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Dolla going after rich borrowers through Ultra Financier

By November 1, Dolla Financial Services Limited will have a new operation called Ultra Financier to target business from persons of high net worth.

Dolla recently enticed luxury car marketer David Henriques to join its team. Henriques, up to August, was the head of marketing at ATL Porsche dealership.

Dolla Financial CEO Kadeen Mairs says the hire was a deliberate move to engage those in Henriques’ rolodex.

“He already has the connections to those high net worth individuals who will definitely be targets of ours with this new venture,” Mairs said.

“That demographic, in our view, always wants money to borrow but on a much larger scale than what obtains at the level of a micro-finance company,” he said.

The company is now hunting office space ahead of Ultra Financier’s launch into business.

The new subsidiary will issue loans of $500,000 to $150 million per individual against their luxury assets. Interest rates will start at about 20 per cent per annum.

“It is a different demographic using assets lending. A client can come with their antique Porsche, a Rolex watch, a bill of property or even shares in a company like Dolla [as collateral],” Mairs said, adding that Ultra will be agnostic to the use of the proceeds.

“It can be for things that rich people spend on. They may want to clear a container quickly, do a surprise birthday party, or celebrate an anniversary,” he said.

The money to support the expansion will come from the company’s recent fundraise. Dolla closed its latest round on October 18 after announcing that it had exercised the right to upsize the bond. The company originally targeted $1 billion. Mairs said the initial mark was definitely surpassed, but the final numbers were to be reported on by lead broker VM Investments Limited.

Dolla will use $350 million of the proceeds to seed Ultra Financier’s start-up. Another $250 million will go towards a new acquisition, and $100 million will be dedicated to the growth of Dolla Guyana’s loan book, Mairs said.

The company’s total loan book is currently valued at just under $1.2 billion.

Regarding further expansion, he said Dolla has engaged professional services in Bahamas, St Lucia, and Barbados to advise on the regulatory arrangements in those jurisdictions with a view to expanding operations to those countries.

“We’ve been travelling to these countries recently. We sat down with stakeholders, examined locations, and we’re very serious about the moves,” Mairs said.

For the third quarter ending September, Dolla Financial made a profit of $70 million, compared to $22 million in the year-prior period. Nine-month profit amounted to $188 million.

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