updated 6/20/2011 9:46:21 AM ET 2011-06-20T13:46:21

Focus Will be on Lower Middle-Market Cash Flow Financing for Private Equity-Sponsored Companies

NEW YORK, June 20, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- New York Private Bank & Trust (NYPB&T) and its subsidiary Emigrant Bank are pleased to announce the formation of Abacus Finance Group, LLC (Abacus), a specialty finance company focusing on cash flow financing for lower middle-market companies sponsored by private equity firms. Timothy G. Clifford, the founder and former Head of Amalgamated Capital, has been appointed President and CEO of Abacus.

Prior to founding Amalgamated Capital, Mr. Clifford was a Managing Director and Principal of Churchill Financial, Senior Vice President and Group Head at Comerica Bank, and a Managing Director at FleetBoston Financial.

"We are enthusiastic about the leveraged lending business, and we are fully committed to building Abacus into a market-leading specialty finance business to support the growth of lower middle-market companies across the country," said William Staudt, Vice Chairman of Emigrant Bank.  "We know what it takes to build a successful leveraged lending franchise, and we are looking forward to partnering with Tim Clifford in the development and growth of Abacus.  Tim, who over a two-year period built Amalgamated Capital from a start-up into a successful leveraged lending business on a regulated banking platform, has 20 years of leveraged finance experience and a loyal following within the private equity community."

"In structuring Abacus, we chose to specialize in cash flow-based senior and subordinated debt financing to lower middle-market companies sponsored by private equity firms because we believe that market remains underserved," Mr. Clifford said. "Our exclusive focus on buyouts and recapitalizations in that market is what makes our model different.  Abacus targets financing opportunities of up to $50 million with a typical hold size ranging from $10 to $20 million, and the companies we help finance will typically have EBITDA between $3 million to $15 million.

"We have a cohesive team and expect to close Abacus's first transaction in June. Sean McKeever and Mindy Naylor have joined Abacus as Senior Vice Presidents.  Both previously worked with me and have significant middle market leveraged lending experience.  Our approach to financings will, as in the past, be client-focused and flexible with an emphasis on quick and thoughtful responses and the creation of tailored capital solutions that precisely meet the financing needs of clients.

"Two important advantages of this platform," Mr. Clifford added, "are its funding source and its product offering.  We have an initial lending capacity of over $600 million, derived principally from a substantial retail and stable FDIC-insured depository base, to support private equity-backed investments.  We also have a broad and flexible product offering for sponsors.  It includes revolving loans, term loans, subordinated debt, and one-stop structures in addition to equity co-investments, fund investments and traditional banking services including treasury and private wealth management services. We are excited about building this business into a leading finance company for lower middle-market companies."

About Abacus Finance

Abacus is headquartered at 6 East 43rd Street, 20th Floor, New York, NY 10017.  All inquiries and investment opportunities should be directed to Mr. Clifford at 212-850-4620 or at cliffordt@abacusfinance.com.  Please visit www.abacusfinance.com for more information.

About New York Private Bank & Trust

Founded in 1850 as Emigrant Savings Bank, New York Private Bank and Trust (NYPB&T) is the holding company for Emigrant Savings Bank, the largest privately held bank in America with approximately $12 billion in assets.  NYPB&T also offers fully integrated investment advisory, trust, banking and family office services to serve the needs of wealthy individuals and families nationwide. The firm is led by Howard P. Milstein and the Milstein family, widely acknowledged for their integrity and success over three generations in investing, real estate, banking, manufacturing, energy, international business and philanthropy. For more information, please visit www.nypbt.com .

CONTACTS: 

Tim Clifford, Abacus Finance Group, LLC

212-850-4620 or cliffordt@abacusfinance.com

Laura Rzasa, Donley Communications

917-658-4923/212-751-6126

or lrzasa@donleycomm.com

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http://www.cisionwire.com/donley-communications/r/abacus-finance-launches-as-a-specialty-finance-company,c9136570

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