Recently, The Top 40 Under 40 had the honor of speaking with small business finance veteran, Chad Otar. In June 2019, Chad became the president and founder of Lending Valley Incorporated, a loan agency based out of Brooklyn, New York. During our interview, Chad shared some valuable information about his background as well as the mission of Lending Valley Inc.
Tell us a bit about your background. Where did you grow up?
I am a native of Brooklyn, but my parents are Turkish. They immigrated to the United States in 1985, and I was born in 1988. Unfortunately, our family went through a lot. My mother has Multiple Sclerosis and I began my first of three battles with cancer at the age of 16. At one point, I even lived at a foster home.
You managed to overcome so much adversity at such a young age. How did you find the strength, especially as a three-time cancer survivor?
As a first-generation American, I was always determined to do whatever was necessary in order to make something of myself. I didn’t want to endure the same suffering as an adult that I endured with my family as a child. Knowing that sometimes our struggles in life can lead us to make a difference in the world also helped to give me strength. For example, I wanted to turn my battles with cancer into something positive, so I wrote a book called Surviving Cancer as an effort to give hope to others. In addition, the profit from all purchases is donated to cancer research.
What inspired you to choose the finance industry for a career?
Although my mom always believed in me, she was convinced that I should be a doctor. So, under her influence, I worked to receive a full scholarship and enrolled in Columbia Medical School. However, during my third year, when I was interning with Dr. Oz, I finally came to the realization that I did not want to be a doctor. When I broke the news that I was dropping out of med. school, my parents immediately kicked me out of their house. Fortunately, my brother John knew I was smart, so he was the one who encouraged me to go into the finance industry.
How did you get your start in financial services?
I actually started working in finance in 2007 when I was still a full-time student at Columbia. I accepted a position at American Allied Funding in their sales division and remained with them until I moved to Capital Stack as a senior funding specialist in 2012.
In 2013, I became CEO of Excel Capital Management. While there, I started their sales division for alternative finance, which increased the company’s revenue by 430% over four years with a projected yearly profit of $4.4 million. I remained with them until 2019 when I decided it was time to venture out and start my own company, Lending Valley, Inc.
How did it feel striking out on your on to start a business?
I just had to take all of my years of experience, conquer my fear, and go out into the real world on my own. I knew that I had enough experience in various roles. So, with the help of a few confident mentors, I was finally able to find within myself the ability to leave my comfort zone, where I was making good money, to start a business on my own.
Tell us about Lending Valley, Inc. What sets it apart from other companies?
Lending Valley is a Fintech company that offers small to midsize business owners the opportunity to obtain capital within 24 hours of their initial request. Team members complete paperwork, risk taking on capital, get clients where they need to be, and provide them with the money they need-all within a short time frame. What sets us apart is our white glove service as well as the individual care and attention given to every client. Lending Valley is basically your prime choice for alternative lending. Our motto is: “Providing a lending hand for your business”
Describe your first days as a new business.
We were fortunate to have a successful start. Within the first month, we were able to facilitate close to 100 transactions. As we continued to grow, I started hiring additional people to help out. First, I hired my former firm team member, who is now my chief operations officer. Then, it was only fitting that I hire my brother John, since he was the one who originally encouraged me to go into the financial services industry.
What is your involvement with Forbes Finance Council?
Forbes requested that I write a few articles about the industry, what I know about it, and how it helps me as well as others. The work I submitted received positive reviews, so now I write a blog for Forbes Finance Council. I write about various topics of interest such as how small businesses are being impacted by current market trends.
What is The Green Sheets?
Clearly, I like to be involved in multiple projects. The Green Sheets is an industry magazine for financial technology, which is mostly focused on merchant services. Recently, they needed someone to write about alternative financing and reached out to me. My first article as a contributing writer is live now.
Aside from your recent publications, what other recognitions have you received?
In 2016, I was named one of the Top 40 Under 40 for Turkish Americans, which is basically an award for being a Turkish American businessman. I have also written numerous additional publications such a guest posts, business articles, and a blog for my own company.
Anything you’d like to add?
Yes. I’d like to thank my mom and my brother.
President and Founder
Lending Valley, Inc.
911 Avenue U, Suite 2R
Brooklyn, New York, 11223