Q & A
Q: When was The FORT established?
A: 2007 - Right before the bottom of the market fell out, which has proven to be more of a blessing than anything. We've weathered the storm, earned our stripes, fortified the model, and have established ourselves as a prominent force in the equipment finance arena.
Q: Where are you located?
A: The FORT has offices in California and North Carolina as well as a presence in Arizona and Michigan.
Q: You mention you're a prominent force in the equipment finance arena. What size transactions can you service?
A: Anywhere from $20 thousand to $50+ Million. We have a diverse pool of funds to leverage when structuring our facilities. The pool consists of internal funds, private investor funds, as well as regional, national, and global banking sources. We're in a good spot to make things happen.
Q: Ok, how about your geographic scope? Do you have capabilities World Wide?
A: Well, yes but with limitations. Our focus is on supporting US based companies. Over 90% of the transactions we execute are for equipment that resides in the US. That said, we do have the capacity to service transactions in over 20 countries, so we're able to support those of our clients with farther reaching requirements.
Q: Do you specialize in finance facilities for a certain equipment type? What about market segments or credit types?
A: Regarding equipment type we have specific expertise and focus on Core IT & the Data Center, Medical, Office Environment, Semiconductor, Biotechnology, Energy Efficiency, and Agriculture. As far as market segments & credit types, we support clients at every phase of their development (Start Up through to the Enterprise) in a diverse set of industries. With a good number of our transactions coming to us through Vendor Partner relationships, it's imperative for us to be positioned to service all transactions presented to us...at least all the ones that are serviceable. There are obviously exceptions where a transaction is just not viable, but we roll up our sleeves and look for the strength before making a determination.
Q: What is the underlying purpose of The FORT? Why are you in business?
A: Love this question. The FORT's underlying purpose is to bring value to every person and business with whom we interact. We believe this purpose is what keeps us on track to achieve the goals of each individual unit of our organization. If everyone within The FORT can answer the question: "Am I bringing value to this person or business?" with a resounding YES, then we can only help those who interact with us be successful, and ultimately achieve success ourselves.
Q: How about the values of the company? Is there a defined set of core values?
A: Of course. We hold these values at the core of all that we do
INTEGRITY, defined as: Being honest with yourself, being honest with others, and doing what you say you will.
ACCOUNTABILITY, defined as: Being aware of and accepting responsibility for your role when things go right as well as when they go wrong, while staying committed to driving towards a solution in every situation.
TRANSPARENCY, defined as: Being clear and open about your intentions, what your goals are, and the path you plan to take to achieve them.
AMBITION, defined as: Having a strong thirst to DO or achieve something that (at a minimum) requires determination and hard work.
EMPATHY, defined as: Displaying the ability and desire to feel and comprehend what the person across from you is feeling so you can properly respond and provide them what they need.
Read more on this topic here: Leadership Lesson Interview BJF
Q: What is the background of The FORT? What are your roots?
A: The FORT was first established as an in‐house finance arm of a successful IT VAR in Silicon Valley. Our focus from inception was to build a scalable model with a purpose of enhancing the sales efforts of Equipment re-sellers and OEM’s throughout the U.S. by showcasing the value proposition of their offering with the delivery of a well-rounded equipment finance solution tailored for their end‐user clients (Mid Market to the Enterprise). Things have evolved quite a bit from there in our effort to fulfill that vision...but we maintain a focus on our core offering of providing Equipment Finance Solutions to end-user clients that complement the strategy associated with their assets.
FYI: Answers provided by Brian Fleming - VP/EFS & Managing Member. If you'd like to learn more don't hesitate to reach out to Brian or any member of our team.