Monthly Archive: October 2016

Bruce Levenson: A Man With Multiple Hats To Wear

If there’s anyone that can be said to be wearing a few hats on his head, with a several feathers attached, it’s Bruce Levenson. Moreover, it looks as if he is acquiring more hats as each passes goes by.

More commonly recognized as the former co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks LLC, Bruce Levenson is one American entrepreneur extraordinaire, several times over, and a world-renowned philanthropist.

Bruce Levenson’s Early Trajectory

Having founded several enterprises from his own apartment living room, his amazing trajectory began with the publication of a simple newsletter, Oil Express, that had a primary focus on the latest developments in the oil industry.

Resulting in the founding of the United Communications Group (UCG), along with Ed Peskowitz in 1977, UCG later acquired other additional newsletters and launched other databases as well. Making all the right moves, Bruce Levenson also became a founding board member of the publicly traded media-oriented TechTarget company.

UCG, a privately held business IT company specializing in the distribution of data for healthcare, energy, mortgage banking, technology and telecommunications, also owns another company named Gas Buddy.

As an industry achievement, Levenson and Peskowitz received recognition from the Software and Information Industry Association’s Hall of Fame in 1997 for their joint work and production results under the UCG banner.

Philanthropic Endeavors

According to Time Magazine, Levenson, along with his wife Karen, and their three sons, all reside in Atlanta and Potomac, Maryland and have dedicated themselves to developing various charitable organizations. Among the organizations is the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, the SEED Foundation, Seeds of Peace and various other Jewish causes.

Levenson and his wife have also spearheaded the development of the Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at the University of Maryland by providing seed funding on several occasions. In addition, they also admirably engage in projects to teach students how to manage nonprofit organizations.

Sources:

brucelevenson.com

http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikeozanian/2015/04/23/bankers-for-levenson-oversold-atlanta-hawks-by-27/

How Increased Transparency and Better Regulations Have Attracted Borrowers to Stock-Based Loans

Equities First Holdings, LLC posted impressive gains in the fist-financial half of 2016. This was an unexpected turn of events especially considering the disparaging state-of-affairs in the global financial lending world. In recent times, banks have made it next-to-impossible for borrowers to acquire the necessary funding for capital investments. According to the CEO and Founder of Equities First Holdings , Al Christy. Jr., stock-based loans are innovative solutions because of their higher loan-to-value ratio as compared to margin loans and their lowered interest rates.

 

A majority of loans typically extend over three years. And, as is common knowledge, it is impossible to escape-the terrible-market fluctuations over that duration. The stock-based loan, on the other hand, has some cushion against this rattling-effects of the markets. The consumer is protected by the non-recourse feature which makes it possible for them to walk away from that loan at any given time.

 

Margin Loans Versus Stock-Based Loans

 

Christy went ahead to spell out the differences between margin loans and stock-based loans. The only similarity joining the two options is that they both use securities as collaterals. Interest rates are flexible, and the loan-to-value ratios ranging 10% to 50%. Another feature is that the lender has the right to terminate the contract and proceed to liquidate the collateral of the creditor if a margin call arises.

 

Stock-based funds, on the other hand, have a fixed interest rate of around 3-4%. The loan-to-value ratios are much higher as from 50-75%. The loan comes with few restrictions, and you are at liberty to use the funds as you please. The no-recourse feature does not apply here.

 

 

Many mainstream investors have ignored them because this industry has been a haven for unscrupulous lenders in the past. Lenders who made away with the collateral holdings and the stocks of their borrowers. Christy, however, noted that the increased transparency and regulations now in place meant that fewer unbecoming incidences occurred.

 

About Equity First Holdings

 

EFH remains at the forefront of providing competitively-rated loans to business and high net worth individuals. Beginning 2012, borrowers have secured financing solutions capital using their stocks as the only collateral. So far, the company has transacted a total of $1.4 billion. They now operate from 9 countries.

 

For more details please visit http://www.equitiesfirst.com/

Dick DeVos Involvement in Educational Reforms

Dick DeVos worked in several well-established companies in executive positions before his way up as the President of Windquest Group. Before joining Windquest Group, Dick worked at NBA’s Orlando Magic and Amway in different managerial positions. Under his leadership, Amway tripled its international sales to exceed its domestic sales after recording a whopping $4.5 billion profitability. After Dick DeVos’ family acquired Orlando Magic in 1991, Dick served as its President and CEO for three years. He is married to Betsy Prince and has five grandchildren and seven children. Dick DeVos is a qualified helicopter and jet aircraft pilot and a National Champion sailor.

 

Educational Reforms

 

Betsy DeVos is an active supporter of the educational reform movements. She engages in non-profit activities to pursue educational reforms. Betsy co-founded Amway together with her husband, Dick DeVos in 1989. In an interview with Philanthropy Round Table, Betsy discussed what compelled her to join the educational reform movement. Betsy said that when her kids started school, she could support many needy students. As such, her passion for educational reforms started to build up. She added that her tenure serving on the American Education Reform Council and Children First America boards helped her to push for reforms in the education sector. Betsy’s husband, Dick DeVos, started the All Children Matters to create awareness to the public about educational choice. Many learning institutions supported and embraced the implementation of DeVos’ initiative. During the interview, Betsy said that her significant in Florida’s educational reform was significant. She said that she was happy with educational reforms in Indiana and Louisiana.

 

Dick’s Contribution to Society

 

As a supporter of education, Dick founded the Education Freedom Fund, which provides over 4,000 scholarships to the needy children. He also served on the State Board of Education of West Michigan Aviation Academy, in Michigan. West Michigan Aviation Academy focuses on aviation in providing a rigorous educational program to its students. Besides, Dick served as the co-chairperson of many regional health care improvements and downtown revitalization programs such as $30M Downtown Market, a $90M medical school, a $130M heart hospital, a $212M convention center, and a $75M downtown area. In 1997, Dick DeVos published “Rediscovering American Values,” a New York best-seller, which is now available in 7 languages. In the year 2006, he was nominated as the Republican’s candidate for the post of Governor.

Visit the site crunchbase.com to know more about Dick DeVos.

Former Chopper Trading CEO and Now Scoutahead CEO- Raj Fernando

Raj Fernando is the founder of Chopper Trading Company; he started the firm in 2002. Before starting his trading company, Raj was a successful trader at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade. Mr. Fernando has a degree in economics and history. He also has a vast experience in various cyber security and financial firms in the industry. His excellence performance in different fields shows that Raj is an expert in capital markets and technological innovations. He has been an active member of foreign policy companies; he makes a massive effort here to various organizations in the entire United States and across Chicago.

Mr. Fernando holds several positions in several agencies in the United States. He is a member of the Chicago Council of Foreign Affairs, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the United States Security Project. His trading career had a simple start, he began as a novice after graduating from college and moved his way up to have various positions. He later started his company known as Chopper Trading.

In a bid to deliver accurate data to individuals, firms and the internet at large, Raj Fernando started another firm known as Scoutahead.com in 2016. The company focuses reliable information so as to increase professionalism and productivity in the corporate world. The startup has had a big start and is set to grow to become a globally leading company. This is because of the CEO; Mr. Fernando has decades of experience in the cyber security industry. He also offers extraordinary insights and counsel to steer the firm to rapid growth.

About Raj Fernando

A lot can be said about Mr. Fernando; he is also an active supporter of multiple charitable organizations in Chicago and the United States. He has in the past had a record to participate and fund raise activities for Democratic Candidates within the United Stated. He assisted in raising funds for the Barrack Obama presidential campaign in 2011. All in all, with 14 years of experience as CEO, Fernando has proven an extensive knowledge and success in what he does. It is not surprising that Chopper was named as the best workplaces in 2012 by the Chicago Tribune.
More about Raj Fernando: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rajfernando

The Atlanta Hawks Basketball And Entertainment Group Is Suing AIG For Breach Of Contract

The Atlanta Hawks Basketball and Entertainment Group was the former owner of the NBA franchise in Atlanta, and Bruce Levenson, co-founder of the United Communications Group, and a well-known philanthropist has a big role in that group. The former Hawks ownership group under the direction of controlling partner, Bruce Levenson, filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of Fulton County recently that states the Big New Hampshire insurance company, AIG, breach a contract with the group. The group had an AIG policy that covered certain losses due to employment practices like wrongful termination and workplace torts, according to the court documents. The suit involves former general manager of the team, Danny Ferry. Levenson and the other partners in the group claim that AIG breached the insurance policy that was in force when Ferry and the Levenson group reached a buyout (http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikeozanian/2015/04/23/bankers-for-levenson-oversold-atlanta-hawks-by-27/) agreement right before the group sold the franchise to Tony Ressler in 2015.

Bruce Levenson is one of those larger-than-life characters that has the brains, charisma, money, and fortitude to stand behind a number of worthy causes and businesses. Levenson played a pivotal part in completing the Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership on the campus of the University of Maryland. Levenson is a vocal Jewish leader that has ongoing communication with the Israeli Prime Minister. Levenson is considered the founding father of the U.S. Holocaust Museum, and he continues to fund several programs that are part of the museum.

According to Time.com, two other important causes that are funded by Bruce and his wife are the Hoops Dream Foundation and I Have A Dream Foundation. Levenson also contributes to the Jewish Youth Philanthropy Institute, Birthright Israel, BBYO, and the Jewish Federation.

The amount of the claim against AIG is confidential, but according to court documents the Levenson group is asking for a 50 percent penalty on the unpaid losses as well as court costs and attorney’s fees. For more info, visit brucelevenson.com.