Mid-market corporate law firm Polsinelli has lured a transactional lawyer with expertise concerning small business investment corporations (SBICs) and financial institutions from the offices of a rival in Washington.
Philip Feigen comes to Polsinellis Washington office as a shareholder from Patton Boggs. Feigen told IFLR1000 that although Polsinelli was already doing a high volume of lending work on behalf of SBICs, it did not have a regulatory, licensing, and fund formation presence in that area. Feigen came to the firm with a strategy for developing and growing the SBIC practice.
The key to forming an SBIC is, not only do you have to form the funds, but the principals and the fund must be vetted and licensed through the Small Business Administration, and thats the regulatory side of it. Also, Polsinelli has a large community banking practice, but did not have a D.C. regulatory presence, and so I came on board with my background in community banking to provide the D.C. presence with federal banking regulators, Feigen said.
SBICs are by nature designed to invest, Feigen noted. They are funds with the capability to get leverage from the government, invest in small businesses, and create jobs in small businesses.
Thats a growing area given the leverage you can get from the government in a low interest rate environment. Polsinellis offices throughout the Midwest and the bigger cities throughout the country fit with the growth of the SBIC industry, he said.
Feigens prediction of a strong 2014 for SBICs is based on a number of different factors.
The market for investors who are investing in SBICs is very appealing right now, because theres money that can be put to work, and there are investors who really like the fact that the funds are able to leverage the money with the government. If investors are putting money into the SBICs, and theres more licensing of SBICs, theres therefore that much more money to be deployed to small businesses, he said.
When I say mid-market, were talking about funds of $25 million to $85 million that are able to leverage that with the government, so, when done, they can be a fund thats around $225 million, Feigen added.
Joining Feigen in his move to Polsinelli are New York-based attorney Robert Cudd, formerly with Morrison & Foerster, and Washington-based lawyer Kevin Vold, formerly with Hogan Lovells.