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Industry News

Distressed-debt Seller Hangs Out Shingle in NY

July 20, 2011

First Financial Network opens office on Madison Avenue; clients include FDIC as well as big banks


Crain's New York Business

First Financial Network opens office on Madison Avenue; clients include FDIC as well as big banks

By Jermaine Taylor

Good news for banks with distressed debt weighing heavily on their books. First Financial Network Inc., one of the nation's largest advisors on loan sales, announced Wednesday the opening of its first New York City office at 415 Madison Ave.

The move, according to First Financial Network founder and CEO Bliss Morris, comes as business for the 22-year-old Oklahoma City, Okla.-based financial services consulting firm is picking up.

“Not only are we selling (more) distressed debt, but we've also developed other lines of business,” said Ms. Morris, who sold loan portfolios at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. before leaving the agency in 1989 to launch First Financial Network.

First Financial Network completed more than $18 billion in whole loan transactions over the last three years, Ms. Morris said. Among its largest clients are the FDIC and institutions including Bank of America Corp. and Citibank.

Heading up First Financial Network's New York office will be Stephen Quinn, who has previously held senior positions at Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch and Fleet Bank. He has also worked as a distressed bank and financial services consultant.

“New York is a very large and important market, and it's a great opportunity for us to get even closer to our clients and provide the services they want and need,” said Mr. Quinn.

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