William “Billy” Procida is founder and president of Procida Funding & Advisors in Englewood Cliffs. — Photo courtesy: Aaron Houston
By Joshua Burd
Procida Funding & Advisors has named three new principals alongside its founder, helping to cement the future of the Englewood Cliffs-based lender and financial services firm.
The executives — Mike Coen, Derek Weissman and Brian Foley — assumed their new roles earlier this year after joining the company between 2015 and 2016. The addition of the new partners comes 26 years after veteran developer, investor and financier Billy Procida launched the firm, with a focus on distressed and complex projects across multiple asset classes.
Notably, Procida has a personal connection to each partner or his family, providing a clearer path to a succession plan for his firm.
“This was by far the smoothest, easiest execution, so I couldn’t be happier, personally,” Procida said in a recent interview. “And I kind of feel like I can go to work now and know that if I get hit by a car, my company will continue on.”
Coen, who joined Procida Funding in June 2015, spearheads syndication and distribution of loans made from the firm’s 100 Mile Fund. His father and Procida are longtime friends, the latter said, recalling that the younger Coen “walked in seven years ago for an interview at 9 and started working full-time at 9:05.”
Weissman, meantime, attended high school and college with Procida’s daughter. He completed two internships with Procida Funding and joined full-time in 2015, overseeing the asset management division and a portfolio of more than $250 million.
Foley, for his part, is the nephew of another longtime friend of Procida, joining the firm in 2016 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. He now leads the company’s originations department after initially focusing on REO assets and distressed deals.
Coen, Weissman and Foley each rose to vice president and, thanks in part to their pre-existing relationships, had Procida’s trust and the autonomy to deal directly with prominent developers, investors and stakeholders involved in the firm’s transactions. As Coen noted, that opportunity wouldn’t necessarily be available to them at a larger company.
He added that the team is cohesive, both inside and outside the office.
“We’ve been very fortunate that we’ve all gelled as well as we have, not just us three, but everyone else in the office,” Coen said.
Weissman added that Procida has already allowed each of the three partners to take the lead in sourcing new business. That will likely make for an easier transition from employee to partner and taking an even larger role in growing the firm.
“One of the great things is that, once you get here, Billy gives you the ability to find deals that you like to do and push them forward,” Weissman said. “So in some capacities, maybe our title has changed and that carries a little more weight, but at least for the last three or four years we’ve been able to pick out and source deals on our own and bring them to the table.”
They added that Procida’s personal connections run throughout the firm and go beyond his newest partners. That includes Asset Manager Kyle Smyth, the son of a Procida investor and longtime friend, and Omar Khan, whose grandfather was Procida’s first investor in 1982.
Nathaniel Johns, a member of the originations and due diligence team, is the nephew of Procida’s former lawyer, he said. He joined the firm in 2020 after two internships.
“It’s very rare that you just walk off the street,” Foley said of how Procida builds his team. “He prides himself on cultivating a network of people inside the company that have a connection with him and to the rest of the company.”