IMF Bentham’s growing global footprint, including its most recently opened offices in Singapore and Hong Kong, and its ongoing exploration of opportunities across Asia to fund commercial parties, law firms and insolvency practitioners, has caught the attention of The CEO Magazine.
The publication sat down this month with IMF Bentham Executive Director and CEO, Andrew Saker, to discuss the company’s expansion plans, including offering funding in economies where the concept of litigation finance is new or emerging, such as India, Japan, China, the Philippines and South Korea.
Having grown IMF Bentham to 14 offices in six countries in Australia, Asia, North America and Europe, Mr. Saker shares many insightful points in the article about how the company has become a leading global commercial litigation funder and established its platform for future growth with an appropriate risk-managed approach.
He highlights the company’s continuing execution on its five-year business plan, introduced in 2015, to reduce risk through diversification. “This is done through expanding our geographic footprint, increasing the number and types of matters we fund, sourcing alternative forms of capital, expanding our talent pool, and executing an operational and organizational restructuring,” says Mr. Saker.
The company has also modified its approach to raising capital, he explains. Its earlier practice of using debt, equity and internally generated cashflow to fund litigation investments has evolved into a risk-mitigated approach of launching investment vehicles. Over the past 12 months, IMF Bentham has raised more than AUD $400 million to fund future investments, including a US fund raised with Fortress Credit Advisors that will deploy up to US$200 million for American litigation investments over the next three years.
He also explains in the article how companies can use litigation funding to reduce risks and expenses while at the same time achieving sustainable growth, improving profits and maximizing value for stakeholders. “Funding will allow them to pursue legal claims while reserving capital for business-as-usual growth, as well as to leverage legal claims as assets akin to traditional asset classes, such as property. In addition, funding can bring value to their business by unlocking potential revenue in their claims,” he says.
As far as what’s ahead for the company outside of Asia, IMF Bentham is resuming funding in Europe, “either through the establishment of a greenfields operation or through acquisition of an existing business,” says Mr. Saker. He also sees opportunities for the company to strengthen relationships with leading law firms, accounting and corporate advisory firms and specialist advisers in various fields. “This includes working with innovative law firms as we’re exploring options such as risk sharing and containing legal costs,” he says.
The full article, Funding justice: Andrew Saker, Managing Director & CEO of IMF Bentham, can be found in the March 2018 issue of the magazine.