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Crystal Financial Announces Ward Mooney’s Retirement and Co-CEO Promotions

Crystal Financial Announces Ward Mooney’s Retirement and Co-CEO Promotions

Boston, June 26, 2017

Crystal Financial LLC, a commercial finance company, today announced that its CEO, Ward K Mooney, plans to retire at the end of December 2017.  Upon his departure Michael L Pizette, Chief Credit Officer, and Steven Migliero, Senior Managing Director, will serve as Co-CEOs responsible for the management and operations of the firm.  Mr. Mooney will continue to serve on Crystal’s Board of Managers as well as a Managing Member of Crystal SBIC GP LLC.

Crystal was established in 2006 and since inception, it has sourced, underwritten and managed over $20 billion of secured debt financings for middle market businesses.  Crystal was acquired by Solar Capital Ltd. (NASDAQ:SLRC), a publically traded business development company, in December 2012.

Mr. Mooney has been involved in the financial services industry for forty-five years. In 1992, he joined Gordon Brothers and founded GBFC a specialty commercial finance company focused on asset-based financing to retailers. GBFC became the leading secured financing source for the retail industry and in 1996, GBFC was purchased by Bank of Boston.  In 1998 while at Bank of Boston, Mr. Mooney co-founded Back Bay Capital a direct lending fund dedicated to underwriting second lien debt.  In 2006, he co-founded Crystal Financial along with Mr. Pizette.  During his career Mooney has served on many public and nonprofit boards including: President and Chairman of the Turnaround Management Association (TMA), Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital (finance committee), the American Repertory Theater, the Newport Festival Foundation (NFF) and Destination XL Group (DXLG).

Michael Gross, Chairman and CEO of Solar Capital Ltd stated, “We thank Ward for his dedication and commitment to Crystal Financial and are confident in the seamless transition that will occur given Mike and Steve’s long standing tenure and industry expertise.”

About Crystal Financial LLC

Crystal Financial LLC, a portfolio company of Solar Capital Ltd. is an independent commercial finance company that provides senior and junior secured loans for both asset-based and cash flow financings to middle-market companies. For more information, please visit


Cheryl Carner



Boston, March 31, 2017

Crystal Financial SBIC today announced the closing of a $14.5 million Senior Secured Credit Facility for New England & North East Linen Supply (“NELS”).,  NELS is a leading linen service and uniform rental company serving better restaurants and corporate and educational institution dining facilities along the Northeast U.S. corridor.      

Proceeds from the facility will be used to optimize the Company’s existing capital structure and for general corporate purposes.   

“Crystal quickly differentiated itself as a provider of creative solutions and delivered a financing that met all of our objectives.  The Crystal team was effective in determining an appropriate debt structure and focused on the timely execution of our deal.  We are excited to be working with them.” said Bob Winneg of New England Capital Partners, owner of NELS.   

Matt Governali, Managing Director of Crystal Financial SBIC said, “Bob and the executive management team of NELS, including CEO Brad Kerin, have been quite successful in positioning NELS to be a trusted and reliable partner for its customers. We look forward to a productive long-term relationship with the Company.”

 “We are pleased that our creative approach to financing solutions met all of the Company’s needs.  We are as committed to superior service for our borrowers as NELS is for its clients. ” said Kenny Smith, Director of Crystal Financial SBIC.

About Crystal Financial SBIC
Crystal Financial SBIC is a dedicated fund managed by the principals of Crystal Financial.  Its focus is to provide debt capital to a wide range of lower middle market businesses with minimum EBITDA of $5.0 million and minimum transaction size of $7.5 million.  Its team of experienced, responsive professionals has underwritten, closed and managed more than $20 billion in secured debt commitments throughout the course of their professional tenures.  For more information please visit

About New England Linen Supply

New England and North East Linen are highly focused regional textile rental companies specialized in serving restaurants and the corporate and executive dining rooms in many of the fortune 500 companies as well as major educational institutions. With over 40 years of experience and dedication to meeting the ever changing needs of this specialized food service industry, NELS has earned the reputation of being the vendor of choice. The company currently has locations in New York, New Haven, and Boston which serve the northeast corridor from New Jersey, the five boroughs of New York City and the Boston markets. For more information please visit

Cheryl Carner

Brad Kerin

ABL Advisor Blog - Cheryl Carner

February 22, 2017, 07:00 AM
I was at a financial services conference a few weeks ago where a moderator asked a panelist a version of the same question we’ve all heard multiple times over the past few years: “This has been quite a long post-recession period, where do you think we are in the cycle?”

His response: “I don’t know if we are in the 11th or 12th inning, but this game isn’t going to be over any time soon.”

This view is consistent with sentiments I have either read or heard from other industry veterans.

He means of course that the market for credit (speaking about the middle market) is at a peak – driven by the unprecedented amount of capital flowing into private credit funds from investors seeking non-bank, higher yielding deals than are available in more liquid investment options. This abundance of capital exceeds the demand for financing opportunities – thereby leading to intense competition among lenders to win mandates. This dynamic creates a great situation if you are a borrower as it leads to very generous or friendly terms. However, if you are a lender it means higher leverage, stretch-advance rates, light-covenant packages and pricing compression.These attributes certainly don’t lend themselves to attractive risk-return opportunities.

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research there have been 11 post-recession expansion periods since 1945 with an average tenor of 59 months. The longest though, at the start of the 21st century, was 120 months. The official end of The Great Recession was pegged to be June 2009. Therefore as of February 2017, this latest expansion period has lasted 92 months – with two more years before the record is reached.

After the election results in November there was a noticeable shift in the economy’s momentum with increased levels of consumer and business confidence driven by expectations for tax cuts, reduced regulation and increased infrastructure spending. We are in unprecedented times and the only certainty is that uncertainty, or the unexpected, will now be the new normal with this administration. Yet, the prospect that policy changes will create a more favorable business and investing climate can be clearly felt.

With this backdrop, the way I’m thinking about the current economic environment and the ensuing impact to lending is that these perceived “extra innings” in this particular expansion period may really be part of a double header – albeit an unexpected one. The key question then for those of us in the lending business is how to grapple with these highly competitive markets where borrower-friendly structures that include things like substantial EBITDA addbacks, aggressive leverage levels, loose financial covenants and highly flexible loan documents are now the norm.

What makes this situation all the more challenging is that for those of us in the business of capital deployment – most often described as “deal junkies” – sitting out just isn’t how we are wired. Not only is this strategy highly unappealing to any typical deal professional who thrives on the pace and challenge of investment decisions and transaction activity, but it’s also highly unrealistic given we all have AUM (Assets Under Management) targets.

So, what then? I consider myself an intelligent investor and no one wants to be perceived as chasing market terms. Further, debt providers can’t afford the luxury of a portfolio theory approach to lending where a few homeruns can offset some losses. The returns for debt capital simply don’t justify this strategy as it takes way too many new loans to offset even small losses. On the surface my options don’t look compelling but here are three rules that I expect to follow:

Rule #1 – Discipline

Each year we evaluate hundreds of transactions and our close rate has historically been in the low single digits. That’s a lot of frogs to kiss. In this environment, there is no doubt that I will need an ample supply of Chapstick as it will be necessary to expand the number of opportunities I need to evaluate. It will be equally as important to be exceptionally patient in order to find situations with an attractive risk-return dynamic. In other words: Wait for the pitch.

Rule #2 – Focus

While I am searching the pond for more frogs, I need to quickly determine whether our capabilities, structural approach and pricing dynamics are a good fit for each situation I evaluate – and if not, I’d better move on quickly. This is easier said than done – especially when the pipeline isn’t as robust as one would like. For Crystal in particular, this means focusing on situations where non-bank, creative and flexible capital is more valued than a solution that offers the lowest cost. In other words: Play to my strengths.

Rule # 3 – Get Comfortable with Discomfort

I mentioned previously that “mistakes” or losses for a lender are incredibly costly and very difficult to offset. That said, staying within the confines of a narrow credit box isn’t likely to yield attractive results. Yet, one can be open minded and think about businesses and downside protection in creative ways. Fundamentally sound companies in generally healthy industries with solid management teams can typically survive a speedbump without leading to a risk of loss even in the instance of a default. When evaluating lending opportunities with these types of borrowers it can be a sensible approach to stretch my thinking regarding a potential debt structure to a point where I feel slightly uncomfortable. To me this approach is preferable to a conservative structure for a mediocre business or industry. In other words: Take calculated risks.

For any of you who have ever presented a deal to an investment committee there is no question that saying “no” is easy. There are always a myriad of reasons to pass. But since I am in the business of lending money (as well as getting it back), my challenge is to determine how to get to “yes” in a way that is aligned with the fundamentals of sound credit assessment and underwriting that I have honed over my 20 plus year career.

Check back with me at the 7th inning stretch during game two of this doubleheader and I’ll let you know how I’m doing.

Cheryl Carner
Managing Director | Crystal Financial
Cheryl Carner is a Managing Director with Crystal Financial and is responsible for business development and marketing strategy. She sources, structures and underwrites senior and junior secured debt financings for middle-market companies across a wide range of industries. Debt facilities range in size from $10 million to $100 million and are used for buyouts, refinancings, restructurings or general working capital purposes. Prior to joining Crystal Financial, Carner was a SVP with GE Franchise Finance focused on debt financings for private equity backed restaurant companies. At CapitalSource, she was the Managing Director of the Retail & Consumer specialty lending team and provided over $1.0 billion of commitments to private equity backed retail, restaurant, apparel and consumer product companies. Her 20 years of experience in the financial services sector began with Fleet Retail Finance and its predecessor entities. Carner received her BBA at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and her MBA at the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College.


Boston, January 31st, 2017

Crystal Financial LLC, an independent commercial finance company, announced  its investment in a $50.0 million Term Loan Facility for Model N, Inc. (NYSE: MODN).  Based in Redwood City, CA, and founded in 1999, the Company is a provider of cloud-based revenue management solutions to life sciences, technology and manufacturing companies.     

Proceeds from the transaction were used to complete the acquisition of Revitas, Inc., also a provider of life sciences revenue management software, which closed January 5th, 2017. 

Mark Tisdel, chief financial officer of Model N said “The acquisition of Revitas brings together two innovators during a critical time in the pharmaceutical industry.  This strategic transaction allows us to accelerate innovation across a broad set of applications. Steve Migliero and the Crystal team were very supportive throughout the process.  They were responsive and delivered the financing necessary for this important acquisition.”

“There is no question that in today’s competitive and complex environment, the capabilities in the Model N Revenue Management solution are a must have for their customers to grow their revenue and enhance profitability,” said Steven A. Migliero, Jr., Senior Managing Director of Crystal Financial. “We are excited to be working with such a high quality management team and organization.”

 About Crystal Financial LLC
Crystal Financial LLC, a portfolio company of Solar Capital Ltd. is an independent commercial finance company that provides senior and junior secured loans for both asset-based and cash flow financings (minimum of $10 million in fundings) to middle-market companies. Its team of experienced, responsive professionals has underwritten, closed and managed more than $20 billion in secured debt commitments across a wide range of industries. For more information please visit

About Model N

Model N is the leader in Revenue Management solutions. Driving mission critical business processes such as configure, price and quote (CPQ), contract and rebate management, business intelligence, and regulatory compliance, Model N solutions transform the revenue lifecycle from a series of disjointed operations into a strategic end-to-end process. With deep industry expertise, Model N supports the complex business needs of the world’s leading brands in life sciences, technology and manufacturing across more than 100 countries, including Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Boston Scientific, Novartis, Microchip Technology and ON Semiconductor. For more information, visit

Model N® is the registered trademark of Model N, Inc. Any other company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners and are mentioned for identification purposes only.

Cheryl Carner

Staci Mortenson
650 610-4998











Boston, January 11th, 2017

Crystal Financial LLC, an independent commercial finance company, today announced the closing of a $26.0 million Senior Secured Facility for Gibraltar Capital Advance (“GCA”).  Founded in 2012, the Company is one of the leading providers of cash advances to small businesses seeking a fast and flexible solution for growth capital.  Based in Chicago, IL, GCA is a subsidiary of Gibraltar Capital Holdings, which also operates Gibraltar Business Capital.   

Proceeds from this facility will be used to execute the Company’s strategy of continued growth by providing more small businesses with access to attractive non-bank financing solutions.

“We needed a financing partner with prior experience in our industry, who would understand and value our track record, to provide a facility that would generate maximum levels of liquidity and fund our growth.  There is no question that Crystal Financial’s  Chris Arnold and the team distinguished themselves very quickly and executed a transaction that met and exceeded our expectations.  We look forward to a long-term productive relationship,” said Jim Teppen, GCA President.  

Christopher Arnold, Senior Managing Director said, “The GCA team has built a very strong business with a well performing portfolio.  We are pleased to be working with an experienced executive like Jim who, with his leadership team of Steve O’Connor and Ed Job, delivers a value added service to small businesses that are often starved for capital.  We are confident in their ability to successfully grow their portfolio.”

 “We are truly pleased to be GCA’s financial partner and be the capital solution needed to facilitate their strategic objectives just as Gibraltar Capital Advance has done with the thousands of businesses who required both access to capital and certainty.  Leveraging our institutional knowledge and teamwork approach, we were able to fund this transaction within a few short weeks,” said Stephen Krawchuk, Managing Director.

About Crystal Financial LLC
Crystal Financial LLC, a portfolio company of Solar Capital Ltd. is an independent commercial finance company that provides senior and junior secured loans for both asset-based and cash flow financings (minimum of $10 million in fundings) to middle-market companies. Its team of experienced, responsive professionals has underwritten, closed and managed more than $20 billion in secured debt commitments across a wide range of industries. For more information please visit

About Gibraltar Capital Advance Gibraltar Capital Advance, a wholly owned subsidiary of Gibraltar Capital Holdings, is a growing Chicago-based provider of cash advances to small businesses throughout the U.S. The company’s mission is to give small businesses, such as retailers, restaurants and service providers, a fast and easy alternative to bank financing. Its creative cash advance solutions solve immediate cash flow issues, allowing small businesses to fund growth and build momentum. For more information please visit

Cheryl Carner

Steve O’Connor