• Wed. May 18th, 2022

Meriwether Group Capital Launched to Support Pacific Northwest Entrepreneurs

ByElla E. Kidwell

Apr 13, 2022

PORTLAND, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Newly formed Meriwether Group Capital (MWGC) was launched this month to offer commercial loans to businesses that do not meet the criteria required by traditional lenders. The MWGC Hero Fund focuses on small and medium-sized businesses that meet the revenue criteria and financial needs of the fund. The new lender operates in partnership with Meriwether Group, the 20-year-old Portland company known for the acceleration and advisory services it has provided to companies like Voodoo Donuts, Dave’s Killer Bread, Stumptown Coffee, Alpenrose Dairy and dozens of other well-known brands. in the Pacific Northwest.

Leading this effort are Meriwether Group Capital owners and operators, Jamie Shulman and Mike Ferguson, who both bring more than 20 years of commercial banking experience to the firm. Partnering with them are Seattle-based First Fed Bank, a division of First Northwest Bancorp (Nasdaq: FNWB), and Meriwether Group, led by David Howitt.

With a focus on stimulating entrepreneurship, Meriwether Group Capital will capitalize the Hero Fund through qualified individual and institutional investors. They plan to close the financing gap across a wide range of industries by expanding access to debt financing, and will help entrepreneurs realize their potential while maintaining equity and control, rather than selling a stake. The Hero Fund is expected to serve companies with revenues between $2 million and $75 million that need $500,000 to $5 million to take advantage of business opportunities.

“I’ve seen countless companies come out with a need and a strong business case to borrow, and a clear path to satisfy debt, that are just outside of this institution’s lending mandate,” Jamie said. Shulman, co-founder and fund manager at Meriwether Group Capital. “We know there is an underserved niche with demand for the loans we offer, as well as great investor interest. At a time when entrepreneurship is more accessible than ever, we want to be able to fill a need, help foster small businesses, and be an economic engine for the Pacific Northwest and beyond. .

The US Census Bureau reported that 5.4 million new business applications were filed in 2021, breaking the record of 4.4 million filed in 2020. Many businesses today do not have access to traditional bank loans.

“Companies have three ways of financing their growth: cash flow, sale of property or debt. The best companies find the right mix of all three,” said David Howitt, Founder and CEO of Meriwether Group. “The opportunity to help businesses scale, hire more people and build community while providing our investors with much above-market interest makes the Hero Fund an important offering.”

The Meriwether Group Capital Team

Jamie Shulman is a banking industry veteran with over 25 years of experience in lending, management, mentorship and strategic planning, most recently serving as President of Portland Market for Summit Bank. In addition to Summit, Shulman has held senior positions at Northwest Bank, BBVA and US Bank. Shulman is the primary contact for investors and can be reached at jamie(at)meriwethergroupcapital(dot)com.

Mike Ferguson has 20 years of commercial lending and management experience in banking and private lending, most recently as Director of Loans at Lewis & Clark Bank. In roles with Lewis & Clark Bank, Northwest Bank and elsewhere, Ferguson has developed commercial transaction flow, underwritten and structured commercial credit products and managed credit and lending operations teams. As a fund manager in the private lending space, his leadership, loan sourcing, underwriting, portfolio monitoring and day-to-day management were key to delivering returns consistently above 10%.

About First Fed

First Northwest Bancorp (Nasdaq: FNWB) is a bank holding company engaged in investment activities, including the business activity of its subsidiary, First Fed Bank. First Fed is a community-driven financial institution that has been serving customers and communities since 1923. Currently, First Fed has 16 locations in Washington State, including 12 full-service branches. First Fed’s business and operating strategy is focused on creating sustainable profits by providing a full range of financial products and services to personal, small business and commercial customers. Additionally, First Fed is focused on strategic partnerships with financial technology (“fintech”) companies to develop and deploy digitally-enabled financial solutions to meet customer needs on a larger scale. FNWB also invests in fintech companies directly as well as through selected venture capital partners. In 2021, the company entered into a joint venture to found Quin, a fintech focused on the financial well-being and lifestyle protection of consumers nationwide. Other fintech partnership initiatives include banking as a service, digital payments and marketplace lending. FNWB was incorporated in 2012 and is headquartered in Port Angeles, Washington.

About Meriwether Group

Meriwether Group is a consulting and business acceleration company serving entrepreneurs of iconic and disruptive consumer brands. The firm is made up of a complementary team of accomplished entrepreneurs, business executives, financiers and lawyers. The Meriwether Group team uses a unique and effective methodology to accelerate desired results for companies and their leaders in a brand-centric manner. Driven by its mission to help entrepreneurs complete their journey, the company applies this philosophy to a set of business units that represent a continuum of an entrepreneur’s journey, including launch, growth, funding and exit. Meriwether Group was founded in 2004 and has offices in the Slabtown neighborhood northwest of Portland and in Marin County, north of San Francisco. It can be found online at meriwethergroup.com.

About Meriwether Group Capital

Meriwether Group Capital (MWGC) is a commercial lender focused on Pacific Northwest businesses seeking loans outside of traditional banking criteria. Founded in 2022, its Hero Fund is expected to serve companies with revenues of $2-75 million that need $500,000-5 million to capitalize on business opportunities and realize their potential while maintaining equity and capital. control. The company is a partnership between Jamie Shulman and Mike Ferguson, both commercial bankers with more than 20 years of market experience, Seattle-based First Fed Bank, a division of First Northwest Bancorp (Nasdaq: FNWB), and Meriwether , based in Portland. Group. The company is located in the Slabtown neighborhood of northwest Portland and can be reached at 503-223-9062.