Center Stage with Remington Financial Group

The Niche Report would like to present to you a company that truly needs no introduction - Remington Financial Group, a commercial lending services company with presence and leadership that offers ?seamless financing with terms that are often superior to conventional approaches?. Andy Bogdanoff, the man at the helm, gives us an opportunity to find out more about him and his company. Andy, How did you get into the commercial lending space? I worked in a traditional residential shop that occasionally received inquiries for commercial deals. We had previously never done anything with these leads, but the president of the company noticed it as an opportunity. In 1973 he offered me the chance to create a division to focus on commercial requests and to figure out how to generate revenue from them. After that, I was hooked. I?ve worked continuously in the commercial lending space for almost 35 years, in a variety of capacities including starting several commercial mortgage companies. In 1993 I founded Remington Financial Group where I act as the company?s chairman. What is Remington Financial Group and why did you start the business? What makes your company unique? Remington Financial Group, or RFG, provides financial services to sophisticated real estate owners and developers nationwide. Having been in the industry for so long, I tend to see opportunities for underserved markets. That?s why I started RFG. I think that the commercial lending space is underserved in general; there aren?t that many companies that specialize in commercial lending, so it made sense to fill that void. More specifically, there are even fewer companies that can provide highly leveraged financing. That?s what makes Remington different. We can provide traditional senior debt loans, but our company can also deal with those highly leveraged financing deals that require things like mezzanine or equity loans. What keeps you in the game after 35 years? From both a professional level and a personal level, I like the work. I enjoy problem solving and find that this business creates an environment that lets me be creative since no two deals are exactly the same. Every deal has its own identity and unique nuances, and I find that working to find ?outside the box? solutions is both challenging and rewarding. What is your sense of the commercial lending space over the next 12 months? As everyone knows, the economy is tight and will remain that way for at least the next 12 months. When the economy is tight, it creates an opportunity for companies like RFG. The current market condition means that finding solid financing options is more challenging. The biggest and the best companies can still find financing relatively easily, but as you move through the subsequent tiers ? those companies that are not quite as big or well established ?the process is more difficult. Companies that previously arranged financing internally are now considering outsourcing the process, and are looking for a highly qualified firm, like Remington, that has expertise in structuring deals and finding available financing. For companies like RFG, the worse the market conditions the greater the demand for our services. We have always been an attractive option for B- or C-level companies looking for financing, but now our phones are ringing with calls from A-level companies that are unable to secure financing from their traditional sources. What are some of the challenges facing the industry this year? It?s taking a bit longer to put a deal together and take it through funding. And, because there are fewer sources that are open for business and that are looking to do deals, our jobs are more challenging. How does RFG address these challenges? RFG performs well in these conditions for a couple of reasons. First, we have great relationships with lenders and know where the available capital is for our business dealings. Second, we have a tremendous amount of expertise ? remember, I?ve been doing this for 35 years ? that helps us structure deals in a way that makes them more desirable. There are a limited number of dollars available today, and Remington can present a deal in the best way so that lenders can easily see the value of the deals presented to them. This expertise helps us secure funding for our clients more easily and efficiently. What is RFG?s relationship with Brokers? It?s simple ? Remington Financial Group puts a premium on the broker relationship. Companies like ours can market to the broker or to the end user. We see the broker as a tremendous value, so have structured our entire strategy to focus solely on the broker community. Because we don?t market to the end user, we do not compete with brokers and are able to coordinate our efforts jointly with them. We appreciate and support the role a broker plays and take proactive efforts to ensure we don?t compete with the brokerage community. How do you like to work with brokers? We are prepared to be highly proactive or very passive, depending on the broker?s approach and have different programs in place for these different approaches. For instance, we have programs for brokers that just want to give us a name and number and have us work the deal. We have other programs for the highly and actively involved broker that wants 100 percent client control and uses us as a back office function. And we offer everything in between. What are RFG?s goals over the next 12 months? Our goals focus exclusively on closing transactions. We are shooting to get to $1.5 billion in closings during the 2008 calendar year. Given our approach to broker relationships, our ability to access financing and our expertise in structuring complex commercial deals, I feel confident we will meet this goal.