Banner Biz QandA

3/3/2010, 5:35 a.m.
Ronald L. Walker II is president and founding partner...

More specifically, we are not consultants: we holistically serve our clients’ needs and have developed a range of advisory services that are tailored for this market. It’s truly an innovation in merchant banking. Next Street has formalized and integrated this function by recruiting staff with expertise in finance, strategic consulting, and long-term relationship management. This blend of sound advice and long-term relationships is a core part of the implementation, ultimately helping achieve results and reducing risk.

Q: Some firms like Bain Capital invest in companies and serve as underwriters. Is this a future direction for Next Street?

A: Next Street was founded and built around the premise of providing two things to our clients:  high-quality advisory services and access to customized financing and capital solutions. Although not all client financing needs will be underwritten by Next Street, we believe providing sound advice and access to the “right capital” is core to our trusted advisor business model. In many instances, Next Street will leverage a mix of public and private financing to develop the optimal capital solution for our clients.

Q: How will Next Street Capital work?

A: Next Street Capital focuses on addressing the capital gap that exists in the small business market.  For our clients, that could mean providing acquisition capital to expand into a new site, or combining public and private sources of funding in order to provide growth capital for businesses. The capital solutions are highly customized to the direct needs of the business owners that we serve. In addition, part of Next Street Capital’s overall responsibilities will include launching investment vehicles, including our Next Street Opportunity Fund, where Next Street Capital would act as fund manager.

Q: Why did you establish your main office in Roxbury?

A: Next Street has built the business model around thriving urban small- and medium-sized businesses. From the very beginning, we believed we needed to be different than traditional commercial banks and service providers; our location is one core component to our differentiated model. When business owners visit our office in Dudley Square, the geographic center of Boston, they are encouraged that we have established a business in the community focused on serving businesses from the communities.