What kind of loans do you make, and to whom?
We are a bridge lender making first trust deed loans on most any real estate, including land and construction. We lend from our own balance sheet and hold loans up to $50 million. I have also started a mezzanine lending program to complement our construction and development loan portfolio. We aim to understand both our clients and their collateral and have many repeat borrowers.
What can you do that a bank can’t?
Our business is both lending and investing. I think that helps us better understand our clients’ perspective and be able to react to their needs better. One of our biggest competitive advantages is being able to close loans much quicker than our regulated counterparts. We also may be able to take collateral a bank would shy away from for various reasons by depending on a borrower’s financial strength.
What’s an example of that collateral?
We can actively lend on land and other nonincome-producing properties.
What can banks do that you wish you could?
Our risk-return model does not lend itself to making long-term loans or loans with rates like 4 percent. Our best rate is 8.5 percent.
What has been the biggest change in the lending industry since the financial crisis?
Even stricter regulation of our already regulated banking counterparts that makes it tough for them to approve borrowers that might otherwise make sense to fund.
Has that helped or hurt you and other nonbank lenders?
Bridge lenders like us have always had opportunity for various reasons, but this has led to further opportunity. I am sure, like in every cycle, traditional lending will eventually find a way to loosen, but until then we will have more than our share of opportunities.
What was your worst day at the office?
I have helped run this business for over a decade and we have only taken one loss in our lending business, back in 2008 – and it was one of my favorite customers. We strive for a win-win on every loan and deal, but unfortunately both sides lost.
Your best day?
Being named as the first president of Hankey Investment Co. several years ago is certainly a highlight. Hankey Capital is part of Hankey Investment Co.
What’s the best advice you ever got?
Understand your customer and try to find a win-win.
What’s something your colleagues don’t know about you?
I recently rappelled from the 32nd floor of the Bonaventure Hotel as part of a fundraising event for my sons’ Boy Scout troop.\
W. SCOTT DOBBINS, 48
Hankey Capital, Mid-City
RESIDENCE: Manhattan Beach
FAMILY: Married to Kathleen; daughter, Sarah; sons Will and Timmy.
ACTIVITIES: Spending time at the beach with family and playing golf in the desert with parents.
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