Encina Lender Finance Adds to Commercial, Operations and Risk Teams

Encina Lender Finance added Dan Avnir to its commercial team as managing director, Denise Richardson to its operations department as collateral analyst and Jessica Ernst and Jeff Karlsson to its risk team as portfolio manager and senior associate, respectively.

Avnir, who will report directly to Luke Graham, CEO of Encina Lender Finance, joined the company from Bryant Park Capital, an investment bank focused on M&A and debt capital markets advisory. While there, Avnir was responsible for originating and executing transactions primarily in the financial services sector. In his new role, he will be responsible for promoting and scaling Encina Lender Finance’s origination efforts.

Richardson will report to Janet Riccard, director of operations for Encina Lender Finance. In her role, Richardson will be responsible for monitoring Encina Lender Finance’s customer collateral and handling loan repayments and advances. Before joining the company, Richardson worked at Synovus Bank and UPS Capital in a variety of similar operational roles.

Ernst and Karlsson will both report directly John Thomas, president and chief risk officer of Encina Lender Finance.

Ernst will take responsibility for the team’s portfolio. Before joining Encina Lender Finance, Ernst spent her career at Cadence Bank, Wells Fargo and GE Capital, holding a variety of risk management roles in underwriting and portfolio management and developing expertise in lender finance, asset-based-lending and equipment finance.

Karlsson will help support Encina Lender Finance’s growth by providing analysis, underwriting and documentation support to its front-end deal evaluation and underwriting process. Prior to joining Encina Lender Finance, Karlsson worked at Houlihan Lokey as a financial analyst in the firm’s portfolio valuation and fund advisory services team, performing valuations of illiquid investments, and at Credigy as an analyst, gaining experience in consumer finance.

“As we continue to ramp up ELF, it is critical that we add domain experts to each of the three important functions that facilitate growth: originations, risk and operations,” Graham said. “By adding Dan Avnir, Jessica Ernst, Jeff Karlsson and Denise Richardson to our team, I am confident that we are accomplishing just that and positioning ourselves to be a best-in-class non-bank lender finance platform.”

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