Small-business lending executive Christopher Hurn said Monday he is preparing to announce a new business venture after stepping down as chief executive officer of Orlando-based Mercantile Capital Corp., the company he co-founded a dozen years ago,
Hurn, 42, a frequent commentator on cable-TV business news programs, said it was "premature" to disclose details. An announcement is coming in early August, he said.
Some questions remain about Hurn's exit at Mercantile Capital.
"Chris Hurn was released from employment at Mercantile Capital," said John Burden, chief executive of Orlando-based Old Florida Bank, Mercantile's parent company. Burden would not elaborate on Hurn's exit. Hurn would not comment on Burden's statement.
In a prepared statement, Mercantile Capital chairman Geoffrey Longstaff said Hurn is pursuing unspecified entrepreneurial interests. Longstaff co-founded the business with Hurn in 2002.
"We wish Chris well in his entrepreneurial adventures and expect nothing less than very big things from him in the future," Longstaff said. "As a co-founder and 'the face' of Mercantile since the very beginning, this is no small change."
State business records list Hurn as a principal several businesses, including ATCC Management Group LLC of Longwood; Kennedy's International Franchising LLC of Orlando; and SpreheFamily Investments LLC, based in Lake Mary.
Longstaff said Mercantile would "continue providing commercial real estate financing for our small business clients in a way that befits our nationwide reputation."
Mercantile Capital is regarded as one of the country's largest Small Business Administration lenders, focusing on the SBA 504 program, which lends to businesses that plan to acquire or expand the facilities where they are located.
Through the first six months of this year, the company closed 18 SBA loans worth a combined $80.1 million, Mercantile reported last week. The businesses that received the loans created more than 500 jobs in nine states, according to the report.
Mercantile was acquired by Old Florida Bank in 2010 and operates as a subsidiary of the region's largest Orlando-based community bank.
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