Meet The Team
Institutional Advisor Team
Licensed Lender Advisors
Carefully selected veteran, multi-licensed, expert FINRA-member lender advisors responsible for handling all ABN client finance.
ABN has over 2,000 registered agents across the U. S.
Registered Agent Team
Registered ABN Agents
Our Registered Agents include over 2,000 licensed financial advisors, business brokers, commercial real estate representatives and financial planners join A. B. Nicholas as referral partners for our lending programs.
Capitol Hill
Organization Firm Team
Organization Partners
Over 30+ major franchise, business brokering, and commercial real estate firms
G. Donald Johnson
President, A. B. Nicholas
Principal, Diamond America & FranchiseLeasing. 20 years experience in business finance.
B. A., Fairleigh Dickenson University.
Dan Stafford
Sr. Consultant
16+ years in securities finance. Prior: U. S. Dept. of Commerce, International Trade Administration.
M. A., University of Chicago, Booth School.

A. B. Nicholas Overview

In 2010, A. B. Nicholas LLC was founded with the addition of experienced securities finance staff as a company that would replace our original franchise brokering firm after the Great Recession took hold to deliver a body-blow to the core franchise/business-acquisition market. All standard financing resources (SBA, business loans at major banks, etc.) were either lending far less with greater restrictions, or lending only at dramatically higher interest rates… or  not at all. Our clients desperately needed an alternative.

Stock Portfolios as Collateral

That year we carefully looked over all possible alternative options for our franchise-buying clients and after a careful analysis, settled on the concept of a tailored securities-based line of credit. But to make it work, we needed a custom line of credit for them, easily accessed, but without the standard mandatory brokerage management fees. Our clients wanted financing-only, not necessarily expert advice. After numerous turndowns, we discovered a licensed FINRA-registered advisor with a background in real estate working at the firm Morgan Stanley who understood our concept and was willing to give it a go. After tightening up the compliance parameters and tailoring the financial product to a pure, borrower-type market (not an investor market), LeverageLine was born.

A Program for Demanding Clients

No company overview would be complete without discussing our clients, too, who helped define the LeverageLine product from the start.

The type of clients we serve demanded no mandatory lender-side fees, very competitive interest rates, high loan-to-value, interest-only repayment, and speedy turnaround and a path to conventional financing later one.  From our first major licensed lender-partner to our current three major providers and  FINRA-member advisors with stellar backgrounds, the LeverageLine stock loan program was gradually able to achieve a wholesale-rate stock-secured-loan with an eye on the future.

Qualify, Quote, Hand Off

That staff at A. B. Nicholas is tasked with ensuring portfolio eligibility. For eligible portfolios (see requirements) we help prospective clients understand how the LeverageLine process works and answer any questions.  We issue our term sheets with figures and approval from our licensed lending partners, and deliver the offer securely to the client.  In this way, our term sheets are pre-approved financing quotes usually delivered within hours of application.

Our duties are simple: we confirm eligibility, answer questions, and move the application to the lending institution securely. We then build the lenders’ terms into a clear term sheet and deliver for signing via a secure, encrypted digital system.  Once signed, we set up an introduction to the licensed lender advisor — an experienced, licensed FINRA-member professional and an expert carefully selected for knowledge of securities-based lending services, franchise financing, and commercial real estate financing, with an impeccable record and multiple licenses. .

Just Financing: No Mandatory Lender-Side Fees

Critical again in any company overview was be the issue of lender costs. Our clients, if they do not wish to employ optional custom services like account management, can simply have a credit line and nothing else. They are charged interest only on what they actually draw. No need to worry about top-heavy fee structures.

A. B. Nicholas is, however,  compensated a percentage of the maximum credit line, a one time charge similar to points on a mortgage, payable after we’ve delivered as promised from the credit line if desired or by credit card. We carry out this work as a business enterprise service for our clients (not the lending institution) and receive no compensation or incentives of any kind from our licensed lending partners. Our duty is to provide the best securities finance we can, and nothing less.)

A. B. Nicholas serves many of the big franchise and business brokering firms, should they need a securities finance component for their clients.  These firms  trust A. B. Nicholas to deliver, and we are proud to say we do — every time.

Contact Us!

We can be reached at 202.379.4744 from 9AM-7PM (EST) Monday through Friday, and 10AM to 2PM on Saturday. We return all calls promptly and you are always welcome to leave a voicemail after hours. You can also contact us securely online here. 

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