Puerto Rico Police Association launches lending platform for first responders
The Puerto Rico Police Members Association (AMPPR, in Spanish), in partnership with Orchid Funding LLC, announced the launch of a new lending program for its members, public employees, and pensioners.
In anticipation of the lending platform’s launch, AMPPR and Orchid closed a $25 million credit facility with Celeres Capital Advisors LLC, Medalist Partners LP, and co-investors.
With initial financing in-hand, AMPPR will launch a marketing promotion and rollout the program over the next six months, the organization confirmed.
“Based on milestones and other terms within the agreement structured by Celeres, AMPPR has the flexibility to increase the credit facility to $100+ million,” the parties confirmed in a statement.
The program leverages Orchid’s lending capabilities and the benefits provided by Puerto Rico’s Act 94, which provides for loan payments through automatic deductions from payroll or pension payments.
The program’s principles will ensure each loan is based on Consumer Financial Protection Bureau guidance, which intends for borrowers to not become overburdened and will offer loans at a lower rate than other Puerto Rico lending sources, the association stated.
“We heard our members loud and clear. They needed ways of accessing loans and the options available to them were not enough,” said Jose J. Taboada, AMPPR president.
“Creating this program is the culmination of years of effort and we are happy to share that AMPPR’s portion of the profits will be used to support families of our members that fell in the line of duty, including scholarships for their children,” he said.
The program will initially focus on funding AMPPR members, and, over time, be available to most Puerto Rico government/municipal employees and pensioners, he added.
“We’re excited to work with AMPPR, Orchid, and Celeres to provide this inaugural debt financing, which will kickstart the Orchid origination and servicing platform,” said John Slonieski, director of Private Credit and partner at Medalist Partners.
“We believe the unique structure of Act 94, extensive experience of Orchid’s management team, commitment to service, and innovative lending strategy make this company an ideal fit for a secured debt transaction within our asset-based private credit business,” Slonieski said.
The Police Members Association of Puerto Rico is a nonprofit organization established in 1934 to provide services for active employees and pensioners of the police force.
“It’s not every day that you have the opportunity to positively impact an entire economy by providing much needed capital access to employees representing one in every five members of the workforce in Puerto Rico,” said Frank Turner, senior managing Partner at Celeres.
“Act 94 allows AMPPR and Orchid to provide public employees an affordable product that is less expensive than the average cost of small loans that the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions is reporting in the Puerto Rico market today,” Turner said.
Celeres Capital Advisors was advised by a team led by Jeffrey Stern at Winston & Strawn LLP and O’Neill & Borges LLC.