How Diamant Carré differs from others
There are three significant ways we are different from a typical loan broker: our culture at Diamant Carré, the desired background of the employees we hire & our clients’ balance sheet preferences.
Explaining our company’s culture allows prospective customers to look beyond the person they are speaking to right then. This culture description” describes the contact and experience the company is designed for the client. It is more than just solving the immediate problem of funding a loan. It is a promise of what to expect. By explaining the experience a customer is designed to have, we are helping them imagine the relationship. This kind of relationship is often new to them. We like to think of the process as a confirmation of agreed-upon mutual expectations for what will happen.
The employees at Diamant Carré are chosen because they have three characteristics:
1. They are corporate bankers with national and international experience,
2. They have a history of finding unusual paths to solve a problem, and
3. They listen well and have a naturally anticipatory disposition.
Listening well is particularly useful for judging the credit of a company. Listening creatively comes from experience working at – and also for – large organizations. These companies require lending and strategic skills in their senior employees. There are many considerations beyond just the financials that can make a funder want to fund a loan. Sometimes, it is a reasonable growth path. Other times, the company operates in an area that the bank has interest in. The last one, which is the most powerful and yet the least used by banks, is that a loan to a specific company can make funding for other client relationships viable or easier. Let me paint an example:
Company A is having trouble getting a machine shipped to a client. A subcontractor (Company B) is having trouble getting them a part that is needed to complete and ship the machine. In most circumstances, it is expected that Company A would be on the phone often with “B” and the calls would not be pleasant. Company A would be expected to be looking at others to replace Company B. But what if we reversed the expectations by having Company A actively help (and fund) “B”? By doing this, they establish a tighter business relationship and get a more trusting subcontractor (who is no more likely to share production issues).
Here’s also where our company culture comes in: the people at Diamant Carre are from and have worked in other parts of the world. They see the world differently; interpersonal relationships are the company, and not created after the fact. An examination of Japanese (Asian?) corporate behavior is a good example of this difference. That’s how they’ve had generations of a family running a company, unlike the American style of building then selling it.
The only way these two employee characteristics work well is when they are combined with being future-focused. Our employees are compensated based on their ability to see minor changes in businesses or industries that can change the balance of power or profit. Time is needed to get deals done, such as described by the Company A&B situation earlier. You get more time to solve the problem, by identifying the problem earlier than others. We highlight these business and industry changes in our weekly webinars to our capital source partners (you can register here?).
Balance Sheet Considerations
Our last point describes the companies, and their team’s management styles, that we worked best with over time. Our clients use a managed cost of capital business model. Our clients prefer to never pay their debt back. No, that doesn’t mean they default; it means that loans on the balance sheet are taken out with the intent to sequentially refinance them. Put differently, debt has a permanent place on their balance sheet. Our job is to help them manage the debt, just like the funding desk at a bank. These customers know that banks cannot easily refinance a loan that is maturing. Most banks need to show the government regulators that it has been paid off completely. When our client has a loan with low principal payments (or a large balloon payment), the Chief Financial Officer of our client looks to us to watch daily for the when and where to get the refinancing done for any of their loans.
Our large network of lenders at Diamant Carré’s makes quick choices easy and has a special place in our business plan. Our business plan was built in a way that keeps our customers from wanting to go anywhere else. Our promise: Diamant Carré will give you a reason to stay…again and again and again.