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Lender Matt Cohen on Trust, Reciprocity, and Letting His Record Speak for Itself

Kari Lukovics Axial | April 13, 2017

 

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Matt Cohen, a non-bank lender and intermediary based in Boca Raton, knows that when businesses need capital, they usually need it quickly.

He has built his lending practice around speed, efficiency, and flexibility — making Noble Funding a reputable name among business owners despite the firm’s relatively small size.

Noble Funding has made many connections on Axial that have resulted in closed deals. For example, in 2017, Noble Funding provided debt financing to gutter filtration system manufacturer Gutterglove, Inc. In 2016, the firm provided debt financing to online furniture retailer InteriorMark. And in 2015, Matt and his team extended financing to roofing contractor and construction business MadSky Roofing and Restoration, as well as wholesale food and non-food product distributor Génere Food Corporation.

Read on to learn Matt’s advice for business owners seeking capital, and why trust is a crucial part of any transaction.

 

What prompted you to form Noble Funding back in 2005?

Earlier in my career, I was a crappy mortgage broker because I wouldn’t put people into one-year fixed rate loans. Then I started doing commercial real estate mortgages. My dad told me “You’ll never get rich working for someone else.”

I loved getting deals done and helping people get something they need, so I started Noble Funding to provide business owners nationwide unsecured lines of credit from banking institutions. I named it “Noble” because I wanted to do good deeds for people — something noble and something nice. That’s what I’ve been doing ever since.

 

Providing debt for business owners can be a complex process. How do you navigate that?

We see unpredictable things pop up in deals all the time. We are constantly faced with challenges on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. A lot of it is knowing how to play with the hand you’re dealt. We’re always adapting for our clients because new products get introduced to the marketplace and lenders come and go. It can be a bit of a rollercoaster ride, but I love it.

 

What role has networking played in your success to date?

Networking, specifically on Axial, has been extremely valuable. We receive referrals from investment banks, M&A firms, and other finance professionals. Often times we team up, or establish a nice two-way street. For example, we are debt experts, but novices when it comes to equity. Investment banks send us their debt deals, and we reciprocate when our clients are looking to raise equity.

 

Matt, second from the left, at the 2016 Axial Concord conference.

 

How does being an Axial member impact your business?

Having been an Axial member now for several years, we have had success both with finding clients directly, and also establishing long lasting referral relationships with other corporate finance companies.

For example, we provided one company a $1.5 million senior secured bank revolver on A/R, and then a term loan for $500,000 over 3 years on a subordinated basis for 8.99% annual interest. Amazingly, the junior piece ended up being a hair less interest than the senior piece. The client was ecstatic, and so were we.

Click here to see more Axial connections that resulted in closed deals.  

What’s one piece of advice you think every business owner should hear when preparing for a transaction?

Research the company prior to engaging them. I spend a lot of time fixing mistakes other companies make that hurt the business and the business owner. Some of the mistakes could have been avoided had the business owner conducted some more due diligence prior to working with them.

Just the other day I offered a 9% lower interest rate than another broker, which goes to show you that some business owners just don’t realize how bad of a deal they can be offered. That’s why I provide easy access to my Better Business Bureau listing and TrustPilot reviews. If I had a record for doing bad business, everyone would know.

 

What might we find you doing when you’re not at work?matt and fam

On the weekends, I spend a ton of time with my two boys, ages 7 and 4. I just started taking my seven-year-old out on the golf course, and he’s beaten me on a few holes which has been especially gratifying.

I also coached his soccer team this year, as I was an all-state soccer player myself in my high school days. Now I’m passing my knowledge down to a new generation, and that’s been a lot of fun.

 

 

 

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