2023 Monitor Top Women in Equipment Finance: Shelly Cain, Verdant Commercial Capital

Shelly Cain, Senior Vice President, Credit, Verdant Commercial Capital –CPA (retired)

Shelly Cain’s career has been anything but predictable.

Cain, Verdant Commercial Capital’s senior vice president, credit, started in the once much more male-dominated banking field in the 1980s and embarked on an eclectic professional journey. She created a successful and nuanced career by adapting to challenges, embracing change, keeping an open mind and learning new skills.

Cain has long believed that when one door closes, another opens. Her career has embodied this sentiment as one role has led to another and yet another.

Now, 40 years of experience have culminated in a role at Verdant that combines her diverse combination of attributes, including underwriting, portfolio management, compliance, loan review, technology and policy and procedures.

“I have trained and mentored others who have gone on to have impactful careers in equipment finance and banking and as entrepreneurs,” Cain says. “I encourage them to focus on what they can gain.”

Cain has leveraged her expertise for the maximum benefit of an organization throughout her career. She led teams through two start-ups and one turnaround. She became a licensed and professionally trained CPA a decade after starting her career, an accomplishment that supported her then-job as a credit underwriter and ensured continuing education for two decades.

Cain is an integral resource at Verdant. Not only is she responsible for the entire Verdant team’s credit training in operations, systems and compliance, she is also a seasoned sounding board for its leaders, sales personnel and executive management team. Her achievements include developing Verdant’s overall COVID-19 portfolio response and implementing a regulatory response to reporting APRs in California and New York.

By leaning on her leadership in the credit process, Cain helped Verdant complete its first 144a securitization transaction and secure a Triple-A rating on the bulk of the bonds granted by Kroll and Moody’s bond rating services. Verdant’s bankers believe it’s one of the few times an independent first-time issuer has received a Triple-A rating from a major bond rating service.

Cain co-led a marketing initiative to the institutional investors who would purchase the bonds, and she conducted presentations to more than 50 institutions before the sale. Her contributions led to the nearly three-times’ oversubscription of Verdant’s offerings.

“Shelly has been a trusted colleague of mine for over 30 years,” Chris Kelly, executive vice president and chief credit officer at Verdant, says. “Her deep experience and exceptional team leadership have been constants. Her ability to go the extra mile has been foundational throughout her career, from start-ups requiring impactful hiring to turnarounds in need of comprehensive organizational changes.”

Cain is passionate about helping others, whether that’s knitting scarves for those in need, donating food to pantries or volunteering at the Winton Woods Riding Center.

She began riding horses at age 51, an endeavor that exemplifies her personal focus and resilience. “When things go off the rails with horses, life or job, you need to stop, collect yourself, take a deep breath and do it again,” Cain says.

“Women in our industry aspire to deeply impact their careers, lives and families. Those prospects can be overwhelming. My advice is to start small. Break down your goals into digestible pieces while accumulating experience, skills and knowledge. With time and growth, you’ll affect change in major ways.”