Encina Capital Partners, LLC (Encina) and an affiliate of certain funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. (Oaktree Investor) together announced today that they have launched Encina Equipment Finance, LLC (EEF), a new independent equipment finance company targeting non-investment grade borrowers in the U.S. and Canada that cannot obtain required equipment financing from traditional banks.

Headquartered in Danbury (CT), EEF provides loans and leases ranging in size from $5 – $25 million and secured by essential-use machinery & equipment. The platform provides financing to both privately-owned (sponsor and non-sponsor) and publicly-traded companies across a wide range of collateral types, industries (including, but not limited to, construction, distribution, energy, food processing, healthcare, information technology, manufacturing, mining, paper & packaging, and transportation) and use cases (including loans against existing or newly-acquired assets, leases of newlyacquired assets and sale-leasebacks of existing assets). EEF’s customers use financing proceeds to fund new capital expenditures, working capital, refinancings, growth, restructurings/turnarounds and other special situations. For those customers seeking a new revolving line of credit in addition to equipment financing, EEF intends to partner with its sister company, Encina Business Credit, to deliver a combined solution.

EEF will be led by its four founding partners – Andrew Salter (Encina’s Chief Executive Officer), Jason Wolff (Encina’s Chief Investment Officer), William Brasser and Ron Fontana. Mr. Brasser most recently served as Co-Chief Risk Officer for GE Capital, Americas from 2005 – 2014, where he led the risk management function for a $50B+ portfolio across six businesses in North America (including multiple business involved in equipment lending and leasing). Mr. Brasser was named an officer of the General Electric Company in 2006 and currently serves as a Senior Adviser to Encina and Encina Business Credit. Prior to retiring from GE Capital in 2016, Mr. Fontana served as Senior Risk Officer responsible for the risk management function at the company’s direct equipment finance business.

EEF’s founding partners are joined by two senior executives who also spent the majority of their respective careers at GE Capital. Rick Matte, who has been named EEF’s President & Chief Commercial Officer, previously served as President of Webster Capital Finance, where he was responsible for the commercial, risk management and operations functions at Webster Bank’s equipment finance subsidiary. Prior to joining Webster Bank in 2015, Mr. Matte spent 13 years at GE Capital in various commercial roles of increasing responsibility.  

In addition, James Giaquinto joins EEF as Vice President, Operations & Underwriting. Mr. Giaquinto spent approximately 18 years at GE Capital, where he most recently served as Global Compliance Risk Assessment & Data Analytics Leader.

EEF is already underwriting potential transactions and expects to announce numerous additional hires in the coming months.

In connection with EEF’s launch, Andrew Salter – CEO of Encina and Managing Partner of EEF said, “We feel fortunate to be partnering with Oaktree Investor, Willie Brasser and Ron Fontana to launch this new platform at a time when we believe that many companies stand to benefit significantly from a more flexible, non-bank equipment financing product. We’re also thrilled to have attracted such high-caliber executives as Rick Matte and James Giaquinto to help us build the company.” Brian Laibow, Managing Director at Oaktree, added, “We are excited to partner with Encina and the talented team at EEF to build a well-capitalized, non-bank equipment finance company that differentiates itself through a consultative and solution-oriented approach to working with customers to help them achieve their objectives.”

Encina Capital Partners, LLC is a commercial finance company that provides specialized lending and leasing solutions to middle-market companies in the U.S. and Canada. For additional information, please visit Encina Capital’s website.

Oaktree is a leader among global investment managers specializing in alternative investments, with $100 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2017. The firm emphasizes an opportunistic, value-oriented and risk-controlled approach to investments in distressed debt, corporate debt (including high yield debt and senior loans), control investing, convertible securities, real estate and listed equities. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the firm has over 900 employees and offices in 18 cities worldwide.