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Interview with Robert P. Grbic, White Oak Commercial Finance By Michele Ocejo
By Michele Ocejo
Robert Grbic is the president & CEO of White Oak Commercial Finance. Grbic has more than 30 years of commercial lending experience. He has been with the company and its predecessor since 2005, previously serving as senior executive vice president and chief credit officer where he was involved in creating a hands-on, best-practices credit culture, as well as helping the Company expand its client portfolio. Before that, Grbic was managing director at Morris Anderson & Associates Ltd., a turnaround-consulting firm. He also co-founded MetSource Capital, LLC, a restructuring and corporate finance firm, working primarily with small- and medium-sized companies. In addition, Grbic has also served at GMAC Commercial Credit, LLC, BNY Financial Corp and Bankers Trust. Grbic is a member of the New York Society of Financial Analysts and the Association for Investment Management and Research. He has served as an instructor for the Finance, Tax and Law Department at the NYU School of Continuing Education. Grbic holds master and bachelor degrees in business administration from Pace University.
Please tell us a bit about your career trajectory.
I’ve worked in the commercial finance space for over 30 years with experience on both sides of the deal sheet, which provides me with a well-rounded outlook on the industry and the intricacies within. Prior to White Oak Commercial Finance (f/k/a Capital Business Credit), I worked for MorrisAnderson and ran my own consulting firm focused on turnaround and restructuring deals, which has proved invaluable in dealing with more complex deals.
Please tell us a bit about White Oak...typical deal size, industries you focus on, etc.
White Oak Commercial Finance provides credit facilities to middle-market companies between $5-50 million.
As a full-service ABL shop, we offer asset-based lending, full-service factoring, invoice discounting, supply chain financing, inventory financing, U.S. import/export financing, trade credit risk management, account receivables management and credit and collections support.
As an affiliate of White Oak Global Advisors, we have the capacity to pursue larger, more sophisticated deals for our clients and referral sources.
Can you tell us what your main goals for White Oak are in 2020? Any specific goals for the factoring area?
After a strong 2019, we want to maintain our momentum in the marketplace, increase our brand presence in the industry, and deepen our client and partner relationships by delivering results and nurturing long-term engagements with our growing suite of financing solutions. Within our factoring division, we’d like to add non-apparel and clients from emerging industries to the portfolio.
White Oak has been expanding over the past year and recently purchased a portfolio of ABL loans from Veritas Financial Partners. What was the strategy behind this and how does it fit into your overall goals?
We like to look for acquisitions that fit our portfolio objectives and focus on firms that have shown proven success in markets or industries we see opportunities in. The Veritas purchase helps us to increase our national presence and diversify our portfolio.
What do you think are the most pressing challenges facing factors in 2020 and how can these be overcome?
It’s no secret that the traditional retail space is experiencing challenges. The resulting loss of buyers continues to create market concentrations on the debtor side of factoring. This can be addressed with a deep understanding of a client’s product and value to their customers, clear and frequent communications, and a creative, solutions-based approach to deals that can reliably be fulfilled by White Oak Commercial Finance’s industry experts and expansive product suite.