Lead Left Interview – Mitch Drucker

This week we chat with Mitchell Drucker, Managing Director of Garrison Investment Group. Mitch is the head of Garrison’s corporate lending team and is responsible for transaction origination, analysis and execution. He has more than 30 years of experience in the lending business and formerly served in various positions at CIT, presiding over a team of more than 200 professionals. Founded in 2007 Garrison is a middle market credit and asset based investor headquartered in NYC.

The Lead Left: Mitch, it’s been a while since we sat down for a Q&A. Catch us up on Garrison.

Mitch Drucker: This is the 10 year anniversary of our funds and we now have about $3.5 billion assets under management across our three business verticals: corporate finance, real estate, and financial assets. We participate as the agent or in club deals between $10 million and $100 million in size. Half of our team has an ABL background which we view as a big advantage. Our leads often come simultaneously from sponsors and bank ABL groups and we are able to offer bifurcated, split lien structures.

We also have the flexibility to engage in larger club deals in the $100 million to $300 million size range due to the strength of our capital markets relationships. In fact, as we await a pickup in lower middle market sponsor volume, we’ve seen better relative value in the larger market. When we see nuanced credits in the upper middle market, we are flexible and we view that as a key differentiator for us. For example, we can target a 7%-8% yield in transactions not being financed by the CLO market. What makes this deal compelling is a sound structure with low loan-to-value levels.