by Yieldstreet | Staff
We’re thrilled to present another installment of Oxpecker & Impala, our Yieldstreet interview series. These talks will help you get to know us better as a company, our values, and what makes us tick.
We recently sat down with Larry L. Curran II and Barbara Anderson of Yieldstreet’s asset class, Private Business Credit. In this candid interview, we dive into their personal and professional lives, touching on Larry’s childhood as a surfer, Barbara’s love of math & science, and their passion to build the Yieldstreet Private Business Credit brand as the go-to solution for our borrowers’ needs while balancing the needs of our investors’ goals of predictable, diversified current income.
I grew up in Huntington Beach, CA on the West Coast, and naturally, I surfed as a kid. My parents divorced when I was a freshman and I moved to the condos on the north side of the Huntington Beach Pier, where we lived on the sand. Back in those days, nobody cared how old you were, you just got on your bike, put your surfboard on your surf rack and from 8 a.m. ‘til the street lights came on we’d be out surfing.
Growing up in a beach community was a very casual environment. I was also a multi-sport athlete: baseball pitcher and linebacker in football. I was fortunate to experience a lot of things and had a really great childhood despite the divorce, one house one neighborhood from birth through high school graduation, dad’s house. Today, I still get together with a lot of the guys I grew up with, many of whom I’ve known since first grade. We have an annual ski trip at Beaver Creek – Avon Colorado.
My background is entirely different from Larry’s. I was born and raised as a city kid in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. My Dad was born and raised less than a mile from where I grew up. He served in WWII in the Coast Guard and was a semi-pro ice hockey player before taking over a family-owned, food distribution business.
My Mom grew up in Brooklyn too, worked for a while at the March of Dimes then became a stay at home. My parents were married for 39 years. Both were children of immigrants, Germany on my father’s side, and Poland on my mother’s side. I’m an only child and I spent 12 years in all-girls, private, Catholic schools. Where Larry was in that casual surfer dude atmosphere, I was the shy, straight-laced, studious kid.
After high school, I went to Colgate University, a small liberal arts college in upstate New York. I was the first in my family to attend college. Those were my four years living in the country with nothing nearby besides cows, grass, and trees. I promptly came right back to the city after those four years and started my career in commercial banking. Although I had summer jobs during college in the check processing and letters of credit department of Manufacturers Hanover Trust (now JPMorgan Chase), I had no work experience in corporate lending.
A couple of things from high school stand out for me. The first, for some reason my school’s student council continuously picked me as the “bachelor” from HBHS to be in the dating game with opposing high schools, long before “The Bachelor”. In my senior year, we won the 5A Sunset League Championship in football, and against our big crosstown rival I had the game-ending interception to help get to the championship. I have also named all-conference Sunset League Pitcher with a < 1 era. Varsity baseball’s Bill Jenkins Hustle Award winner.
For me, it was math and science. I was a Psychology major and Fine Arts minor in college, but all through grammar school and high school I loved math and science. I was even on the math team in high school. My husband is a PGA Pro and my son and daughter are both great athletes in baseball and softball. They all make endless fun of me because “Mom is a mathlete.”
I had a not so glamorous beginning. When I was in college, I took a summer job in L.A. cold calling at a broker-dealer, Hollywood stars lined the sidewalks. When you’re new, they actually gave you a stack of leads that were for individuals to call on. These leads had already been called on by others in the office who had been told, “no thanks.” in less eloquent language. As I started making these calls, I actually produced a lot of leads and those leads actually turned into some deals. I thought I could do this, get licensed, and become an NASD registered representative.
As I was going through college, I started training, got licensed, and ended up launching my career in the broker-dealer business. This was right as the savings and loan crisis hit in 1989. Just as I was starting, we hit our first major financial crisis in decades, with the epicenter in the California real estate market. We decided to start raising our own capital to go out and buy distressed assets, real estate, and consumer receivables. In short order, I took additional licensing to become the Principal of the broker-dealer
This was my first foray into the debt buying business. By the time I was done, we had raised $50M from 1,900 accredited investors. This was before the internet so we had to do it the old fashioned way—one phone call at a time. We became one of the largest debt buyers in the nation. I was a regular on the financial news radio and held investor seminars at our respective collections agencies weekly by the age of 28.
Foreign banks were buying small commercial banks in the US and growing them. Many came to campus to interview for their credit training programs when I was graduating from college and I interviewed with all of them. I took my first job with National Westminster Bank USA, which was owned by a British parent. At that time, they had an 18-month loan officer development program. I thought it would be a good way to transition into large corporate lending as a Psychology major and a Fine Arts minor. The bank was looking for someone who could write and think, then they would teach the accounting, lending, and credit analysis part of the job tailored to their business. I was hired right before I graduated, moved back to Brooklyn, and commuted to Manhattan for the first seven years of my career.
As an accredited investor, I had invested in other FinTech platforms prior to starting here. I had served at the Institute for Entrepreneurship at Colorado State University, helping young entrepreneurs, and fintech played a big part. As a capital markets professional, I’ve always loved the idea of creating this kind of parity where investors can leverage a FinTech platform to access numerous diversified income-producing opportunities that originators like Barbara and I can produce.
As a member on the platform, I saw the speed and trajectory of Yieldstreet’s investors and I thought to myself, “we just need to do what we do, where they do it.” We initially met Michael in 2016, when we were both raising capital and knew our two ideas could cross paths one day. Fast forward roughly four years later and here we are.
I am excited about offering individual investors senior secured asset-based loans. I am a true believer in the safety and security of these loans if they are structured properly and monitored correctly. I think it’s very exciting to be able to offer that type of diversity to individual investors who are limited in the ways they can participate in these types of investments. Individually, they can invest in the stock market or a fund, but they don’t have direct access to the senior secured loan market. That’s an exciting opportunity that Yieldstreet provides. I think Private Business Credit has the potential to grow tremendously at Yieldstreet.
In 2008, I was a senior secured asset-based lender and the bank that I was working for got acquired. As a result, most of the commercial lending staff were laid off. I was looking to make a career change and Larry had just started a new company with his partners, VION Receivable Investments. They were in the business of acquiring distressed assets from performing companies or performing assets from distressed companies.
We would buy non-performing charged-off consumer credit card debt and installment loans from banks and finance companies. Also, if a company was going out of business and selling its assets, we would buy that portfolio of assets either in bankruptcy or out of bankruptcy.
We traveled the globe looking for these opportunities. It was a super exciting time to be doing that because it was during and right after the Great Recession. Once the market started to normalize, VION decided to retire the fund we built and return the capital to its investors. VION started a new fund but Larry and I decided to leave the distressed investing world in 2016 and start a new company together financing growing businesses in the post-recession economy.
We decided to pursue growing businesses because we felt that there was a void between companies providing $3M of funding and those providing $30M in funding. There were very few lenders out there that could grow a $3M borrower to a $30M borrower. They could either fund them at $3M or fund them at $30M, but they couldn’t fund them from $3M to $30M. Our company filled that void in the marketplace with the private investors that backed us. That’s when we met Michael Weisz. We thought Yieldstreet could be a potential investor in our loans through the Yieldstreet platform.
We’re defining that as we go right now. Most of the online crowdfunding platforms focus primarily on one asset class and don’t venture out of it. At Yieldstreet, we have multiple asset classes with their own channels and partners. What we’re going to do is add diversity well beyond what we currently have. Private Business Credit will not be a one-trick pony.
One week you may see auto loans, the next you could see bourbon barrels or equipment leases. We want to lend to a borrower that’s going to be borrowing from us this year, next year, and for years to come after that. This vision extends the lifetime value of both the investor and borrower to each other and to the Yieldstreet platform with the goal of creating prosperity for all.
Our aim is to keep borrowers on our platform borrowing from us as we both grow. As borrowers become a better quality credit risk with growing capital needs we can reduce their cost of capital over time. This allows us to build trust with our investors around our platform borrowers. We’re confident that our investors are looking for that as well because each investor on the Yieldstreet site has to do their own due diligence on every deal. Having deals repeat from the same borrowers as they grow enables the trust to grow between the two.
Larry and I have been remote workers for at least the last decade. We’ve been remote to each other, and remote to our headquarters. For myself personally, I have worked remotely for 25 years across multiple banks and finance companies. In addition, while I have been a remote employee, my staff were remote to me as well. Productivity didn’t skip a beat. Much of my time as a remote employee was before the days of Zoom, Skype, and other technology that makes it so much easier these days.
I think that the biggest issue right now is not being able to meet prospective borrowers in person. I like to say I’ve never made a loan by mail. Not getting to meet the borrowers face to face is a bit challenging, but we are working through it as Covid-19 restrictions ebb and flow. On the Yieldstreet side, I thought the entire onboarding process and meeting the team has been flawless. Kudos to the HR team here for the great coordination effort.
As Barbara said, we’ve been doing this for two decades so our productivity is at 100%. Although I will say when we first received the stay at home order, my two college-age children came home to my newly-downsized home to join their high school senior little brother. Working from home initially was much more exciting with all my adult-sized children in the house along with my one-year-old grandson running around screaming. I was able to return to my office recently, thankfully. It is all good, though as I am still an early riser from my surf days so I can get a lot done before anyone is up.
I’ve been really blessed to be close to the New England Patriots. My father-in-law worked for the New England Patriots for the last 38 years and was the director of college personnel during the first three Super Bowl Wins. He aided in drafting Tom Brady. No big deal. The Patriots have a very simple mantra, “do your job”. The idea is if everybody on the team does their job within the game plan, they can win. The Patriots coaches, players, etc. were annually poached, traded, and the like yet their culture remained, winning for nearly two decades. It’s a culture of self-responsibility, clarity of your role, and execution i.e. “do your job”, and flexibility because you may be playing in someone else’s position if that’s what it takes.
I also have two simple family mantras from my father (a lawyer) that I passed onto my kids. The first is, either you will or you won’t. People contemplate things for so long. You’re either going to do it or you’re not. You might as well take your path and go because there’s not really anything in the middle. Fail fast and make another decision.
The other one is really just mastering the not-to-do list. We think about goals and aspirations all the time that we may not hit. But we also have these things we tend to repeat in our lives that we can’t believe we did, again. If you master everything on your not-to-do list (by not doing them), then what you are left with is what to do making the achievements much more accessible. This is very helpful in underwriting and every aspect of life.
I’ve always been interested in reading autobiographies and documentaries of famous people, historical figures, and entrepreneurs. They provide inspiration and motivation to think outside of the box. Make changes. Take risks. But also to learn from others’ mistakes. Master the not-to-do list as my partner, Larry, would say, without having to do it yourself.
I think it will be a completely different company than it is today. If we look at Yieldstreet, the messaging is that we want to touch millions of people’s lives. In order to do that, not only do we have to get the members, but we have to have the products and services that can touch those lives. That’s going to require billions of dollars in deals simultaneously available on the platform. Today, we aren’t able to reach millions of people. However, in three years I believe we will be.
Over the next few years, we will be continually rebalancing, finding our place of parity between supply and demand, and the cost of capital and the business’s margins. Balancing the borrowers’ cost of capital with the inventors’ need for return is a recipe for potentially exponential growth. Barbara and I are here to boost the supply side and create the branding of Yieldstreet’s PBC as the go-to capital partner. Combine this with the growth concepts we have discussed and we expect that the member demand side will increase as well, enabling us to reach exponentially more people. We are here to make sure we achieve our mission to realize each of our next levels.
Sign up for a Yieldstreet account or follow us on social to keep up with the latest news, product updates, and content. If you are in need of liquidity, please contact our originations team at [email protected] or submit an application here: Raise Capital.
Sign up with your email address
Securely verify your identity and link a bank account
Verify your accreditation (if applicable) to access all of Yieldstreet’s offerings.
Our weekly podcast providing ideas about how to make money work for you and bring you closer to your dreams.
1 Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Any historical returns, expected returns, or probability projections may not reflect actual future performance. All securities involve risk and may result in significant losses.
2 Represents a net estimated, unrealized annualized internal rate of return (IRR) of your portfolio and is based by reference to the effective distribution dates and amounts to and from the investments, as well as any outstanding principal and accrued and unpaid interest as of the current date, after deduction of management fees and all other expenses charged to the investments.[read more]
3 "Annual interest" or "Annualized Return" represents an annual target rate of interest or annualized target return and "term" represents the estimated term of the investment. Such target interest or target returns and estimated term are projections of the interest or returns and or term and may ultimately not be achieved. Actual interest or returns and term may be materially different from such projections. This targeted interest or returns and estimated term are based on the underlying investments held by the applicable.
4 Reflects the initial quarterly distribution declared by the board of directors on February 6, 2020, which will be payable to stockholders of record as of June 10, 2020, and the initial offering price of $10 per share.
5 The Fund will cease investing and seek to liquidate the Fund's remaining portfolio no later than 48 months after the Fund's initial closing. It may take up to twelve months thereafter to fully monetize any remaining illiquid investments in the Fund's portfolio.
6 Represents the sum of the interest accrued in the statement period plus the interest paid in the statement period.
7 The internal rate of return ("IRR") represents an average net realized IRR with respect to all matured investments weighted by the investment size of each individual investment, made by private investment vehicles managed by YieldStreet Management, LLC from July 1, 2015 through and including Sept 6th, 2021, after deduction of management fees and all other expenses charged to investments.
8 Investors should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the Yieldstreet Prism Fund before investing. The prospectus for the Yieldstreet Prism Fund contains this and other information about the Fund and can be obtained by emailing [email protected] or by referring to www.yieldstreetprismfund.com. The prospectus should be read carefully before investing in the Fund. Investments in the Fund are not bank deposits (and thus not insured by the FDIC or by any other federal governmental agency) and are not guaranteed by Yieldstreet or any other party.
No communication by YieldStreet Inc. or any of its affiliates (collectively, “Yieldstreet™”), through this website or any other medium, should be construed or is intended to be a recommendation to purchase, sell or hold any security or otherwise to be investment, tax, financial, accounting, legal, regulatory or compliance advice. Nothing on this website is intended as an offer to extend credit, an offer to purchase or sell securities or a solicitation of any securities transaction.
Any financial projections or returns shown on the website are estimated predictions of performance only, are hypothetical, are not based on actual investment results and are not guarantees of future results. Estimated projections do not represent or guarantee the actual results of any transaction, and no representation is made that any transaction will, or is likely to, achieve results or profits similar to those shown. In addition, other financial metrics and calculations shown on the website (including amounts of principal and interest repaid) have not been independently verified or audited and may differ from the actual financial metrics and calculations for any investment, which are contained in the investors’ portfolios. Any investment information contained herein has been secured from sources that Yieldstreet believes are reliable, but we make no representations or warranties as to the accuracy of such information and accept no liability therefor.
Private placement investments are NOT bank deposits (and thus NOT insured by the FDIC or by any other federal governmental agency), are NOT guaranteed by Yieldstreet or any other party, and MAY lose value. Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any federal or state securities commission or regulatory authority has recommended or approved any investment or the accuracy or completeness of any of the information or materials provided by or through the website. Investors must be able to afford the loss of their entire investment.
Investments in private placements are speculative and involve a high degree of risk and those investors who cannot afford to lose their entire investment should not invest. Additionally, investors may receive illiquid and/or restricted securities that may be subject to holding period requirements and/or liquidity concerns. Investments in private placements are highly illiquid and those investors who cannot hold an investment for the long term (at least 5-7 years) should not invest.
Alternative investments should only be part of your overall investment portfolio. Further, the alternative investment portion of your portfolio should include a balanced portfolio of different alternative investments.
Articles or information from third-party media outside of this domain may discuss Yieldstreet or relate to information contained herein, but Yieldstreet does not approve and is not responsible for such content. Hyperlinks to third-party sites, or reproduction of third-party articles, do not constitute an approval or endorsement by Yieldstreet of the linked or reproduced content.
Investing in securities (the "Securities") listed on Yieldstreet™ pose risks, including but not limited to credit risk, interest rate risk, and the risk of losing some or all of the money you invest. Before investing you should: (1) conduct your own investigation and analysis; (2) carefully consider the investment and all related charges, expenses, uncertainties and risks, including all uncertainties and risks described in offering materials; and (3) consult with your own investment, tax, financial and legal advisors. Such Securities are only suitable for accredited investors who understand and willing and able to accept the high risks associated with private investments.
Investing in private placements requires long-term commitments, the ability to afford to lose the entire investment, and low liquidity needs. This website provides preliminary and general information about the Securities and is intended for initial reference purposes only. It does not summarize or compile all the applicable information. This website does not constitute an offer to sell or buy any securities. No offer or sale of any Securities will occur without the delivery of confidential offering materials and related documents. This information contained herein is qualified by and subject to more detailed information in the applicable offering materials. Yieldstreet™ is not registered as a broker-dealer. Yieldstreet™ does not make any representation or warranty to any prospective investor regarding the legality of an investment in any Yieldstreet Securities.
Banking services are provided by Evolve Bank & Trust, Member FDIC.
Investment advisory services are provided by YieldStreet Management, LLC, an investment advisor registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Our site uses a third party service to match browser cookies to your mailing address. We then use another company to send special offers through the mail on our behalf. Our company never receives or stores any of this information and our third parties do not provide or sell this information to any other company or service.