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First West Capital partners with the ICABC at upcoming Financing Symposium

First West Capital leaders to share expertise and strategies on how companies can grow and thrive in a turbulent capital market

Langley, B.C. – With the world grappling with a financial crisis, business leaders and entrepreneurs must ensure their companies are in the best position to grow and recognize buying opportunities in an unpredictable capital market.

First West Capital’s Kristi Miller and Robert Napoli will share their expertise on issues related to accessing capital through panel discussions on expansion, acquisition, succession and shareholder buy-out financing at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia’s (ICABC) upcoming Financing Symposium, to be held at the Vancouver Convention Centre West on Nov. 9, 2011.

“Capital is a key input for all businesses,” says Miller. “It is imperative companies understand who the various suppliers of capital are, and how their products, services, and investment philosophies vary and complement one another. It’s about being an informed consumer of financial services – particularly at a time of market and economic uncertainty. Knowing what kind of money to source – and from whom – is critical to ensuring an uninterrupted supply of smart money.”

Miller and Napoli believe that, in addition to being connected to their sources and understanding the future availability of credit, organizations must have a financing contingency plan in order to avoid potential funding shortfalls. This holds true even for the strongest borrowers. “First West is seeing increasing uncertainty in credit markets, particularly around availability,” says Napoli. “While there is funding to be had today, that may not be the case tomorrow. We’ve seen some distinct market trend changes over the last few years, and it’s essential companies have a plan B to deal with liquidity.” Miller and Napoli also contend that the current environment of economic uncertainty brings opportunity for those who are prepared.

“Company valuations, credit availability and interest rate levels are all favourable right now,” explains Miller. “Organizations that have made tough choices in order to preserve profitability in a turbulent economy are now in a great position to reap the benefits of their prudence. While lenders may exercise more caution, there will always be funding available to those with solid plans and realistic growth expectations.”

For example, thanks to the strong Canadian dollar, US-currency deals are attractive. “The U.S. market provides some unique opportunities,” says Miller. “It is cheaper to buy US companies, or set up US distribution or sales forces, than it has been in decades.”

Developed and designed for business professionals responsible for making important financing decisions, the ICABC Financing Symposium will cover topics such as early stage and expansion financing, acquisitions, succession and alternative financing sources. The five-panel format encourages attendees to communicate directly with experts from private equity, mezzanine debt funds, senior lenders, export agencies , leasing agents, factors and a variety of advisors. To learn more about ICABC Financing Symposium visit:

About First West Capital

First West Capital specializes in financing small and medium-sized businesses, with funding ranging from $0.5 million to $10 million, across all industries in Western Canada and Ontario through customized subordinated loans and mezzanine financing. With a collaborative and partner-focused approach, we help clients finance expansion, acquisitions, MBO and shareholder buyouts and high ratio real estate.