In an effort to support physical distancing without compromising connection, Stronghill Capital is proud to present our #StrongTeam series. Over the next several weeks we’ll be sharing interviews with key members of the Stronghill team so you can get to know each of us on an individual level. We believe establishing trust and like-ability is the first step to a successful and thriving business partnership. Today we’re kicking off our series with Art Hickson our Chief Revenue Officer.
Why is Stronghill the company you’ve chosen to work with?
It was the team that drew me in and made me feel confident about staying. The team’s mission aligned with my own–to be in pursuit of the goals of partners and clients.
How would you describe the mission and vision of Stronghill?
Our mission is to engage with a purpose. We work hard to identify, assess, mitigate and price risk as a group on the loans we do. Our focus as a company is to support the outcomes our capital partners and channel partners seek.
Can you name some things you appreciate about the Stronghill team?
- We give our word, and we keep it.
- We have bi-directional respect for everyone
- We communicate change early, often, and with notice.
- We have radical candor between all of us.
- We ride our brand, we believe in our brand, and we promote our brand as a team.
Why is Stronghill the obvious solution for new and experienced originators?
Our culture is one. We try to promote a positive and innovative workspace. We grow and learn together, we’re self-aware and accountable, we do communicate directly and respectfully (so I go back to radical candor) and we try to form a caring space. Now, let me answer in another way… If an originator wants to come here and they like our culture and want to move forward, they can make a lot of money here!
How do you see Stronghill evolving in 2021?
We’re leaving the startup phase. I expect us to double our volume for 2021 which would take us from $200M to $400M in loan production. I also see the culture evolving as we begin to set goals of engagement internally.
Do you believe Stronghill is a leader in the lending industry? If so, why?
I believe we’re evolving to be a leader. Our market share is very small, but we’re on our way to becoming [a leader].
What do you think needs to happen to propel Stronghill into that position of leadership?
Loan volume, and the experience we offer the client is ultimately what’s going to help us become a leader in the industry. We need to do more volume to become a major player in the arena. We’ve already surpassed some of our light competitors, but we want to be up there with other folks. That’s going to require us seeing new clients with larger transactions and assisting them.
What does Stronghill offer that other commercial lending companies do not?
Our focus is to be reliable to our clients. We are reliable, responsive, and responsible. We are efficient with things, but we are effective with people.
What is it about the lending industry that you love and gravitate towards?
Every day is different and challenging, you can never learn it all. I learn a new thing every day and I’ve been in this industry for 30 years. There are not too many ground hog days here. There’s always a new problem to solve and I enjoy structuring loans for our clients to meet their needs.
How did your career start in this industry and most importantly, why have you stayed?
I started as an analyst, a commercial loan analyst, and have worked pretty much every position in the mortgage finance industry. I’ve stayed because I can’t imagine doing anything else.
What do you want people to know about you?
Art Hickson the businessman: I’m here to facilitate and structure loans that meet the needs of our clients. I have financed billions of dollars of residential and commercial real estate throughout my career to assist my clients with achieving their goals. I standby to assist you on your next venture.
Art Hickson the person: I grew up in Hawaii and was there for 19 years. I spent time on the east coast in NY and Boston. I also lived in Newport Beach, CA for 30 years and have now re-located to Austin, TX. I’m an avid road biker, surfer, and race car driver. My favorite race car is a Porsche 9/11 Turbo. I have 3 daughters (22, 20, 16) and am happily married.