Jay M. Starr is an experienced lawyer who has founded, owned and operated commercial finance companies as president or chief executive officer. He combines knowledge of corporate and commercial law, including cross-border trade and finance, with practical business knowledge.
Mr. Starr concentrates his law practice in structured finance, international trade, placement and refinancing of secured debt, workouts, debt restructuring and finance-based crisis management. In that capacity, he works, consults and coordinates with and augments his client’s senior management, counsel, accountants and financial representatives.
His engagements range from structured finance projects for both publicly and privately held corporations to representation of a former Vice Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange in complex international trade finance transactions. He has assisted public companies with the financing of capital projects secured by Letters of Credit and Standby Letters of Credit, structured long-term contracts for the sale of capital goods to foreign purchasers, negotiated and managed imports of goods on behalf of American companies and drafted, negotiated and managed a wide variety of structured debt transactions, including the use of negotiable and special purpose instruments.
In his business life over the past 20 years, Mr. Starr originated, acquired and managed factoring and asset-based lending portfolios through three successful startups. He was the moving force behind each of the start-ups: developing the plans, the products, the milestones, metrics, marketing, operations and hiring for each.
He was founder and President of Praxis Capital, a factor and asset-based lender. Prior to starting Praxis, he was Chief Executive Officer of Mercantile Capital, LP, an asset-based lender, which he co-founded. While CEO of Mercantile Capital, Mr. Starr was instrumental in the founding and organization of Preferred Capital Bidco, L.P., a Small Business Administration lender. Prior to organizing Mercantile Capital, he was President of Philadelphia Factors, Inc., a factoring company that he also co-founded.
During his leadership of three asset-based lenders, he processed over $1 billion of accounts receivable, has supervised portfolios of nearly $200 million and has managed nearly $100 million of third-party debt. He has structured, documented, closed and supervised a wide range of factoring and asset-based loan transactions including international trade, Letters of Credit, purchase order finance, debtor-in-possession reorganization finance, vendor guarantees and corporate restructurings.
Mr. Starr has had an active law practice specializing in business and commercial law. He represented banks, factors and asset-based lenders both as lender’s counsel and as debtor’s counsel. In the late 1980’s, he was Vice President of a regional investment banking firm. Prior to that, he worked for a private Hong Kong-based investment group, starting as staff counsel, moving to Project Manager and later was appointed a Managing Director. During his tenure at the investment bank, he managed capital projects in Western Europe, South America, Southeast Asia and in the United States. In that capacity, he worked closely with banks, factors and asset-based lenders.
From 1986 to 1988, Mr. Starr served as a White House appointee to the State Department Advisory Committee on International Investment, Trade and Technology. During that time he provided consulting and legal services to a range of clients including the Turkish Republic in bi-lateral trade negotiations and Security Pacific Bank in its Hong Kong operations.
From 1994 to 2007, he was a Director of the Commercial Finance Association, the principal national organization of factors, asset-based lenders and commercial banks.
From 1999 through 2007, Mr. Starr was a member of the Board of Governors of Gratz College, the oldest Jewish teachers’ college in the nation. At Gratz, he served as Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the Finance Committee and from 2004 through 2007 he was Chairman of the Board of Governors. Through 2009, he was a member of the Executive Committee and is Immediate Past Chairman. While Chairman, he represented Gratz College as a Trustee of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.
From 2010 through 2012, he was Chairman of the Board of Visitors of the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professionals at the University of Hartford, where his late father was first and longest serving academic dean. He continues to serve as a member of the Board of Visitors. Mr. Starr also serves on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Labor Committee of Philadelphia and is Editor of the Jewish Labor Journal, the Committee's journal. He also serves on the Board of Advisors of and as consultant to the Conference of American Universities Abroad.
He has been a guest lecturer at the Wharton School and Drexel’s Lebow College of Business and has spoken extensively to business and professional organizations about commercial finance and international trade transactions. He has also contributed op-ed articles to the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent
Mr. Starr holds a JD from the University of Michigan Law School and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania. He is admitted to the Bar in Pennsylvania and Connecticut.