Lead Left Interview – Wayne McKinzie

This week we chat with Wayne McKinzie, a partner at Moore & Van Allen PLLC. Named in Best Lawyers in America for Banking and Finance Law, Wayne represents investors in various senior and mezzanine financing transactions and investments. Moore & Van Allen, based in Charlotte, is one of the largest law firms in the Southeast, employing nearly 300 attorneys, with approximately 80 attorneys on the Financial Services team.

The Lead Left: Wayne, from your perspective representing the buy-side, how do you see terms evolving for leveraged loans?

Wayne McKinzie: Clearly 2015 has continued the trend with financial sponsors having lots of negotiating leverage, given the strong demand for leveraged paper. What everyone says about structures weakening – or becoming more flexible, depending on your viewpoint – is accurate. We focus mostly on the middle market.

TLL: What are some trends in the middle market?

WM: I would say the big theme is what has moved down from the larger middle market in terms of structures. The tension for our investor clients is financing companies that are not as large, often with unproven management and business plans. Some of these firms have had a bumpy ride.