ASSET-BASED LENDING – FIRST BUSINESS CAPITAL CORP.
Joe Cillian – Cleveland Offce – 216-573-3792
Michael Doyle – Denver Offce – 303-715-1775
Ralph Kourtjian – Detroit Offce – 248-358-6636
Pete Lowney – Madison Offce – 608-232-5987
Mike Colloton – Milwaukee Offce – 262-792-7180
John Hoagberg – Minneapolis Offce – 952-892-8422
Jim Kelly – St. Louis Offce – 314-854-1338
FACTORING – FIRST BUSINESS FACTORS
Gail Heldke – Division Manager & Chicago Offce – 847-493-8305
Gay Denny – St. Louis Offce – 314 - 412 - 3091
Chuck Batson – President & CEO – 608-232-5980
FUELING EXPANSION, ACQUISITION, &
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Debtor-in-Possesion & Confrmation Financing : Rapid or Seasonal Growth www.firstbusiness.com
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my MBA from Wake Forest while getting
my law degree—I was drawn to that
firm initially by its lending practice. I
really hadn’t been exposed to insolvency
previously, but I became involved in the
insolvency and bankruptcy side of the
practice pretty quickly after getting there.
In 1994, we were still working out of a
recessionary environment, although
that would change fairly quickly in the
late ‘90s when things started exploding
to the upside. But in 1994, things were
still kind of tough. The types of deals that
this firm’s clients did were really highly
leveraged things—asset-based lending
and tougher deals. Those borrowers,
even in good times, would see problems
from time to time. There was plenty
of insolvency and bankruptcy work
going on, and I got involved in that.
I did both front-end and back-end work.
I had seen the front-end part, at least
from a business person’s perspective,
a banker’s perspective. But in my brief
period in a bank, I had never seen the
insolvency and bankruptcy side, and I
really enjoyed that side once I had been
exposed to it. It’s technically challenging
and it’s challenging because of the
personalities that you run into from
time to time. But I really liked it, and I’ve
been fortunate ever since those early
days to be able to represent banks and
other institutional creditors on both the
lending side and on the bankruptcy/
insolvency side. I feel fortunate to have
done both and to be able to continue
to do both, because I think they really
complement each other very well.
Q Did you have mentors along the way?
Going back to that first
firm, it was a very high-quality group of
people there. Kenny Greene, one of the
partners that I worked directly under, was
an outstanding lawyer, as was another
partner, June Basden. They were both
terrific finance and bankruptcy/
insolvency lawyers. It was very
challenging, trying to live up to their
standards. I was the only associate
working for them.
I learned more from them in the three
years that I was at that firm than I
think I could have learned anywhere
else. Kenny, in particular, was and
continues to be one of the real deans
of the commercial finance and
bankruptcy bar in the Southeast and
even nationally. He’s very well-known.
I was and am grateful to him for giving
me a chance out of law school to
work with him and learn from him.
Another was Mike Cleary, who was my
boss when I was an in-house lawyer
with the CIT Group. He was the general
counsel for the unit of CIT where
we both worked. Mike set a terrific
example for practical, straightforward
lawyering that got to the point and
achieved the goal with as little fuss as
possible, given whatever circumstances
there were. And he was just a great
person and a lot of fun to be around.
Working with those folks was
really formative for me.
Q It sounds like you got out of law school, and then your education