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Nathalie Butler is managing director at SG Credit Partners and is responsible for structuring, underwriting, deal execution and portfolio management of SG Credit’s collateral-based lending division.  Nathalie joined SG Credit in 2020 to formalize and grow SG Credit’s collateral-based lending platform to lower middle-market businesses.

Nathalie has more than 20 years of experience in asset-based lending, portfolio compliance, special assets, asset valuation and asset disposition. She began her career at Buxbaum Group where she appraised and liquidated inventories and other assets for ABL lenders and was ultimately promoted to vice president of their asset appraisal and advisory group. Nathalie then transitioned into lending in 2010 as one of the first employees of GemCap, where she led the underwriting, funding and compliance of asset-based loans secured by accounts receivables, inventory, equipment, real property and intellectual property and served as senior vice president. 

Nathalie received her Master of Business Administration in finance from the Argyros School of Business and Economics at Chapman University. She lives in Orange County, CA with her husband, two sons, and blue heeler dog. Outside of work, her interests include gardening, cooking, yoga and traveling. 

What advice would you offer to women just starting out in the industry?

There is a lot to learn in secured finance and college or university alone will not fully prepare you for the job. I would tell women starting out in the industry to take every opportunity to learn by asking lots of questions and participating in conferences and workshops.  Try to attend continuing education whenever offered (and if not offered, let your supervisor know that attending these will increase your contribution to the firm). Take on as much as you can handle, for example by volunteering to help on projects outside of your job function. Start networking early. Networking will expose you to the different roles in secured finance and will provide you with a broad picture of the industry. Consider your strengths and what interests you. Focus your career early on towards what you are the most passionate about.

I would also advise women starting out to make sure you share your point of view and ideas. Women can bring different and new perspectives on an issue, and research has shown that firms with women executives outperform those that don’t. It can be a little daunting at first to speak up but, if you don’t participate in the conversation, you are less likely to be noticed and get ahead.

How do you balance work/personal time? 

My work/personal time balance has adjusted over time and will continue to change. I focused on my career right after college, but later I chose to leave the workforce for a couple of years after my first son was born and pursue my MBA. I was able to spend time at home during the day with him, and then his brother, and attend classes at night. Although my days were full, I greatly enjoyed networking and the opportunity to expand my finance and management skills. Now that my children are a little older, I have more time and flexibility for work. It is never a perfect balance, and you cannot be present all the time, but it helps to know that having a working mother has many positive outcomes on children when they become adults. Time management and planning ahead is also key for me and, although I don’t do it enough, it’s important to schedule some “me time” and recharge.

What do you enjoy most about your role? Least? 

One of the things I enjoy the most is being able to provide funding to companies who need it and which may not otherwise be able to obtain credit from traditional financing. It is very rewarding to see a client I funded succeed and achieve their goals, even if it means that we eventually get refinanced out. I also love learning about different industries (some that I didn’t know existed), and businesses: how they started, how they operate, and what sets them apart. Helping people and learning something new every day are some of the main reasons why I love doing what I do. The thing I enjoy the least is…inaccurate financial reporting.

The Company: Midwest-based specialty retailer of mattresses and accessories. The Company sells through 50+ stores as well as its Company-owned DTC eCommerce channel.

The Financing Situation: The CEO was looking to complete a management buy-out of the Company. The business was owned by a family office that acquired it through a restructuring a few years ago. After negotiating the purchase price, the management team needed additional capital to supplement their equity contribution to complete the acquisition and provide sufficient working capital. A traditional inventory borrowing base alone would not generate enough liquidity to fund the acquisition and support the working capital needs of the business.

The Solution: SG provided a comprehensive solution by funding two tranches of term loans. The first tranche was supported by a borrowing base (advances against inventory) and required interest-only payments until maturity. The second tranche was structured based on the cash flow of the business with required interest and principal payments based on a 36-month amortization schedule. By using a hybrid approach of leveraging the company’s assets and cash flow, SG was able to provide the needed liquidity and did not require warrants or other equity instruments, which would have diluted the buyer’s ownership.

SG Credit Profile: Technology (SaaS)

The Company: Software as a Service platform that provides AI-powered marketing analytics. The platform provides an end-to-end suite of tools that allow clients to research and measure their marketing investments and maximize ROI.

The Financing Situation: The Company’s existing bank credit facility was no longer a strategic fit and the Company was seeking additional non-dilutive capital to help execute on its growing sales pipeline.

The Solution: SG was able to get comfortable with the transaction due to the Company’s strong management team, blue chip customer base, enterprise value, and its supportive cap table. SG provided a $2MM senior secured facility with an interest-only period and modest amortization to payoff the bank and support the Company’s ARR growth with non-dilutive capital.