Lead Left Interview – Timothy J. Conway

This week we chat with Timothy J. Conway, chairman and chief executive officer of NewStar Financial. Founded by Mr. Conway in 2004, NewStar is focused exclusively on providing sophisticated financing options to mid-sized companies through four national lending groups: leverage finance, business credit, equipment finance, and real estate.

The Lead Left: Your first question, congrats on FOC Partners

Timothy Conway: Thanks.  We are excited about the opportunity to accelerate the growth rate of that part of our business and FOC is a great platform.  NewStar operates as a combination of a direct balance sheet lender and an asset manager.  Our strategy is to prudently grow the balance sheet and to expand our asset management capabilities in areas that are consistent with our core strengths.  The launch of our relationship with Blackstone and GSO has been a catalyst for growth in both the balance sheet and asset management.  Feingold O’Keeffe fits perfectly into our thinking on the asset management side.  FOC’s capabilities, which are centered on liquid loan strategies, complement our existing asset management platform which has been focused on co-investment strategies in middle market loans, which we offer through a series of side-car style funds.

TLL:How did the deal come about?

TC: I was introduced to Andrea and Ian by a mutual friend and we had the opportunity to have several conversations about a combination of the firms.  That helped us get to know each other and figure out the strategic and cultural fit.