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Natural Progression: Former Navigant Team Forms SOLIC Capital Advisors

Date: Feb 26, 2014 @ 07:00 AM

If you go down the traditional structure, you are going to wind up with a pretty inefficient approach when it comes to the selection of advisors. Conversely, if have a relationship with a platform like SOLIC’s, you tap into a source that has demonstrated the capabilities of providing a valuation and an assessment in terms of an appropriate rehabilitation plan. We commit the resources relative to the implementation plan and pre-agree on the execution phases related to the sell-side investment banking component. We will put capital side-by-side such that we’re fully aligned and there’s no disparity in terms of interests as it relates to trying to prolong a recovery when we should be monetizing or instead of monetizing, we should be continuing to remediation efforts because there’s greater value to the operating rehabilitation.

To sum it up, SOLIC, with its full continuum of demonstrated capabilities, is able to fill an already existing market need. The SOLIC name is not well recognized at this point because it’s somewhat new and we haven’t been promoting the brand name until the completion of the transition with Navigant. But, as I noted, the team, its market relationships, and the execution capabilities have been going on for nearly two decades.

ABL Advisor:  Speaking of the SOLIC brand, can you share what the name stands for?

Casas:  This is something that goes back to my days in the military. Before I joined Caremark, I served as a designated Flight Surgeon in the U.S. Navy. There I provided support to Marine Special Operations and I served as a Department Head of Aviation Medicine. The acronym SOLIC stands for Special Operations/ Low Intensity Conflict and reflects what we do in the business world dealing with challenging environments that have embedded conflicts. In distressed investing, these situations require both specialized training and a level of precision in executing well thought out strategies and tactics. They are the key elements to being successful in what we do.

ABL Advisor:  As you have noted, the SOLIC team has been together for quite some time and has attained a high degree of success. To what do you attribute this success and longevity?

Casas:  If you think of it in terms of our values, it all begins with a level of competency. At SOLIC, the whole is definitely greater than the sum of the parts. The next element is a tremendous work ethic and that is demonstrated from the top all the way down. Loyalty also plays a big part – we spend the majority of our waking hours with one another in our professional capacities. We also recognize that we have family obligations, so we devote ourselves to make sure that we are attending to both our clients’ needs as well as to the needs of our families. Loyalty is a value that runs deep throughout our organization.

Of equal importance is integrity and I can assure you, there is no tolerance for a lack of integrity in our organization. Whether you call it misrepresentation, failing to honor your commitments or lying, cheating or stealing, we have zero tolerance for that kind of stuff.

We are also very committed to our professional ethics. That doesn’t mean we aren’t aggressive, but we aren’t the type of firm that sneaks around and stabs others in the back. We are assertive, but we conduct ourselves ethically and with a high degree of integrity.

ABL Advisor:  How does your firm define the middle market?

Casas:  That’s a good question, because everyone defines the middle market a bit differently. In terms of the application of SOLIC’s strategy, I would say that in terms of pre-restructuring capitalizations, the low end would be somewhere around $50 million and $200 million to $250 million at the high end.

As it relates to distressed asset management, that business is not defined by any middle-market parameters. This is business is defined by distressed assets across a wide variety of classes and we focus there because there’s a common core element of skill sets that are required. This focus keeps us fresh and consistently interacting with various institutions that also have important needs covered by the other aspects of our business. That’s how these segments all tie together.

ABL Advisor:  From a sector standpoint, which industries does SOLIC find itself working with these days?

Casas:  I would say our most recent activities have been primarily in the areas of healthcare services, financial services and real estate services. Those are the top three; but in the context of sectors, this is more reflective of the residual fall out and slow evolution of the recovery. There are some current factors that are driving today’s winners and losers, if you will. Obamacare is one such factor.

ABL Advisor:  Are there any businesses or sectors that SOLIC would shy away from or any situations you wouldn’t accept?

Casas:  As generalists, I would say that we don’t shy away from any sector in particular. I would put it this way: we identify subject matter gaps and as long as we feel comfortable that we have a strong pre-existing collaborative relationship with complementary subject matter experts, then we will pursue an opportunity. On the other hand, if we feel something isn’t a right fit for us, we won’t force feed ourselves into that situation. The worst thing you can do from an advisory or investment perspective is take on something to which you don’t add value.

We like very complex deals and we are not afraid of challenging regulatory environments. In fact, we tend to thrive in the highly regulated industries because as an organization, we have the brain power to drive through those complexities. That I think, is what distinguishes us.

ABL Advisor: In closing, is there anything you would like our readers to know?

Casas:  I think we are unique in the market and we’re very happy where we are in terms of positioning … we’re looking forward to continuing to grow this platform and serving our investors and clients’ needs.

Senior Editor | ABL Advisor
Stuart Papavassiliou is senior editor of ABL Advisor and Equipment Finance Advisor. He has worked in publishing for more than fifteen years.

Contact Stuart Papavassiliou at 484.380.2964 or

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