What Do You Do When the Industry Icon Goes Away?

How does the void get filled?

Do you leave the vacuum running and wait to see what or who fills it?

 

Three of us – myself, Terry Luker, along with Jeff Luker and Jon Cosentino – chose to try and fill the void while also changing our industry’s direction. Our industry is the commercial loan brokering industry, a trillion-dollar transactional industry.

 

Over the past eleven years, I founded two businesses – Alternative Capital Solutions, a commercial loan brokering company and later a direct lender, Commercial Capital BIDCO. As I look back at my time in the industry, I realize there are two companies that were instrumental in the growth of my businesses – Commercial Capital Training Group (CCTG) and The National Alliance of Commercial Loan Brokers (NACLB). CCTG was the company that provided commercial loan broker training. I attended that training in December of 2013. The NACLB was the association and conference that we attended for many years. I was given the Commercial Loan Broker Rookie of the Year award in 2014 and in 2016 I received the Commercial Loan Broker of the Year award. These awards were presented by the NACLB at their annual conference.

 

Both CCTG and NACLB were owned by Kris Roglieri. Kris is now involved in multiple lawsuits resulting from business activities he had through another company he owns, Prime Venture Capital Lending. I am personally familiar with the lending tactics he used with this new company as he had promised me that he could get my lending company, Commercial Capital BIDCO, a $100,000,000 line of credit. Our firm sent in the $35,000 due diligence fee and began the process of acquiring that line of credit. Thankfully we have an awesome attorney who quickly saw through the scheme, and we did not move forward with a loan. We were going to be required to place $20,000,000 on deposit in an interest reserve account. Our attorney could not get comfortable with the agreements and advised me that Kris would have complete control over those funds to do whatever he wanted with. Our attorney told me that it appeared to be a Ponzi Scheme and in turn saved my company and my family from certain financial disaster as we could not afford to lose $20,000,000.

 

With CCTG and the NACLB closing, there was a massive void in our industry. I had previously tried (and as we have now discovered, many of his staff had tried) to convince Kris to take the conference to a more education-based focus as an association. As a direct lender, we work with commercial loan brokers every day and we see first-hand the struggles that many of them have. Many do not have the knowledge needed to take a deal from the beginning relationship with the borrower to the funding with a lender. They simply do not have the necessary training and experience to get it done.

 

Our team has decided to bring a superior level of training and education to both our new association and conference, the Commercial Loan Broker Association, as well as our new training company, The Commercial Loan Broker Academy. Our association and academy will be different. We have planned for our first conference to take place in Orlando this October 1-3, 2024.  We want the conference to bring lenders, vendors and brokers together to not only meet and network, but to execute plans that will give the brokers’ clients access to the funds they need to grow and expand their businesses. We want lenders to be able to know, with confidence, that the brokers they are working with have the knowledge base needed to get the deal to them with the correct structure and documentation needed for them to make an informed decision on funding those transactions. That is a win for everyone when we accomplish this. The CLBA conference will be more educational focused to help fulfill this need in our industry.

 

With our new training academy, we want to increase the chances of success for every new commercial loan broker. When I started in this business 11 years ago, there were three things I had to do every day: 1) I had to find clients that needed my services, 2) find lenders that would lend to my clients, and 3) package my clients’ loan requests in the format that lenders wanted. I was burning the candle at both ends!

 

We want to change that. One of the best things that we ever did at our company is that we built our own credit team. At Alternative Capital Solutions, we underwrite every deal that we represent. ACS does all the underwriting for our lending company. We also underwrite participation deals that we do between banks. We have multiple bank partners that utilize us to find participating bank partners for deals they want to fund that might be too big for their bank or might just want to spread some of the risk to participant partners. Our credit underwriting sets us apart from every other commercial loan brokering company.

 

We are going to leverage that credit underwriting and provide access to our team for those students who attend our training academy. In addition, we are going to allow our student graduates access to our lender book in order to help fund their deals. As you can see, if we provide the deal packaging and underwriting to our graduates and we provide our lending relationships to our graduates, all they must do is go find their clients. We believe this will be a great recipe for success for our graduate students.

 

I am excited about where we are as an industry, but I am more excited about where we can take our industry. This is not a one-person success or fail opportunity. This is an opportunity for all of us who love what we do, to come together and grow our industry in education, morals, ethics and accountability. Come be part of a new direction. I hope to see you all in Orlando this October!

 

By: Terry Luker, Founder and Owner:

Alternative Capital Solutions, Commercial Capital BIDCO, The Commercial Loan Broker Academy, the Commercial Loan Broker Association, and The Commercial Broker Playbook