Venture Debt Community Concerned About Future of SVB’s Loan Book


Almost Friday! Dan DeFrancesco in NYC. The biggest golf tournament of the year, the Masters, kicks off today. Here’s a guide to the players with the best chance of winning. Even if golf isn’t your thing, the concessions at Augusta National, and their eye-popping prices (in a good way), are worth a peek

Reminder that you’ve still got one last chance to get your questions in for Friday’s mailbag. (No personal finance questions, please. You shouldn’t be taking that kind of advice from me anyway.) I’ll do my best to answer as many as I can. 

Today, we’ve got stories on some uber-wealthy families teaming up, eye-popping quotes from Credit Suisse’s final shareholder meeting, and the food you should to eat to give your brain super powers.

But first, can you explain what venture debt is? Asking for a friend.

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A cracked SVB logo with figures trying to put it back together

Tyler Le, Rebecca Zisser/Insider

1. Debt in doubt.

Of the many knock-on effects from the downfall of Silicon Valley Bank, the role the bank played in lending to startups was one of the biggest. At the time of its collapse, SVB had more than $70 billion in credit lines on its books.

Initially, private credit investors sprung to action to cash in. But a long-term solution presented itself when First Citizens Bank bought the assets of SVB, including its loan book, at the end of last month.

Well, not quite. 

The venture debt community, which has grown considerably as equity funding has dried up, is skeptical that First Citizens is the best firm for the job, Insider’s Darius Rafieyan reports. 

Reporting from the first annual Venture Debt Conference in New York, which First Citizens seemed to be absent from, Darius details how attendees and panelists questioned the family-run regional bank’s ability to take over the complex and nuanced business that is venture debt. 

Darius’ story has lots of colorful quotes and anecdotes, but one of my favorites is a bank executive recalling how a First Citizens’ employee asked for help understanding how to value a venture loan book after the deal was announced. (Not great, Bob!)

I’m all for learning on the job, but that type of knowledge seems like a prerequisite for buying a business with more than $70 billion in venture debt. 

The loss of SVB was always going to create a gap in the industry that would prove tough to fill. But, if First Citizens is as ill-equipped to take over SVB’s venture-debt business as some believe, that only further complicates the matter.

And it’s a problem that will likely only impact the most in need, as is usually the case.

For the biggest players, or those with the biggest backers, there will always be people keen to lend. But for those on the outskirts, it’ll make an already challenging environment even more so. 

Click here to read more about why everyone’s confused about the future of SVB’s loan business.

In other news:

Chase Coleman, the billionaire hedge fund manager behind Tiger Global.

Business Insider/ Mike Nudelman

2. Two really rich families team up. The Desmarais family, the name behind the ubiquitous Canadian investment group Power Corp., and the Rockefeller family, I think we all recognize that name, both invested in the wealth management firm that bears the latter’s name. More on the investment that pushed Rockefeller Capital Management’s valuation to $3 billion.

3. ‘I didn’t bring my gun, don’t worry.’ That about sums up the thoughts from a wild final shareholder meeting for Credit Suisse. Angry investors had choice words for the Swiss bank’s board. Read the most-colorful quotes from from the meeting here.

4. The luxurious toys of the ultra rich are also helping them save on taxes. The wealthy have figured out how to get tax write-offs on their private planes and massive yachts by using them for a bit of “business,” ProPublica reports. Here’s how it works.

5. Don’t touch that 401(k)! That might seem obvious to some, but a growing number of people are cashing out their retirement savings when they switch jobs despite not even being strapped for cash. More on why that’s a terrible idea.

6. Blame it on the boomers. While that is an answer to many questions, this time I’m talking about the difficulty millennials (this one included) are having trying to buy a home. This is why boomers are blowing it for the rest of us. 

7. Cash App’s creator was fatally stabbed in San Francisco. Bob Lee, Square’s first CTO and the brains behind Cash App, was serving as chief product officer of fintech MobileCoin. More here. Meanwhile, Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey, and other tech execs react to the news.

8. A guy who bet big on tech thinks now it’s a good time to bet big on tech. Chase Coleman, the founder of Tiger Global Management, now thinks tech stocks are a good bet, per Bloomberg. Yes, that’s the same Tiger Global that had a horrible 2022 betting on tech stocks. But I am sure that’s just a coincidence. Here’s why Coleman is feeling so bullish.

9. Literal brain food. A new study claims a magnesium-rich diet will make your brain bigger and healthier. Time to break out the leafy green veggies and nuts. More on what you should eat for “brain care.”

10. Catch some Zs on the road with these pillows. Check out our guide to the best travel pillows. I can’t promise you won’t look like a dork wearing these, but that’s a sacrifice you must be willing to make. Check out our reviews.

Curated by Dan DeFrancesco in New York. Feedback or tips? Email, tweet @dandefrancesco, or connect on LinkedIn. Edited by Jeffrey Cane (tweet @jeffrey_cane) in New York and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London. 



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