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50 Best Companies to Watch 2022

A FinTech driven private equity firm focused on specialized lending to real estate developers, business owners, and entrepreneurs: Legion Capital


In the highly competitive world we live in, businesses and individuals often find it difficult to raise capital to scale or sustain. In such cases, private equity can help them raise the required capital. Private equity firms work as an investment management company and provide financial backing to private businesses helping them foster growth. A skilled firm can bring greater visibility into a potential portfolio company and thus provide additional opportunities for attractive valuation. It also  can achieve high returns and cater high-powered incentives for all the parties involved.

Founded in 2015, Legion Capital provides financing opportunities that are underserved by the institutional capital markets. The firm's current focus is providing first-lien construction, infrastructure, and asset repositioning for single-family, multi-family, and commercial loans.  Their loan programs are designed to provide an alternative for real estate investors and developers who cannot meet their financing needs through traditional banks. Founded by veteran attorney and venture capital executive Jim Byrd and veteran media and marketing expert Shane Hackett, Legion Capital has positioned itself to be a FinTech leader in specialized small business lending, with a strong focus on early-stage financing in the areas of real estate development, construction, infrastructure, materials, and other asset-based lending.

In conversation with Shane Hackett, Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Legion Capital

Q. What makes Legion Capital unique? And how does the company solve equity related challenges?

For real estate developers, Legion Capital is one of the only sources for early-stage and infrastructure financing. Legion Funding has deep experience in real estate finance, and its management team is some of the most experienced real estate entrepreneurs in America.

Q. How does Legion Capital help small and medium sized business owners and developers?

By providing capital investment for real estate developers and small and medium sized businesses. We also provide expansion and development capital to help businesses grow. Legion Capital's structured loan and finance programs are available for real estate projects throughout the U.S. Besides this, the firm also funds acquisition, early-stage development and growth capital needs for small and medium-sized business owners and developers, addressing a market segment that has gone largely underserved by banks and conventional lenders. Beyond their core holdings in real estate development, construction, infrastructure, materials, and other business segments.

Q. In what industries are your clients? Can you provide us with one or two success stories describing the challenges your clients faced and how your solutions helped them overcome those challenges?

The Orlando, Florida-headquartered firm has financed the development of 4 communities in the Greater Orlando Tourist Corridor, having funded this 180-acre development of over 1,000 housing units, all within just a few miles of the Disney Resorts west of Orlando. This beautiful 180-acre development is currently well underway, with houses and townhomes at the market and being sold. Legion has financed the development of luxury homes in the upscale Lake Nona area in southeast Orlando. Lake Nona is one of the fastest growing communities in the state of Florida and home to the new world class Medical City, which houses state of the art hospitals, medical research facilities and the University of Central Florida Medical School. Legion is continuing to expand its footprint in this tremendously vibrant area of Central Florida.

Q. From your perspective, how is the industry you serve currently evolving? And what are the trends in the different categories?

We have a team of individuals with years of business and financial management experience.  Legion Management provides business and financial management to portfolio companies and third-party business owners in all areas of business growth and management. We bring a valuable basket of resources, drawing on decades of business building experience. Legion also provides a full suite of traditional media, digital, social, web, database, and consulting services. The company's marketing and consulting arm is led by Legion Co-founder and recognized marketing leader Shane Hackett, who has been at the forefront of the media and marketing industry for 25+ years, having built and managed numerous broadcast, media, and marketing organizations.

Q. What plans for transformation are you pursuing to remain relevant now and in the future?

As Legion continues to grow both its lending and private equity business, both organically and through acquisition, team Legion will provide critical sales and marketing, business, and financial management services to its projects and portfolio holdings. The company's skilled management team will bring critical services and resources to bear on a growing business, with the goal of driving new revenues and greater profit to its business units.

Q. Is there anything else you want us to highlight that we might have missed?

Most recently, Legion Capital has announced plans to expand its lending portfolio through the launch of the Legion Funding platform, which enables real estate owners and developers throughout the U.S. to submit potential transactions online. Legion has steadily grown its direct lending portfolio since its product launch in December 2015 by focusing on early-stage housing and real estate development finance in the ever-growing Central Florida region. The company now looks to expand in select markets nationwide through the launch of the new platform.

Meet the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Legion Capital

Shane Hackett is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Legion Capital. He is the Chairman of the Board & Partner at MarketLeverage. MarketLeverage has been ranked as an Inc. 100 Advertising firm and a Fortune 5000 fastest growing company. The company specializes in integrated digital marketing.

Shane served as President and General Manager of the radio stations KGU-AM and KTSS_FM in Honolulu, Hawaii, and WTIX-AM in New Orleans, Louisiana. He has also served as Director of Continuity and Executive Producer for Gannett with KCMO AM/FM and the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network.

He is actively involved in multiple nonprofits. He is the Executive Director of Heartland Soccer Association & board member of Kansas Youth Soccer and is active building orphanages and microfinancing projects in third world countries with Global Orphan Project.

“We work with real estate developers, builders, and entrepreneurs to provide the capital they need to acquire, develop and renovate properties.”