Interview of advisor - The point of view of Fabrice Pedro Rousselin,
founder of CEFIN

picture verbatim of interview

Can you introduce us to your company ?

I founded the firm Conseil et Expertise Finance (CEFIN) about ten years ago, after a fairly long experience in structured finance and securitisation, where I assisted major banking groups and major industrial groups in financing their assets, before accompanying a management company that financed SMEs. So I continued to accompany them in the framework of my company Conseil et Expertise Finance.
On this occasion I had the experience of raising funds on behalf of SMEs in a structured finance framework. I then continued to support SMEs in France within the framework of partnership agreements that I have established with a number of professional associations, particularly in the furniture, wood, fashion, clothing, footwear and leather goods sectors, and I am a leading advisor in fund-raising for SMEs in these various professional sectors.

Why did you choose to support SME financing ?

I accompany professional federations and their members. These members are mainly SMEs looking for financing to support their development, transmission and growth. For several years now, my work with professional federations and their members, which are essentially SMEs, has enabled me to realise that there is a wide gap between the willingness of business leaders to develop and find financing to develop and the financing market, which is essentially a banking market in France and for which the SME market is still a complicated market to approach, understand and support.

How do your clients react when you offer them private debt counselling ?

My clients, who are mainly SMEs, do not know what private debt is, what the market represents, or what a bond is. When we ask them about bonds, they answer « is it to return capital? ». So there is a huge knowledge gap. For them there is bank debt on one side and equity on the other side and nothing in between. The whole issue is to make them understand that it is a strategy of complementarity between bank financing, which is often insufficient to accompany the growth of a real growth development strategy, and equity capital, which is therefore by necessity, by construction, deductive and which is viewed with more mistrust and does not necessarily correspond to the essentially patrimonial strategy of SMEs. Private debt is a market that needs a great deal of education among business leaders and, given the development of this market, it is a market with a lot of promise.

How is a platform like FirmFunding useful to you ?

The FirmFunding platform is useful in many dimensions. It allows you to easily file files with dozens, even hundreds of potential investors, with a large number of management companies that not only have private debt funds, but also have private equity resources to accompany companies in equity strategies. We can therefore build financing strategies for companies that meet their needs and that are not only in debt but also potentially in equity or mezzanine. The Firmfunding platform also provides access to financing in the territories. You have a company in a region and there are a certain number of funds that are developing that are either at the initiative of the region or are private funds to support companies in their growth within their territory. Thanks to FirmFunding, we have access to these various funds that we would not have been able to know without this extremely broad access and this number of funds that are present on the platform and that study the files that are submitted.

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