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Private Lenders

New Partnerships Between Banks and Private Credit Lenders Deliver Opportunities for Businesses Across the Country

The private credit industry has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years, helping hundreds of business owners as they scale their companies and navigate choppy waters.

Since the late 1970s, loans from private credit lenders have served as a lifeline to small businesses nationwide, particularly those that cannot qualify for loans from traditional banks or need capital beyond what banks can provide.

In the past decade, the private credit sector has witnessed an impressive surge in assets, increasing from $400 billion to $1 trillion. This surge has altered the dynamic between banks and private credit lenders, prompting increased collaboration.

In recent years, major Wall Street banks have ventured into the private credit market, with several launching direct lending operations to better serve their clientele.

For example, both Citigroup and Wells Fargo have rolled out separate private lending ventures, offering a range of new private credit solutions to their companies and clients. In January, Citigroup, in collaboration with alternative investment manager LuminArx Capital, introduced Cinergy, a private lending venture that invests across multiple asset classes and is backed by over $2 billion from LuminArx Capital. In September of last year, Wells Fargo announced a partnership with private equity firm Centerbridge Partners to launch a fund exclusively dedicated to direct lending for midsize, family-owned, and private companies across North America.

Drew Maloney
Drew Maloney

Banks without distinct private lending ventures are also actively exploring opportunities in the market. Morgan Stanley is looking to expand its private credit portfolio to $50 billion, having already invested over $300 million and secured $25 billion from prominent investors. JPMorgan has reportedly allocated at least $10 billion to fund an expansion into private credit.

In these emerging partnerships, both banks and private credit firms bring unique strengths to the table. Private credit firms, offering flexible, bespoke, relationship-oriented deals, can tailor solutions to meet the specific needs of a variety of clientele. Banks, with their vast networks and resources, reach a large customer base, often acting as intermediaries in private credit deals by connecting borrowers with lenders. By partnering with private credit, banks can also diversify revenue sources beyond traditional banking activities, strengthen client relationships by offering tailored financing solutions, and gain a competitive edge by establishing themselves in this rapidly growing sector.

A potentially shifting regulatory environment also makes private credit partnerships appealing to banks. With the introduction of new regulations, banks may be required to hold more money to cover loans with potentially higher risks. Through partnerships with private credit firms, banks and private credit investors can now share both the returns and risks of a loan. This mitigates their respective exposure to potential loss. This partnership allows banks to be more capital efficient by reducing the amount of money they need to set aside for loans while still being able to lend to their customers.

Ultimately, businesses are the greatest beneficiaries of these partnerships. As banks venture into the private credit market, we’re on the verge of a shift in the direct lending landscape. If this trend continues, we'll enter a new era where more businesses can have access to critical capital, obtain tailored loans to fit their needs, and have greater opportunities to grow.


Drew Maloney is President & CEO at the American Investment Council


The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of AlphaWeek or its publisher, The Sortino Group

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