CIBC Healthcare Banking Group: Partner for skilled nursing
The CIBC Healthcare Banking Group is a partner for skilled nursing facilities across the U.S.
Feb. 24, 2022
The skilled nursing industry is no stranger to change. Perhaps more than any other industry, skilled nursing facility owners and operators must constantly adapt to shifting regulations, standards of care, and labor force challenges — all while closely managing the bottom line.
However, in an ever-evolving industry, the CIBC Healthcare Banking Group has emerged as a consistent, steadying presence. The CIBC Healthcare Banking Group builds long-term, people-first relationships with its clients rather than being transaction focused.
Meet the CIBC Healthcare Banking Group
The CIBC Healthcare Banking Group works primarily with owners and operators of skilled nursing, assisted living, memory care and independent living facilities across the U.S. The group also serves pharmacies and hospice providers as clients.
The team manages about $3.4 billion in loans and $500 million in syndicated transactions, over 80% of which are in skilled nursing care. Lending spreads across various financing types, including first mortgage loans, bridge loans, working capital lines of credit, standby letters of credit and capital expenditure loans. The Healthcare Banking Group also provides cash management products and services designed specifically for skilled nursing and senior care companies.
Consistency, flexibility and transparency
CIBC Healthcare Banking Group team members concentrate all of their time on the healthcare industry, giving them a depth of knowledge and expertise. By specializing in healthcare, team members stay up to date on trends in Medicare reimbursement, rising wages and other expenses that directly impact a facility’s profitability.
While team members frequently look ahead to what’s next for the industry, they also bring a unique historical perspective to their lending decisions. Most of the team’s leadership has been with CIBC for 20-plus years. This longevity allows them to develop deep client relationships.
These long-term partnerships offer the opportunity for greater flexibility in loan decisions. Abraham Gutnicki is the owner of Gutnicki LLP, a national law firm based in Skokie, Illinois, and has worked with the CIBC Healthcare Banking Group team for more than 15 years. “There’s very little they haven’t seen before,” he said. “If there’s a unique situation, they have the capacity and experience to be creative and flexible.”
Deep industry experience also allows for more accuracy and transparency during the lending process. “Clients of CIBC can give rough estimates for the projected performance of an asset,” Gutnicki continued. “And, prior to being engaged to underwrite the potential loan, often times the banker will say, ‘Based on the metrics you think you’ll hit, here’s what we believe we can accomplish.’” Over the years, Gutnicki has found that clients can really rely on those statements, which can be crucial in helping them plan and strategize their corporate and finance transactions.
The CIBC Healthcare Banking Group also understands the cyclical nature of the skilled nursing industry. The team strives to remain a steadying force for clients. “We’re not scared when things go awry,” said Bluma Broner, group head, CIBC Healthcare Banking Group. “And we’re not elated when things are great. We’ve been through all the ups and downs, the good and the bad. What gives our clients a lot of comfort is they know exactly what to expect,” Broner continued. “We’re very open on our thought processes, and clients are aware of how we approach the industry. They’re not worried that one day it’s going to be one thing, and the next day it’s going to be something else. They know what we’re going to do.”
Instead of passing clients from department to department, the team manages all aspects of the lending and banking process, including loan origination, underwriting and portfolio management. This provides the team with a top-to-bottom understanding of a client’s overall financial picture.
“We can have confidence looking at something and say, ‘Yes, we can get that [deal] done,’ even before we have a discussion with credit,” said Peter Kane, group head, CIBC Healthcare Banking Group. “We have the confidence of our credit partners, which allows us to get things approved based on our track record.”
Broner agreed. “We’re the ones reviewing all the underwriting and loan presentations,” she said. “It’s a huge difference when the same people that are doing the underwriting are talking to the client. Then, after the loan is completed, we’re also talking to them on a daily basis. It’s not getting handed off to someone else.”
“They’re a relationship bank,” Gutnicki said. “From time to time issues arise, which can have a tremendous impact on the ability for a company to continue to perform. But when that happens, [CIBC’s] first instinct is to work with their clients and support them as they correct such issues.”
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