Unlocking Value Across Verticals: Ish Spencer on the Benefits of Adopting a Multi-Disciplinary Approach in Corporate Finance

Ish Spencer shares his personal journey from Chemistry to Corporate Finance, and explains how a multi-disciplinary approach has contributed strongly to his professional success.

Ish Spencer, Managing Director and Partner at US Capital Global, oversees the group’s Corporate Finance division and commercial loan underwriting. With a diverse background spanning real estate, healthcare, technology, and manufacturing, Mr. Spencer’s specialized knowledge extends to cutting-edge industries like medical devices, biotechnology, and nanotechnology. Since joining US Capital Global in 2010, he has played a pivotal role in its remarkable growth as a premier private financial group for medium-sized businesses.

Q: Your academic background is in Chemistry, both graduate and postgraduate. You then completed an M.B.A. at San Diego State University and founded several startups of your own before joining US Capital Global in 2010. Tell us about this journey.
A: My journey has been quite unconventional. While my academic background is in Chemistry, I discovered my passion for entrepreneurship and finance early on. I have always been drawn to making transactions happen and continuously learning about the industry, people, and various product types. After completing my M.B.A., I had the opportunity to start my own ventures, which allowed me to gain valuable experience and insights into the world of finance. This journey eventually led me to US Capital Global, where I could apply my intellectual curiosity and pride in my work product to assist clients achieve their financial goals.

Q: What qualities of yours would you say have played the most significant role in your professional success?
A: As I mentioned earlier, intellectual curiosity has been a driving force for me. I thrive on exploring new financial structures, better understanding my clients and their industries, and constantly expanding my knowledge base. Additionally, I take immense pride in my work product. In my previous field of Chemistry, chemical compounds typically just sit on a shelf. In finance, however, I can ensure that every client transaction comes to fruition, whether this results in a successful financing or, alternatively, a well-founded decision not to proceed. This commitment to seeing things through has been instrumental in my professional growth.

Q: Let’s discuss the changes you have witnessed in the asset-based lending industry over the past 20 years. How has US Capital Global adapted to these changes?
A: One of the most notable changes in the asset-based lending industry has been the rise of merchant cash advance (MCA) products, which have been a game changer. This has led to a decrease in factoring transactions, resulting in the closure of entire divisions within certain organizations. At US Capital Global, we have adapted by broadening our focus beyond traditional factoring. We now encompass a far wider range of products—including real estate, equipment and machinery, intellectual property, and much more—to provide comprehensive solutions for our clients. Our ability to evolve and meet the changing demands of the industry has allowed us to maintain our position as a trusted alternative source of capital.

Q: Your extensive multi-disciplinary experience is another notable aspect of your background. How has your broad experience served you in the field of corporate finance?
A: In corporate finance, transactions rarely fall within a single industry vertical. Understanding multiple verticals and having experience in various domains allows me to identify and unlock hidden value in complex transactions. For instance, a laboratory transaction involves both real estate and technology, while a hospital transaction encompasses real estate and healthcare. Recognizing the intersections of different industries and understanding their business models is crucial to providing comprehensive solutions. My broad experience enables me to navigate these complexities and deliver value to our clients.

Q: Let’s shift our focus now to US Capital Global’s differentiating factors. What sets US Capital Global apart from other alternative sources of capital?
A: US Capital Global distinguishes itself primarily in two ways: its global geographical reach and its comprehensive approach in serving clients. We have offices across four continents and in every major time zone. We are therefore able to structure creative financing solutions for international companies operating across multiple jurisdictions.

Unlike many alternative sources of capital, we are a full-service firm for the middle market. We can act as a direct lender and co-lender, providing a wide range of debt products from our own balance sheet, including mezzanine and unitranche facilities. We can also provide equity options such as preferred equity, through our FINRA-member, SEC-registered affiliate, US Capital Global Securities, LLC. Additionally, we offer wealth management services, making us a one-stop solution for our clients’ financial needs. Our ability to provide a synergistic combination of services to middle market businesses similar to those offered by major financial institutions to large companies sets us apart in the industry.

Q: As US Capital Global has grown into a global private financial services group since your joining in 2010, what changes have occurred and what has remained consistent?
A: Despite our expansion, US Capital Global has managed to maintain the culture of a family office. This has ensured that we prioritize personalized and customized solutions for our clients. However, several aspects have changed over the years. We have broadened our range of products and services. Additionally, our geographical reach has expanded significantly. For example, we have ventured into insurance transactions, opened offices in Africa, and become a broker-dealer for equity raises. These changes have enabled us to meet the evolving needs of our clients and provide them with a truly global service.

Q: Let’s discuss your role as a mentor to junior talent. What advice do you typically give to those you mentor?
A: When mentoring junior talent, I emphasize the importance of being responsive to clients and efficient with your time. I also highlight the fact that being overwhelmed with work is inevitable in this industry. If bankers are not consistently receiving more work than they can manage, it may indicate that we are not challenging them enough. It’s therefore essential to learn how to prioritize effectively.

Q: As we wrap up, I would like to ask you what inspires you the most at this stage in your life.
A: What inspires me the most is the opportunity to learn something new every day. The uniqueness and novelty of the world of finance continue to captivate me. Additionally, the ability to make a tangible impact in the lives of our clients by helping them achieve their financial goals is truly inspiring. It’s a constant reminder of why I chose this path and motivates me to strive for excellence in everything I do.

To learn more about US Capital Global and its Corporate Finance division, email Ish Spencer, Managing Director and Partner, at ish@uscapglobal.com or call +1 415-889-1023.

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