Fora Financial Announces Addition of Two New Board Members
— James Mitchell, Jr. Joins as Chairman of the Board; Stefanie Shelley Joins as an Independent Director —
NEW YORK, NY, November 12th, 2020 — Fora Financial, a leading technology-enabled provider of working capital to small and medium-sized businesses nationwide, announced today the appointment of two new independent directors, Stefanie Shelley and James Mitchell, Jr., and James Mitchell, Jr. will also serve as Chairman of the Board. In addition to Mr. Mitchell and Ms. Shelley, Mr. Michael Hughes and Mr. Jeremy Wing also serve on Fora’s board as independent directors.
Mr. Mitchell has an extensive 30+ year career in business and government. He spent over two decades as an executive in financial services at GE and GE Capital. He brings to Fora Financial a multi-dimensional value proposition as an innovative strategic-thinking business leader with a strong track record of developing, executing and aligning organizational objectives for successful business transformation and growth.
Ms. Shelley has a 30+ year distinguished career in financial services and fintech with extensive C-Suite experience at global financial services companies, including JP Morgan Chase, Capital One, Citibank and Broadridge Financial Solutions. As a highly regarded executive advisor, coach and board director, Ms. Shelley brings a successful track record of driving growth, digital transformation and value creation to the Fora board.
Jared Feldman, Chief Executive Officer of Fora Financial said, “We are extremely fortunate to welcome James and Stefanie to our Board of Directors. Each brings enormous business experience and judgment to Fora across a broad range of disciplines. This will help us leverage the growth opportunities we see ahead and, very importantly, assist our valued customers as they rebuild their businesses post COVID. We look forward to benefitting from both James’ and Stefanie’s deep expertise and knowledge of specialty finance service businesses and we are especially proud that their arrival further strengthens the board’s composition and commitment to diversity and inclusion.”
In 2015, Palladium Equity Partners, a private investment firm, made a significant investment in partnership with the co-founders and management of Fora Financial. Two members of Palladium’s leadership team, Mr. Chris Allen and Mr. Justin Green, serve on the Fora’s Board of Directors.
Background on James Mitchell, Jr.
Following a successful 25-year career at GE and
GE Capital, holding numerous senior executive positions, Mr. Mitchell formed
JMJ Advisors, LLC in 2014, a consulting and advisory firm serving C-suite
clients across numerous industry sectors and geographies. An experienced
director, Chief Investment Officer and SEC-qualified Financial Expert, Mr.
Mitchell draws upon exceptional analytical skills and domain expertise in a
diverse array of financial and operational functions to consistently improve
the financial health and stability of the organizations he serves. He has 30+
years of experience in finance, capital markets, asset management, mutual fund
advisory, global acquisitions & joint ventures, business operations and
public policy matters. He was also GE’s Chief Investment Officer in equities,
private equity and hedge funds who managed $5.0 billion in AUM with a proven
track record of delivering top-quartile and top-decile performance over the
long term. In his capacity as an institutional investor, James has known the
principals of Palladium for over 15 years. Mr. Mitchell is an innovator who led
GE’s minority & women-owned business investment platform where he invested
over $800 million with diverse financial services firms, which became an
industry best practice.
Mr. Mitchell has leveraged his domain expertise across various business and regulatory matters, including cybersecurity, international trade finance, management–labor issues, pension reform, and portions of Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform. At the board level, he offers multi-dimensional value to financial services firms, education and technology ventures, companies with regulatory bodies as a stakeholder, and organizations seeking acquisitions, particularly through audit and governance leadership roles.
In addition to serving as Chairman of Fora Financial, Mr. Mitchell serves as a board member for two non-profit organizations, Venture Philanthropy Partners that makes direct investments in three areas: early childhood, K-12 education & youth transitions; and PartnersGlobal which is a NGO with affiliates in 22 countries that create partnerships with local change leaders to resolve conflict and strengthen democratic institutions around the globe. Mr. Mitchell is also a Trustee & Member of the Executive Committee at Xavier University of Louisiana. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University and earned an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Background on Stefanie Shelley
Ms. Shelley held CMO and general management roles at JP Morgan Chase, Capital One, Citibank, Broadridge Financial Solutions and GE and GE Capital, playing an integral role in strategy development, product management, marketing, change management and growth. Currently she is a Board Director at Mercer Advisors, a national Registered Investment Adviser (RIA), full-service wealth management firm.
Previously, she was a board director and audit committee member of Green Bancorp, a public regional bank in Texas, where the bank grew significantly, went public and merged with Veritex Bank, making it a leading independent bank in Texas. Her board experience includes strategic issues, M&A, crisis management and ongoing board governance at public, private equity-owned and non-profit company boards. Ms. Shelley also has deep experience in digital transformation and value creation and held leadership roles launching early stage ventures and creating innovative business models and digital strategies in global companies.
In addition to her board work, Ms. Shelley is an advisor to CEOs and C-suite leaders on growth and value creation and a certified coach on leadership development. Ms. Shelley also sits on a nonprofit board, the Gift of Adoption, a national organization that provides financial assistance grants to assist in the adoption of the most vulnerable children.
Ms. Shelley has an MBA from the Wharton School
at the University of Pennsylvania and a BA from Colgate University.
About Palladium Equity Partners
Palladium is a middle market private equity firm with nearly $3 billion of assets under management. The firm seeks to acquire and grow companies in partnership with founders and experienced management teams by providing capital, strategic guidance and operational oversight. Since its founding in 1997, Palladium has made 36 platform investments and over 135 add-on acquisitions. For more information on Palladium Equity Partners, please visit www.palladiumequity.com.
About Fora Financial
Founded in June 2008, Fora Financial offers flexible financing solutions to small and medium sized businesses in need of additional working capital to sustain or grow their enterprise. The company places a high value on transparency and provides businesses with fast, personalized small business loans and merchant cash advances, utilizing its state-of-the-art technology and unwavering customer service. In 2018, Fora Financial acquired a significant stake in US Business Funding, which created one of the largest and most comprehensive organizations in the alternative small and medium enterprise lending space. The combined company has provided more than $2.0 billion of financing to small business owners and now employs over 150 people at its New York City and California locations.