JPMorgan Chase Expands Coverage of Franchise and Restaurant Clients, Launches Dedicated Industry Group
JPMorgan Chase’s Commercial Bank announced the launch of the Franchise and Restaurant Group within its Middle Market Banking & Specialized Industries business and has appointed Michael Pura to lead the effort.
“Clarence started the ball rolling in bringing together the full force of JPMorgan Chase behind one cohesive strategy,” said Pura, “and he put together the business plan. I came aboard a year ago.”
Pura is referencing Clarence Nunn, who is managing director with JPMorgan Chase, and to whom Pura reports. Nunn was formerly the head of GE Capital Franchise Finance before joining JPMorgan Chase. Pura, who worked for Nunn at GE, was hired a year ago and has been pulling together the team and systems there before the launch.
JPMorgan Chase will work with established and high-growth restaurant chains and groups. “We are looking at all brands,” he reported. “For us, there has to be strategic rationale. If we have a relationship with the franchisor, we would like to support their franchisees.”
They will provide tailored banking and financial solutions, including credit and financing, treasury and merchant services, commercial cards and international banking. Pura reports that they will not be limited on transaction size, and will seek to do syndications with other restaurant lenders.
Borrowers also will have access to the Chase Connect digital banking platform to manage their finances, pay bills, receive and transfer money and more.
“Chase Connect allows an operator to use technology to help them be more efficient,” said Pura. “For instance, Chase Connect allows an operator to electronically pay all their bills and vendors. The owner can approve the transaction online, and it saves them time and money on processing. It’s just one example of what it can do. It will resonate with operators.
“I think what you are going to see from JPMorgan Chase, whether you are a 5-unit operator, 35-unit operator, 100-unit operator—we would like to work with you, and we are differentiating ourselves with investments in technology.”
The group will partner across JPMorgan Chase’s other lines of business including Investment Banking, Private Banking and Asset Management, to meet clients’ long and short-term needs.
Over Pura’s 20 years in banking, “My time in the franchise space was my most favorite role,” he said. “I love the industry and the people in it. You have the American dream happening. You don’t see that in the U.S. much anymore. The people in the space, the operators, and the folks on the teams I have been able to be a part of all make it a great experience.”