Innovation is a never ending process for businesses and their entrepreneurs. People tend to confuse the term innovation with innovation of technology. However, innovation can be in relation to process, ideas, methods and several other areas of business. A successful company always focuses on innovating themselves in terms of technology, processes, ideas, methods, culture, services, products, etc. On the other hand, a company which fails to innovate itself with time always struggles to deliver its products and services. Legion Capital Corporation is one of the successful companies that kept innovation at its core since the inception.
Incepted in 2015, Legion Capital was founded around the principles of using direct-to-market capital formation strategies to build a private equity business. It provides opportunities for all investors to participate in private equity-type transactions, and is deploying the newest capital formation methodologies, such as Regulation “A,” crowdfunding, and to build the company. Legion Capital is a publicly traded FinTech driven private equity firm focusing on specialized lending to real estate developers, business owners, and entrepreneurs.
Legion provides bridge funding, acquisition, development and growth capital to companies and projects in targeted industries. It also takes equity ownership in selected companies and projects. Over the span of 7 years, the company’s mission has remained unchanged, however, it has followed market trends and demand. As the housing boom continued to accelerate, Legion continued to focus its efforts toward serving this expanding market.
As investing and capital formation strategies have evolved in recent years, Legion has developed its philosophy and system that allows all investors to learn about, and participate in, alternative investments that were historically only available to institutional investors. Legion has developed its own proprietary investor platform, GoLegion.com that allows investors to participate in projects of all types in a very user friendly manner.
Legion utilizes a highly customized and multi-tiered approach to its lending model, which is designed to create equity level yields under a secured lending model. In order to accomplish this, it segmented the typical loan into 3 separate parts: (i) contract interest, (ii) services and (iii) back-end participation. The first is a typical secured loan arrangement, the second allows Legion to generate revenue providing fee-based services to a project and the third piece allows Legion to participate in the growth, development or revenues of the business or project. By taking this three-tiered approach, it can maximize yield and return on the capital and efforts while limiting downside exposure to potential capital loss.
“Innovations can go wrong when innovators go too fast and fail to properly educate and understand the market. You cannot force innovation on a marketplace, it must happen in concert with robust education and adaptation,” pens Jim Byrd, a veteran corporate attorney and venture capital executive who brings the unique blend of both legal and entrepreneurial skills to his role as the CEO of Legion Capital Corporation.
In his distinguished journey, Jim has served as the lead investor, strategic adviser, venture capital partner and corporate executive to numerous private and public companies. Being in the industry for more than 30 years, Jim has witnessed the evolution of investing and capital formation strategies. He began his journey as an attorney at Baker & Hostetler prior to founding his own law firm in 1987, which he grew into a highly successful full service commercial firm. As an entrepreneur, Jim has been a lifelong successful business builder and has owned or managed several private equity and venture capital firm with growing companies in the technology, media, manufacturing, distribution, automotive, oil and gas, real estate, and health and wellness industries. Over the years, he has undertaken several roles, as Chairman, CEO and Director of numerous private and public companies, including Vice Chairman of Success Magazine, N.Y. (1998-2000).
Currently, Jim serves as the CEO at Legion Capital Corporation, and acknowledges the current changes in the industry. The Central Florida real estate market is no stranger to growth, having seen strong continuous growth for 6 straight decades. However, since the pandemic, the company is experiencing exponential growth as there seems to be a mass Florida migration underway. As a result, developers simply cannot bring homes out of the ground fast enough to keep up with soaring demand. Most of Legion’s core projects are located in Central Florida. At present, the Central Florida housing market is booming, with rising prices and inventory levels at historical lows. This demand, coupled with the fact that conventional banks still do not service early-stage real estate development, creates a tremendous opportunity for Legion to grow and prosper in the months and years to come. Furthermore, today, smaller developers and entrepreneurs need more than just capital. They need a lender/finance partner who can help guide them through the process of developing or launching a successful project. With decades of business building experience, Legion is able to provide tremendously valuable insights and assistance to its customers in addition to the critical capital.
Jim and his team at Legion believe in the proverbial “right place, right time”. The company is experiencing a substantial migration of the population from the larger northeast cities to places like Central Florida. As a specialized lender that finances growth and housing, Legion believes that it is perfectly positioned to thrive in the post COVID era. The mission of the company is to be the gold standard in fintech driven, investor focused private equity lending. In the coming years, the company will continue to expand its footprint and brand.
Legion has plans for aggressive growth in 2022 and beyond. All it must do is take advantage of the historic opportunities at hand and execute its business plan. Under the leadership of Jim, the company continues to grow both its lending and private equity business, both organically and through acquisition. The team at Legion will provide critical sales and marketing, business and financial management services to its projects and portfolio holdings.
I do not subscribe to the notion “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. The fax machine was not “broke” in that sense, but if innovators had not continued to imagine a better machine, we would all still be reading faxes.