ss_blog_claim=bd50edc517cf0b7549fe6b5f63b6b5f8 The SLS Business Finance Blog: Small Ticket Funder Goes Down

Friday, December 19, 2008

Small Ticket Funder Goes Down

Reprinted from The Leasing News

Readers called Leasing News that they were informed Pentech was closing down.

Looks like Ben Millerbis, CLP, President & CEO of Pentech Financial, did not return with good news from the East Coast. He met with the “powers that may be” at Wachovia and Wells Fargo. His problem,his main bank Wachovia went under and was purchased by Wells Fargo, who looked at the what they acquired and evidently Pentech did not fit in, just as Ira Romoff experienced and others, too. Talk was the loss ratio was too high.

Millerbis did not return numerous telephone calls and Ron Wagner, CLP, head of the Navigator program wanted to defer all comments to Millerbis. Brad Brisbin, his high school friend and vice-president Brad Brisbin was on jury duty, the foreman. Cell telephone messages were made, which he always returned in the past can only mean it did not go together. They don’t know what to do.

Salesmen were automatically sent notices on their payday of December 16th with information if any changes, they certainly would be back. There has been no funding now for almost a month of leasing transactions.

It appears the company of 85 employees will be cut back to a winding down operation. Doesn’t look like a Merry Christmas. The Navigator program basically accepts the “rejects” of US Bank Manifest, so they could not get involved. Navigator status is unknown.

Wagner has personally been through many “close down” of leasing companies, the last being Commerce Security Bank Leasing in Sacramento, California. Millerbis who was been with Bob Jacobson, III, at Tri-Continental Financial, Mountain View, California (now selling time shares in Hawaii), in 1978 formed Pentek Financial, San Jose, California, which he sold in Alaska Pacific Bancorporation in 1982. He was also founding director of Silicon Valley Bank, Santa Clara, California. With the backing of John Otto of Heritage Leasing fame, he started Pentech Financial. Later Otto bowed out for Cambridge Partners backing (who reportedly are having their problems, too. Leasing News working on this story. editor)

Editor's Note: Pentech was a very good funder in the B/C paper space and a partner of US Bank Manifest Equipment Leasing (US Bank's Small Ticket Equipment Leasing Subsidiary). This sign is telling of some of things that are happening in the small ticket market even though many in the A-D space are still doing ok and actively seeking deals.

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