Financing Firm Launches Online 'Deal Room'

General Electric Capital's Structured Finance Group handles complex financing deals that can take up to six months to process.

But there might be a way to cut that time by 10% to 20%, says Kevin Walsh, the group's managing director of e-business.

Two months ago, the company launched an "e-deal" room, which is currently being used to manage 35 deals across various industries.

"We think this is a terrific way to transform a complex and cumbersome deal-making process," Walsh says. According to Walsh, 10 to 12 people are usually involved in a deal. A telecommunications equipment build-out, for example, can take months of assessment, evaluation, contract development, lease structuring and pricing. Once a deal is struck, large amounts of data continue to move between the customer and the financing group.

The Structured Finance Group Web site ( also hosts tools, such as an oil and gas reserve calculator that can be used to estimate the worth of an oil or gas property.

Currently, the project collaboration tools are provided by an outside vendor. However, Walsh says his group is in the process of building its own tools, which are expected to be online by the fourth quarter.

About one month ago, one of GE Capital's oil and gas industry customers began piloting an automated reporting package that's expected to remove 10% to 20% of the costs of monitoring and complying with loan documents. Additional customers are expected to join in the next few weeks.

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