Eric Freeman is the founder and CEO of Wingspire Equipment Finance. Learn more about Wingspire Equipment Finance at https://ef.wingspirecapital.com/.
When Liberty Commercial Finance launched in early 2017, it was founded with a vision of putting the needs of customers, employees and investors first. The idea was to create the type of organization that customers would repeatedly trust with their finance needs, employees would want to stay and grow with, and investors would want to continue to reinvest as the business grew.
That vision took hold immediately, as Liberty catapulted from a bootstrapped startup to one of the largest independent equipment finance companies in the industry in a little over five years funding more than $1.4 billion in equipment finance transactions since inception.
Liberty’s tremendous growth and culture of doing things the right way quickly attracted the attention of David Wisen, the founder of another high-growth platform in the asset-based lending sector. Wisen started Wingspire Capital in 2019 with a similar vision and funding by Owl Rock Corporation.
By combining with Wingspire Capital, Liberty would have greater access to permanent capital and resources through ultimate parent company Blue Owl Capital Inc., which has approximately $132 billion in assets under management for institutional and private wealth clients as of September 30, 2022. The majority of Blue Owl’s assets are considered permanent capital, a differentiator that enables their teams to cultivate long-standing partnerships with the organizations in which they invest and provide the confidence and resources necessary to support sustainable, long-term growth and value creation.
Wingspire Capital acquired Liberty over the summer, and the pair have been integrating operations. Liberty has rebranded itself to Wingspire Equipment Finance, with a new logo and website, yet the same great team that helped build the company to what it is today. Freeman continues to lead the company from its headquarters office in Tustin, California.
“We are combining at a time when the markets are evolving rapidly, and candidly expect banks to begin pulling back on lending,” Freeman said. “Together we have the power of direct access to capital that is permanent and patient, which gives us greater certainty to close. Clients see enormous value in that.”
Since the merger was finalized, Wingspire Equipment Finance has significantly increased its on-balance-sheet portfolio. The company is funding a greater volume of competitive transactions in its sweet spot — which ranges from $1 million to $25 million or more — even as market conditions frequently shift in a rising interest rate environment.
“We are survivors of 2008 and 2009, and we know that there are two critical questions from every client: Do you have the capital, and can you execute? The answer is yes and yes,” says Freeman.
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