banking serving middle market and commercial clients.
“I enjoy working with existing and prospective clients, listening and learning about their business, and tailoring a financing solution to support their initiatives,” said Barrentine. “Partnering with Corporate and Commercial bankers to deliver not only capital but also the broad array of products and services offered by Regions is a great opportunity. This partnership with local bankers in conjunction with the Regions Business Capital focused relationship management model results in strong client relationships.”
Barrentine points out that the ABL industry is incredibly competitive, so it is important to put forth market-leading proposals along with a sense of urgency. This is where working with the bankers in Commercial Banking, Corporate Banking, Capital Markets and other product partners to assess the financing needs of clients to determine if and where Regions Business Capital may be the right fit to serve a particular client’s capital needs is key.
I enjoy working with existing and prospective clients, listening and learning about their business, and tailoring a financing solution to support their initiatives.
Wilson leads the Specialty Products team providing supply chain finance, accounts receivable securitization, lender finance, retail finance and other specialty solutions. He has 38 years of banking experience, including 16 years as a leader in Regions Business Capital.
“We provide liquidity and capital in formats that accommodate unique industry or specialized structure requirements,” explained Wilson. “In a competitive banking environment where traditional capital commitments can become commoditized, specialty capital products can become the basis for broad, long-lasting banking relationships. Also, the specialty solutions typically risk rate very well and provide highly accretive returns to Regions.”
We provide liquidity and capital in formats that accommodate unique industry or specialized structure requirements.
As head of Underwriting, Mark Smith notes that they are the business of risk considerations and everything his team does is customized for each client.
“I am grateful to have very experienced people on our underwriting team,” Mark Smith said. “Having deep experience aids Regions Business Capital in identifying relevant risks, but as importantly allows us identify mitigants and craft custom solutions to meet our customers’ needs.”
Mark joined Regions as part of Don Smith’s team in 2008 from a non-bank finance company and was primarily on the portfolio side prior to serving as a senior credit officer and then moving into underwriting. When clients face a bit of a bumpier path to financing, his team is there to develop new structural solutions that will be good for that client, while protecting the bank.
Our culture and structure is important and my team understands we aren’t simply an internal process, we are customer facing.
As for Don Smith, who previously led the Southern Region under the former team structure, he takes the reins as head of Portfolio for Regions Business Capital. As part of the founding team of the business, he has more than 35 years of finance experience – most of it in ABL. He and a team of ABL bankers left a competitor bank in 2006 to help build Regions Business Capital under Rick Downey.
“One thing we are trying to do with the core portfolio is really differentiate ourselves with our model and our people,” Don Smith said. “We strive to figure out best practices, how to be more efficient with the overall group and continue supporting our bankers as they get to know the customers and ensure we are there for them.”
One thing we are trying to do with the core portfolio is really differentiate ourselves with our model and our people.
Rounding out the Regions Business Capital leadership team are Cobb and Aeschlimann, leading the Administration and Operations team and Customer Service/Operations, respectively. Cobb’s team of 18 is focused on financial analysis, budgeting, strategic planning, team support and compliance. Aeschlimann’s tenured team of 17 associates is a one-stop shop for customer services for Regions Business Capital clients, managing deposits, handling Treasury Management, wire transfers, and other movement of funds.
So, you may be asking, what type of client may find Regions Business Capital an attractive option for financing?
“Clients who need operating flexibility, additional liquidity or are pursuing a strategic growth plan. We can also help seasonal or cyclical companies with less predictable cash flow. It is ‘patient money’ and generally has a lower risk of default,” said Jeans. “We are comfortable offering a financial solution through Regions Business Capital when a client’s business is going through hard times.”
Businesses with high working capital needs that carry a lot of inventory to make small margins are also good candidates for Regions Business Capital as well as those that have increased borrowing needs relative to income.
“Regions Business Capital facilities can accommodate that type of financing to keep businesses strong during both good and bad times,” Jeans explained.