It didn’t win an Oscar, but the 2015 film Woman in Gold provided insight into the shadowy
world of fine art. The film, based on a true story, depicts a Holocaust survivor’s struggle to recover
a family painting. It should have been a simple matter of an Austrian museum restoring a painting
to its proper owner, but, despite the fact that it was a portrait of the survivor’s aunt, establishing
ownership proved tricky. According to attorney Stephen Brodie, establishing title is one risk that ABL
lenders face when using art as collateral. Brodie frequently consults for lenders and points out the
risk of art as collateral balanced against the high profit that makes it so lucrative.
Growing older is not so shadowy, but business owners may face painful decisions when deciding
to retire. Do they sell the business? If so, what happens to the legacy they’ve created or the loyal
employees? Wells Fargo is one of a growing number of lenders with a division specializing in ESOP
— Employee Stock Ownership Plans. I spoke with Kim Abello, who heads Wells Fargo’s ESOP
Division, and Dan Marchetti, the CFO, and now employee-owner, of Urschel Laboratory, a 106-year
old family business, to learn the benefits and complexities of an ESOP from the lender’s point of
view and the company’s.
Regular contributor Hugh Larratt-Smith is back with a fascinating look at lending against brands.
Who knew that Twinkies and F.A.O. Schwartz brands have value as intellectual property that can
be bought, sold or borrowed?
Ziegler Investment Bank has been lending to churches for more than 100 years. The company’s
managing director Scott Rolfs explores the boom and the bust in the church lending sector.
Are you tired of hearing about fintech? Although the big fintech companies seem to have their ups
and downs, G. Scott Paterson explains that customers are coming to expect digital interaction, and
if lenders fail to get with the program, customers will move on.
To make Paterson’s point, our profile this issue features ApplePie Capital — one of those fintech
upstarts. Co-Founder and CEO Denise Thomas says that digital interaction is the key to the company’s success. Partnering with familiar franchises like 7/11 and Dunkin Donuts, ApplePie provides
the start-up capital entrepreneurs need to launch a viable franchise business.
In our Turnaround Corner, Malcolm McKenzie of Alvarez and Marshal offers basic steps for a
successful transformation. Charlie Perer of Super G Capital provides ways that senior lenders can
prevent borrowers from going online for a quick dose of cash in Specialty Lending. In Legal Lines,
Jack O’Connor interviews a colleague who argued before the Sixth District Appeals Court in a
precedent-setting case that paves the way for lenders to recoup expenses in a Chapter 7 proceeding.
We wish to acknowledge in the last issue of ABF Journal, we published an ad from a new advertiser,
Commercial Financial Consulting, which contained a misspelled word that, unfortunately, eluded
our proofreaders. The ABF Journal regrets the error.
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