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Santander Bank – New Leadership Focusing on Lifecycle Lending

Date: Sep 19, 2018 @ 07:19 AM

In July, Santander Bank announced the appointment of Brian Schwinn to head the Bank’s asset-based lending (ABL) and restructuring finance business in its Commercial Banking division. Schwinn transitioned into his new role after joining Santander as Commercial Banking’s chief credit officer in November 2016. Schwinn’s experience in commercial finance is extensive and includes advising clients and managing portfolios across a broad spectrum of product categories including leveraged finance, securitization, asset-based lending, debt capital markets, real estate, commercial aviation and structured products. 

ABL Advisor met with Schwinn to learn more about Santander’s strategy to provide a “lifecycle” approach to Santander’s asset-based lending and restructuring finance businesses.

Photo of Brian Schwinn - EVP, Head of Asset-Based Lending & Restructuring - Santander Bank

ABL Advisor: According to the press release issued in July 2018, your responsibility is to grow Santander’s asset-based lending and restructuring finance business in Santander’s Commercial Banking division. What experiences from your previous role as the Commercial Banking Chief Credit Officer have best prepared you for this all-encompassing leadership role?

Brian Schwinn: I have had the fortune of a diverse career spanning a variety of businesses, products, and geographies through several economic cycles. As Commercial Chief Credit Officer, I gained a broad view of the credit markets and products in which we compete today. I am looking forward to applying the depth and breadth of my credit experience, as well as my experience managing and developing people, to enhance the capabilities of Santander in asset-based lending and restructuring finance.

ABL Advisor: Please provide our readers some detail into the how Santander designates transactions between the asset-based lending group and the bank’s restructuring finance business. 

Schwinn: Asset-based lending is a standard banking product that provides our customers efficient access to capital based on their working capital and other assets. It can be used to efficiently support organic growth or acquisitions, seasonal fluctuations and a variety of other capital needs. Restructuring finance looks to provide flexible solutions to internal and external customers that have experienced temporary liquidity or cash flow challenges. We want to be a lifecycle financial partner to all of our clients so having expertise in both these areas and providing the best solution to a company, based on its lifecycle, is critical for our current or future customers.

ABL Advisor: Please provide an overview of the market strategy you will employ in working to grow these businesses, including: the primary industries your groups will be focused upon.

Schwinn: For asset-based lending, Santander is looking to market to companies that want to expand their access to capital efficiently; using existing assets as well as assets to be generated in the future through growth and acquisition. While we don’t have specifically targeted industries, consumer retail, distribution, manufacturing and other working capital or fixed capital-intensive businesses have historically used asset-based lending to provide dependable capital. For restructuring finance, we are looking for companies that have the demonstrated ability to manage through cyclical challenges, but have current needs or cash flow situations that need a specific solution, either via bank or external capital.    

ABL Advisor: It’s no secret that the lending environment is highly competitive, not only among banks but also due to non-bank funding sources entering the asset-based lending and restructuring market – such as private equity players, BDCs and various independent specialty lenders. How will Santander seek to differentiate itself in this market from this wide field of players?

Schwinn: Santander is one of the largest banks in the world with more than 125 million customers in the U.S., Europe and Latin America. As a global financial institution, we have the unique ability to provide a wide variety of solutions across broad geographies.  Our international, industry and capital markets capabilities and expertise, in each market we serve, demonstrates that we have a proven track record of delivering solutions in countries that are of interest to many U.S. companies. We offer a comprehensive suite of cash management, interest rate hedging, foreign exchange, and other critical products and continue to expand our offerings to meet customer needs. When you match our capabilities and products with the unique global insights we can offer to U.S. companies looking to grow or do business internationally, we offer a compelling value.

ABL Advisor: According to the July press release, Robert Rubino, Santander’s co-President and head of Commercial Banking stated, “Our growth strategy in the U.S. is centered on being an effective lifecycle financial partner to our customers and prospects.” Please provide our readers a bit more detail into what Mr. Rubino means when saying “an effective lifecycle financial partner.”

Schwinn: As mentioned above, an effective lifecycle financial partnership is predicated on the ability to be a trusted advisor to companies during their strong and weak cycles and to be able to execute effectively for the client’s benefit. Whether it is general economic conditions, industry-specific challenges or company-specific needs, Santander wants to see its customers prosper. Being able to provide valuable solutions to customers through good and challenging times is how we develop a trusted, valuable partnership. A trusted advisor is consistently looking to be solution-oriented and meet the needs of every customer. Our strategy is built on this approach, so whether a firm needs help making an acquisition, expanding capacity, providing liquidity to shareholders or providing capital to manage through tougher times, Santander is positioning itself to be that holistic solution provider.

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