Boat Finance, LLC, a specialty finance company headquartered in West Palm Beach, Florida, recently received its first capital funding commitment in the amount of $25 million via Irvington, New York-based Blue Elephant Capital Management.
Offering competitively priced loans on new and used boats with an initial focus on the underserved used boat market, Boat Finance will process and approve loans online, bringing new technology to an old school industry. The company was launched in Florida and New Jersey with immediate plans to expand to states with high levels of boat ownership.
Managing Director and CEO Donald Schrama noted that traditional lenders were not lending to several large segments of the boating markets subsequent to the financial crisis.
“As a result, we knew we could offer competitive rates to borrowers and higher yields to investors with the additional advantage of a much higher quality collateral," he said.
Schrama and his brother Bill, who is the company's executive vice president, are second-generation consumer loan and marine specialists. They previously worked for 1st Commercial Corporation, founded in 1966 by their late father, Al Schrama. With more than 30 years of experience each, they are experts in the field of marine lending.
Boat Finance’s management team also includes Executive Chairman Paul M. Pantozzi, former chairman/CEO of Provident Financial Services; and Vice-Chairman Glenn Shell, former president of Dauphin Deposit Bank and Trust.
"Marketplace lending has exploded in size and popularity,” Blue Elephant Co-founder and CEO Joseph Mara said. “Despite the emergence of a large number of lending platforms, we have found a shortage of truly exceptional underwriting and are excited about the experience that Boat Finance management brings to the table."