IRVINE, CA—Opus Bank‘s recent expansions, which include the addition of a corporate-finance division and private-equity group, are aimed to enhance the firm’s offerings to middle-market companies seeking capital solutions, GlobeSt.com has learned. Senior managing directors Rick Lamoreux, who will head the corporate-finance division, and Dale Cheney, who will direct the private-equity group, tell GlobeSt.com that the expansions help make Opus Bank a “one-stop shop” for these clients.
“The corporate-finance division will provide senior debt financing for M&A transactions in the lower middle-market space,” says Lamoreux. “I think what it says about Opus Bank is we’re unlike a lot of the banks our size. We have the expertise to provide M&A financing, equity and/or mezzanine debt financing, but we also have a number of other things going on. This expansion will enable us to grow a lot faster.”
Cheney adds that the strategy of Opus and its financial partners for its merchant banking division is to provide a one-stop capital solution for these companies in the U.S. “Rick focuses on the debt side, while I focus on the equity side. We deal with a range of different industries including healthcare, technology, commercial real estate, and food and beverage. We’re more opportunistic, rather than trying to fit investment into a certain box.”
Dan Borland, Lamoreux’s counterpart in commercial real estate, deals with financings with non-real estate type companies. “I have overlap with Dan because he comes across a lot of very interesting projects,” says Cheney. “Traditionally, Opus Bank and Dan have provided only debt financing to those projects, but speaking to Rick’s point about Opus being entrepreneurial, the expansion will help us take advantage of some opportunities that might lead to equity in those markets.”
Lamoreux says the changes “speak to a clear void in the market. The current market trends and dynamics create a very favorable environment for these changes, yet there is a clear void in the market on the West Coast and in California. There aren’t many options for growth financing for businesses that are founder- or family-owned. They can go to friends and family or the traditional commercial banks, but we wanted to create a product for these smaller businesses looking to grow. We want to provide a customized solution for those entrepreneurs.”
Lamoreux adds that the medium-cap space has become much more efficient, and solutions need to be provided for that space. “That’s what we’re trying to address.”