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Business News/ Brand Stories / Interview with Evan Wilkoff - Getting Started and Achieving Success

Interview with Evan Wilkoff - Getting Started and Achieving Success

During his tenure at Ascentium, Evan Wilkoff identified, recruited, and helped acquire, build, and integrate three successful business platforms: truck finance, a direct-to-end-user call center, and a micro-ticket point-of-sale equipment finance division

Interview with Evan Wilkoff - Getting Started and Achieving SuccessPremium
Interview with Evan Wilkoff - Getting Started and Achieving Success

Evan Wilkoff is a skilled professional with a wealth of expertise in asset-backed and structured finance, including lending, modeling, origination, treasury management, and consulting services. He is a capable leader with a proven track record of creating profitable businesses and platforms.

From 2010 to 2021, Evan served as the Executive Vice President of Ascentium Capital LLC. He was handpicked to join the executive management team, where he was responsible for all capital markets and treasury activities. During his time at Ascentium, Evan designed and implemented a diversified funding strategy that included a robust asset-backed security issuance program, multiple credit facilities from money-center banks, and various syndication sources. Under Evan's leadership, the origination volume exceeded $2 billion in less than five years and $8 billion in ten years.

Evan Wilkoff oversaw all aspects of Ascentium's asset-backed securities issuance program, interacting with rating agencies, investors, underwriters, securities counsel, and other participants. He built the program from scratch, issuing $3.4 billion across 12 transactions. 

Additionally, he efficiently executed portfolio sales totaling $1.4 billion to 57 purchasers, generating 5+% gains. Evan also established and managed an offshore reinsurance company that produced significant net underwriting profits for Ascentium's forced-placed insurance product with its insurance partner.

During his tenure at Ascentium, Evan identified, recruited, and helped acquire, build, and integrate three successful business platforms: truck finance, a direct-to-end-user call center, and a micro-ticket point-of-sale equipment finance division.

Before joining Ascentium, Evan tripled annual revenues as the Director of Commercial Asset Finance at Wells Fargo Securities, growing revenue to $14 million in three years. 

We recently had the opportunity to interview Evan Wilkoff and learn a little more about his professional background and career.

How did you get started?   

As a student, my passion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) was evident. Throughout high school, I excelled in these subjects, constantly seeking out challenging coursework and extracurricular activities to further develop my skills and knowledge. It was only natural for me to pursue a degree in Engineering in college.

My time in college was exciting and rewarding. I had the opportunity to delve deeper into my interests and take courses that were not only challenging but also helped me build a strong foundation in STEM subjects. I also participated in various extracurricular activities that allowed me to develop leadership skills, collaborate with other students, and broaden my perspectives on different topics.

After graduating, I landed a job with KPMG Consulting in New York City, where I began my career in the finance industry. At KPMG, I was responsible for modeling structured asset-backed financial instruments, which required an understanding of various types of financial assets (residential and commercial mortgages, leases, credit cards, etc.) and how they behaved both in individual and pooled formats. The experience I gained at KPMG was invaluable, and it set me up for a successful career in the finance industry.

Over the years, I was successively recruited by various companies as I leveraged my expertise and expanded my skill set, leading to new opportunities and challenges. However, throughout my career, I never forgot my STEM roots. In fact, my background in STEM subjects has been instrumental in my success in the finance industry.

In investment banking, for example, I have had to analyze complex financial models, perform due diligence on various transactions, and communicate technical information to clients in a clear and concise manner. My ability to understand and work with complex mathematical and statistical concepts has been crucial to my success in these areas.

Similarly, in other financial services companies, I have been able to use my STEM knowledge to develop and implement innovative financial products and solutions that have helped clients achieve their goals. This has involved everything from data analysis and risk modeling to developing algorithms and using technology to streamline processes. Being able to guide and "talk to" the legal, sales, credit, operations, collections, accounting, and technology departments has proved to be an invaluable skill set over the years as my management experience has grown.

In short, my passion for STEM subjects has been a driving force in my career. It has allowed me to leverage my knowledge and expertise in ways that have helped me succeed in the finance industry and make meaningful contributions to my clients and colleagues.

What is the toughest decision you've had to make in the last few months? 

In the last few months, one of the toughest decisions I've had to make was letting various exciting work opportunities pass by due to a tight non-compete covenant. As someone who is passionate about my work and always looking for new and exciting opportunities, it was difficult to have to turn down potential projects and partnerships.

The non-compete covenant was in place as part of a previous employment agreement, and while I understood the reasoning behind it, it was still challenging to navigate. On the one hand, I wanted to explore new opportunities and continue growing my skills and experience. On the other hand, I knew that I had committed to not engaging in certain types of work for a specific period of time.

Ultimately, I had to weigh the short-term benefits of taking on these exciting opportunities against the potential long-term consequences of violating the non-compete covenant. I had to remind myself of the importance of maintaining my professional integrity and honoring the commitments I had made in the past.

While it was difficult to let these opportunities pass by, I believe that sticking to my non-compete covenant was the right decision in the long run. It allowed me to maintain my reputation as a trustworthy and ethical professional, and it gave me the time and space to focus on other areas that were not subject to the covenant.

What do you think it is that makes you successful?  

Being able to efficiently apply what I know and am good at is a key factor in my success because it allows me to use my skills and knowledge to their fullest potential. This means I am able to identify my strengths and utilize them in a strategic manner while also recognizing areas where I may need to improve and being willing to learn new skills and acquire knowledge.

Delegating tasks outside of my areas of strength is also an important factor in my success. By recognizing where my skills and knowledge may fall short, I can identify others who can bring value to the project and assign tasks accordingly. This allows me to focus on my own strengths and delegate tasks to others who can complete them more efficiently and effectively.

Successful delegation requires strong communication skills, the ability to identify the right people for the right tasks and trust in my team members to complete their tasks to the best of their ability. It also involves being willing to let go of control and allowing others to take ownership of their tasks while still providing guidance and support where needed. I have been blessed throughout my career to have had the opportunity to work alongside many outstanding people who were driven experts in their fields.

Disclaimer: This article is a paid publication and does not have journalistic/editorial involvement of Hindustan Times. Hindustan Times does not endorse/subscribe to the content(s) of the article/advertisement and/or view(s) expressed herein. Hindustan Times shall not in any manner, be responsible and/or liable in any manner whatsoever for all that is stated in the article and/or also with regard to the view(s), opinion(s), announcement(s), declaration(s), affirmation(s) etc., stated/featured in the same. 


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Published: 24 Apr 2023, 06:13 PM IST
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