Mission Statement

First Innovative Financial Group mission statement: “we are committed to providing innovative performance-based variable cost solutions and services to our community bank partners so they can effectively expand their SBA lending horizons.”

First Innovative Financial Group, Inc., established in 2001, since its inception has assisted many community banks with their SBA lending programs.  Our management team has been involved with SBA and Banking since 1974.  Our key accomplishments:

    • Consistently rank in the top 40 lenders by loan volume in our region. We ranked in the top 20 lenders by loan volume in Los Angeles and Orange counties in 2009.
    • Portfolio Return on Assets is 14.30% over a 4-year average (See Loan Portfolio Performance).
    • Portfolio charge off rate is 0.30% over a 5-year period compared to 1.13% for SBA industry average (See Loan Portfolio Performance).
    • 100% approval experience with all SBA 7a loans submitted GP (“General Program Lender”) to SBA.
    • Assisted our community bank partners achieve PLP (“Preferred Lender Program”) status in less than 12 months.
    • Awarded Technical Assistance Provider status by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
    • Obtained security clearance to communicate directly to using E-trans, the SBA WEB portal.

Our Key Team Leaders:

Nathaniel Booker – is our President and CEO with over 34 years of banking and financing experience.  His experience includes middle market and corporate bank lending, the latter to large multibillion corporations.  He has worked for major banks based in California, including Wells Fargo Bank and in New York, Chemical Bank (now known as JP Morgan Chase). Early in his career he made a decision to bring his multimillion corporate bank lending experience to small to medium size businesses by joining a privately held small business direct lender and eventually becoming the Executive Vice President Chief Lending Officer of Government Funding Corporation, one the most successful small business lenders in the country.  This privately held business was sold for $90 million cash. Mr. Booker started up and successfully managed the Capital Markets Secondary Market securitized lending department for Imperial Bank, a major independent bank located in Southern California, and oversaw the portfolio growth from zero to $100 million in two and one half years, largely because of his credit and underwriting expertise combined with his entrepreneurial acumen.  

Mr. Booker has BA in Business Finance and Economics from the University of Oregon and a MBA in Finance and Accounting from the University of Washington.  He was named on the Dean’s list at both schools.

Mark Austin – is our Executive Vice President with over 15 years of SBA and banking experience.  Mr. Austin was the Vice President Commercial Loan Officer in the Capital Markets Secondary Market Loan department of Imperial Bank located in Southern California utilizing his expertise to underwrite and evaluate the loans of other lenders, who sold their loans to the Capital Markets Department.  Mr. Austin was the Vice President Commercial Loan Officer and Production Manager of the Small Business Lending Division of Imperial Bank, which generated in excess of $100 million in annual loan production. He was the Commercial Loan Officer of Government Funding Division.  He was responsible for successfully obtaining SBA approval on more than 100 loans under standard 7a submission. Associate for FMV Opinions, Inc. responsible for determining business valuations for small businesses. He worked closely with small business owners in analyzing business financial statements for valuation purposes. 

Mr. Austin has a BS in Finance from the Long Beach State University and a MBA in Finance and Marketing from the University of Oregon. 

Jermal Booker – is our Vice President with over 10 years of financial services and banking experience.  Mr. Booker worked for Morgan Stanley, one of the nation’s top brokerage firms as a financial advisor, where he acquired the Series 7 and Series 66 security licenses and was registered with the NYSE, NASD and SEC.  He worked directly with the Chairman/CEO of a community bank to improve operations and asset quality.  He participated with the bank’s asset-liability committee as secretary.  He participated in pre-audit preparation for FIDC and DFI audits.  Lending experience includes underwriting SBA and commercial loans. Loan servicing experience includes negotiations with borrowers and other participating creditors/ lien holders to ensure the bank’s interest was properly represented. He has extensive underwriting, SBA packaging, construction and general commercial lending experience.  He convinced bank senior management to outsource its SBA department, which was more productive and profitable to the bank as a variable cost solution.  

Mr. Booker has a BS in Business Administration (Finance) from California State University, Los Angeles.

Patrick McCormick – is our Senior Underwriter with over 35 years of banking and financing experience. His experience includes Senior Vice President, Credit Administration with Comerica Bank and Senior Vice President, Manager SBA Credit Administration with Imperial Bank. He also was Senior Underwriter with Government Funding Corporation, one of the most successful privately held small business lenders in the country.  His credit administration experience includes overseeing underwriting, assisting with the analysis and structuring of complex loan transactions, monitoring portfolio credit quality and portfolio risk management.  He developed departmental policies and procedures, which supported Imperial bank’s Preferred Lender expansion from three to ten states. This resulted in annual loan increase from $40MM to $175MM. He developed underwriting expertise for construction loan department and added USDA B&I specialty lending. As Senior Underwriter,  he underwrote in excess of $500MM in loan requests.  His non banking experience includes Vice President and General Manager of a sportswear manufacturer and importer, where he oversaw finance and manufacturing.  

Mr. McCormick has a BS in Business Administration and MBA from University of Southern California.