Chesswood Group is temporarily suspending its monthly dividend as part of its broader initiative to draw on its revolving credit facility to resume funding new business in the U.S., as its customers’ businesses reopen and closure restrictions begin to lift.
Chesswood and its operating subsidiaries implemented several cost-cutting measures as soon as the potential severity of the COVID-19 pandemic became evident, including staffing reductions, a temporary 20% reduction in management compensation and temporary cessation of payments of director compensation.
Ryan Marr has joined Chesswood as an advisor, to help design and implement new funding strategies for our businesses. Marr is partner and chief investment officer at Waypoint Investment Partners. Prior to joining Waypoint, he spent 10 years employed by Gluskin Sheff + Associates, a Canadian wealth manager focused on high net worth clients across Canada. Prior to departing, Marr held the position of vice-president and portfolio manager where he managed and co-managed portfolios investing in North American equities across a variety of strategies including equity long only, equity long / short and non-resource equities.
“Ryan has extensive experience in financial markets and with the structuring and creation of financial products and strategies. Given our critical mass today and our need to continue to diversify funding sources, Ryan will be helping Chesswood develop alternative approaches to funding our new originations,” said Barry Shafran, Chesswood’s president and CEO.
As previously announced, Chesswood’s operating subsidiaries have granted deferrals and other accommodations to customers. Requests for deferrals and other accommodations have significantly decreased over these last few weeks. The focus will now turn to working collaboratively with customers towards return to their regular payment schedules.
Prior to this dividend suspension, Chesswood and its predecessor, Chesswood Income Fund, paid significant monthly dividends since first going public in 2006, as one of its primary objectives. It is the company’s intention to recommence monthly dividends as soon as Chesswood’s board determines it to be appropriate.
“Our management and board had hoped to avoid the need to suspend our monthly dividend, and we have taken this action only after we earlier implemented cost-cutting at the management, staff and director levels,” Shafran said. “We are proud of our dividend track record, and we hope that our efforts and focus during this unprecedented time will result in our being able to resume monthly dividends and maximize shareholder value once the effects of COVID-19 have passed through our business,” added Shafran.
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