Healthcare Finance Group, LLC: Isaac Soleimani, CEO

by HCE Exchange on September 12, 2011

Healthcare providers are slowly starting to rebound from the 2008 financial meltdown and are looking to secure more capital to improve their market positions. But many still face uncertainty in light of healthcare reform and reimbursement challenges. In this climate, it’s important for providers to work with reliable lenders who have proven experience in the healthcare industry.

Healthcare Finance Group has been working to meet provider’s financing needs for 11 years, with a zero loss experience during that time. HFG specializes in senior debt financing, offering secured revolving credit facilities and cash flow-based loans from $5 million to $100 million. Chief Executive Officer Isaac Soleimani said that HFG’s expertise and commitment to solid lending practices has allowed it to weather the economic storms.

“We are one of the select lenders that have continued to do business in this segment, and we have continued to grow,” he said. “This is due to our disciplined credit culture and our unwavering focus on meeting our clients’ needs.”

During the 2008 financial crisis, lenders were not able to secure capital, but Soleimani said those markets have opened again to credible companies with good credit histories, like Healthcare Finance Group.

Healthcare Finance Group has a set of core values that drive the business they do and, ultimately, help them achieve success and the favor of their clients. These values are integrity, intelligence, discipline, dedication and teamwork.

Integrity

“Our clients rely on us to give them good advice, and we always treat them with honesty and respect,” Soleimani said. “We deliver what we promise, with no surprises.”

He said Healthcare Finance Group strives to be clear and transparent in its decision process, notifying potential borrowers as soon as possible of their status. In client surveys, integrity and treating clients with respect has served HFG well.

“Our clients have a unique experience with us, and we passionately strive to provide value to them,” Soleimani said. “Every year our clients complete a survey ranking us from one to five on various matrices. We are consistently ranked above 4.5 by our clients.”

Intelligence

Perhaps one value on which HFG prides itself is its expertise in healthcare lending.

“You really need to specialize in healthcare lending and understand its nuances,” Soleimani said.

He said that often when the healthcare market is hot, general lenders will come in and make loans that are not ideal for their clients. This leaves the lender and the borrower in a difficult position when the market falls, and the lenders usually move out of the industry. Healthcare Finance Group, however, specializes in healthcare. As a result, HFG remains steadfast and doesn’t leave the industry when the industry is under pressure.

“One of our challenges has been dealing with the generalist lenders who have little expertise in healthcare and who come into the healthcare lending market as activity increases and the capital markets open. An inexperienced lender can make mistakes that hurt not only the lender, but the borrower as well,” Soleimani said. One way that HFG has dealt with this situation has been to educate some of these lenders by bringing them in as co-lenders on large transactions led by HFG.

“We act as the lead lender, underwriting the transactions, structuring them properly, closing them and monitoring them,” Soleimani said. “Then we can bring in lenders who want to be in healthcare, but don’t have the expertise. They can take pieces of the transactions, which is good for them and is good for us because it allows us to do larger transactions and offer more services.”

Discipline

Discipline has been a major force in HFG‘s success since its inception. Soleimani said that HFG has always had a strong, disciplined credit culture, while remaining focused on clients and on meeting their needs. HFG evaluates borrowers in terms of the healthcare market as a whole, what debt load is appropriate, and how likely the borrower is to be able to pay it back.

Dedication and Teamwork

Healthcare Finance Group is dedicated to its mission of being the premier lender to healthcare providers. This dedication continues as HFG looks to expand the products and services it offers, building its syndications platform and doing larger middle-market transactions. The group also offers investment banking services and plans to selectively offer subordinated loans.

Teamwork has also been a strong foundation for HFG, not just internally but with clients and other investors. Clients know the team working with them on their transaction, as well as the executive management team. They also have access to members of the executive team at any time.

Soleimani said he expects to see HFG continue to grow and offer new products and services to its clients. Adherence to these values will be a key part of HFG’s continued success.

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