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Business Coaching/Consulting

Spending 27 years of a 43-year career as community bank CEO. I have extensive business experience, not only in running two community banks but also in working with thousands of small business customers along the way. I was either the ultimate decision maker or provided the final recommendations to my bank board of directors on issues of Lending, Credit Administration, Compliance, Audit, Internal Control, Human Resources, Marketing & Public Relations, Information Systems & Technology, Business Development, Investments, Real Estate/Facility Construction and Acquisition, Litigation, Insurance, and Security. I have the business experience and corporate background to help you make better decisions for your business or non-profit organization.

Strategic Planning

All too often I have seen small and medium sized business owners get so caught up in the weeds of daily business activities that they don’t take the time to focus on where they are headed or how they are going to get there. Where do you see yourself and your organization in three years? Five years? Ten years? What resources will be needed to get you there and what resources will be needed when you arrive? I can help frame your planning  so you can accomplish what you have set out to conquer.

Corporate Financial Management

An organization’s working capital and cash reserves are often overlooked as a corporate resource. With my past banking experience, I can help you work with your bank (or help you find a better bank) to maximize your cash flow while putting every dollar for work for you by either generating interest income or reducing interest expenses.

Assistance in Selecting a Bank/Business Lender

How did you select your bank or credit union? Did you research all competitors to make sure you got the best possible deal? Most businesses choose their financial institutions for all the wrong reasons. I know how to get the best deal for you and your business that meets your specific needs and objectives.

Loan presentation preparation and negotiation

Countless times in my banking career, I saw business customer after customer come to their lender woefully unprepared, often with little more than a financial statement and a dream. The success or failure of having their business loan request approved then fell to the skill and ability of the loan officer or the bank’s credit analyst. Often, the customer never even meets or talks to the analyst, yet the analyst typically does the most “number crunching” for the bank on the request. I can help you change that paradigm by putting together a loan package for your lender that will maximize your chances of getting approved.    This includes preparation of your business plan and helping to develop a financial pro-forma for the next 3-5 years to help demonstrate your ability to pay the new loan back. I will also survey competing lenders to help make sure you not only get the best rate on your loan but also the best overall credit terms/loan covenants for you and your organization.

Qualified Independent Representative (QIR) for Special Entities

If you are issuing tax free debt through a state, county, or municipal entity or through an authority created by such an entity and are entering into a swap agreement to lock in your interest rate, you are likely considered a “Special Entity” per the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and you must have a Qualified Independent Representative to act in your best interest. 17 CFR 240.15Fh-5 (part of the Dodd-Frank Act signed into law in 2010) requires any swap dealer or major swap participant that offers to enter into a rate swap with a Special Entity to have a reasonable basis to believe the special entity has a qualified independent representative that (among other things) has sufficient knowledge to evaluate the transaction and risks, is not subject to statutory disqualification, undertakes a duty to act in the best interests of the special entity; d) makes appropriate and timely disclosure to the special entity of material information concerning the swap, evaluates, consistent with any guidelines provided by the special entity, the fair pricing and the appropriateness  of the swap, and is independent of the swap dealer or major security-based swap participant.

I will review the proposed terms of the swap with you and your team to ensure you understand the advantages, disadvantages, and potential risks associated with entering into a swap agreement, review your policies and procedures for selecting the swap dealer and the qualified independent representative, meet with your team and the swap dealer as many times as it takes, and will work in a fiduciary capacity to ensure you not only get the best deal possible, more importantly you understand any pitfalls that may come from the swap transaction.

I recently acted as a QIR on behalf of a local entity in a $42 million swap transaction and saved that entity over $30,000 in fees compared to the fee quoted by their bond advisor for the QIR service.

Distressed Loan Workout/Business Restructuring

As a community bank CEO during the Great Recession of 2008 and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in 2010, I saw more than my fair share of struggling small businesses. If you are having problems paying your business debts to your bank or others, facing foreclosure or bankruptcy, I can help with business strategies that can find ways through bad times.

Expert Witness Testimony

Whether you are suing your bank or being sued by your bank, I can offer expert testimony on what are reasonable banking practices that may help your case.

SBA 7A and 504 Loan Packaging

I will help you create your business plan and financial proformas. I will also assist in helping you find the best SBA 7A lender or work with the sponsor of your SBA 504 debenture as well as assisting in finding a bank to handle the first mortgage in the SBA 504 transaction.

BSA/AML Compliance for Money Servicing Businesses

Banks are and have been under considerable pressure from their federal and state regulators to act as seemingly de-facto law enforcement agencies when it comes to policing their customers who cash checks, sell money orders, operate ATMs, sell lottery tickets, or who operate a retail business that generates a large amount of cash. The burden is on the customer to have the proper written policies, procedures, and internal controls necessary to “prove” their innocence. I can help you draft new policies or enhance your existing policies to ensure compliance with applicable federal and state regulatory rules. This may even help get the exorbitant service charges banks charge the MSB customers lowered as they see their risk mitigated by your strong policies and procedures.

Hughes Consulting Group, LLC


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