EXPERT OPINION: A Conversation with Timothy Lex

March 8, 2011

In this "Expert Opinion" interview, Tim Lex, COO of Oxford Finance, discusses his company’s start in the seniors housing market and their extensive growth plans for the next five years.

Tim LexWatch the video      Read the transcript

Timothy A. Lex has been a senior executive and management consultant in the financial services industry for more than 20 years. He has served as president and chief executive officer of Sallie Mae’s thrift division, president of a technology services company, and chief operating officer and board member of Riggs Bank. He holds a B.A. in Economics from The College of William and Mary and an M.B.A. from the University of Rochester.
 

Contact Information:
Timothy A. Lex, COO and EVP
Oxford Finance
133 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
703-519-6017
tlex@oxfordfinance.com 

 
Watch the video of the interview: 
 


 

Read the interview transcript:

Steve Monroe:
The debt markets have been pretty tough over the last several years. Everyone is scrambling for financing. More lenders have left the market than have come into the market, but we have one new guy who’s firm recently started in the senior housing business.  I have Tim Lex, he’s the COO of Oxford Finance, and they started in the senior housing market a couple years ago. They want to grow in it.

So we’re glad to have you here and talk about what you may want to do going forward. Oxford, I guess, is a subsidiary of Sumitomo Corp. How has that worked for you in terms of balance sheet lending and capital availability? What’s that relationship been like and how can you take advantage of that?

Tim Lex:
Great, thank you, Steve. We are a subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation. They’ve been a terrific partner of ours since 2004, and a very, very stable source of capital for us. As you said, we are a balance sheet lender, so all the capital that we deploy is from Sumitomo Corporation. And especially over the last three years with the Lehman shock and the Great Recession, we’ve been fortunate enough to be able to put capital to work consistently throughout that period; and we have really quite large growth plans over the next four to five years, using their capital.

Steve Monroe:
Using their capital. And that’s got to be a tremendous advantage. And as I said, you started targeting senior housing a couple years ago. What kind of loan opportunities is Oxford looking for?

Tim Lex:
We operate a breadth of products across the board in health care services. We do ABLs [asset-based loans, or revolvers], we do ABLs with a stretch component, a term loan component. We’ll do cash flow-based loans and we’ll do real estate loans.

Steve Monroe:
Do you prefer doing credit facilities with mortgages, mortgages without credit facilities? What’s the preference in your relationship?

Tim Lex:
It very much depends on the situation and the needs of our client. We feel very fortunate to be in a position where we can offer a breadth of products and would really like to control the relationship and be the go-to source for capital, whether it be on the revolving credit side of things with working capital requirements or real estate mortgage or term loan.

Steve Monroe:
And once you’ve established a relationship with a customer, I assume you want to grow that and do the next loan, and all that kind of stuff.

Tim Lex:
Absolutely, acquisition finance, on and on and on.

Steve Monroe:
Can you tell me anything about, in some of your structures, loan-to-value requirements, your general maturities on your loans?

Tim Lex:
Sure. In general we’re seeing maturities of four to five years, usually with some kind of longer amortization period. But again, it really all depends on the situation of our borrower.

Steve Monroe:
And how about a geographic preference?

Tim Lex:
We have folks from California through the East Coast. We’ve done deals all over the country. So we’re a nationwide firm, and frankly, on our life science side of our business, we do deals in Europe, Canada, Australia. So we’re quite extensive in that regard.

Steve Monroe:
That’s good. A lot of people tend to be more regional, so a national outlook is good. And you recently did a financing for a company, LifeHOUSE Retirement.

Tim Lex:
We did.

Steve Monroe:
Can you tell us anything about that? Because I know the company a little bit.

Tim Lex:
Rowan and Tracy at LifeHOUSE are a wonderful management team out there. They’re backed by a quality private equity firm in Connecticut, your part of the world.

Steve Monroe:
I know them.

Tim Lex:
We were fortunate enough to provide some financing for their skilled nursing facilities and hope to see that relationship expand in the future.

Steve Monroe:
And skilled nursing is where you prefer to be in the senior housing area.

Tim Lex:
Certainly skilled nursing as opposed to assisted living, yes.

Steve Monroe:
And no independent living, CCRCs?

Tim Lex:
No. We’re not really a pure real estate lender at this point.

Steve Monroe:
So you like that health care component.

Tim Lex:
We like the health care, right.

Steve Monroe:
And that’s different, because a lot of the other people out there—

Tim Lex:
That’s a differentiator that we like to play to.

Steve Monroe:
Yes. I think that will work in your favor.

Tim Lex:
We hope so.

Steve Monroe:
Good luck. I hope you get a lot of business going forward.

Tim Lex:
Thanks for having us here.

 
 

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