After graduating from college in 1974 with a joint degree in economics and Russian history, Rick worked in a variety of capacities for the predecessor banks to Bank of Boston in both Connecticut and Rhode Island rising to the level of Group Vice President in charge of all New England Corporate Banking and Correspondent Banking. In 1984, Rick joined Shawmut Bank to develop and run a national High Technology Finance Department. At that time, Shawmut was the third oldest and tenth largest Bank in the US. Within three years, this department was the second largest of its kind in the country both in term of total loans and investments but also in terms of number of relationships managed. With the advent of the banking crisis in New England in 1989, all corporate lending was consolidated at Shawmut and he was put in charge of this function and promoted to Senior Vice President. In 1992, after the regulatory environment eased, Rick was promoted to Division Executive in charge of developing and managing a National Specialty Finance Division which included lending groups dedicated to the Technology, Aerospace, Auto, Retail, Utility, and Sports industries.
Of particular relevance here, is the Sports Finance Group. Rick was responsible for developing and approving the strategic business plan and establishing the underwriting guidelines, which were the basis for the formation of Shawmut's Sports Finance Group. During my tenure, Shawmut's sports financing portfolio and its successor portfolios at Fleet, grew to over $2.0 billion in loan commitments and was the largest at the time in the Country. This Group was responsible for structuring the first multi-year securitization in sports finance, the $496 million Major League Baseball Credit facility (now over $2.0 billion), which first closed in 1996. During the Labor lock-out in the National Hockey League during 1995, the Group structured of the first and only NHL league-wide securitization which kept nearly a third of the franchises in the NHL out of bankruptcy during this period of time. Other non-franchise transactions included acquisition financing for Vail and American Ski as well as loans to concessionaires and venue management and marketing companies. Further, this Group initiated and structured numerous franchise and venue development transactions including individual loans to:
- Major League Baseball ("MLB") – Boston Red Sox; Milwaukee Brewers; San Diego Padres; New York Yankees; Pittsburgh Pirates
- National Hockey League ("NHL") – Boston Bruins; Buffalo Sabers; Dallas Stars; Phoenix Coyotes; Ottawa Senators; New York Islanders; Toronto
- National Basketball Association ("NBA") – Boston Celtics; Los Angeles Lakers; San Antonio Spurs; Toronto Raptors
- National Football League ("NFL") – Baltimore Ravens;Buffalo Bills;Miami Dolphins: Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Philadelphia Eagles, Patriots
- Arena & Stadium Finance – Fleet Center; Tampa Bay Ice Palace; M & T Stadium; MCI Center; Miller Park; HKSB Arena; FedEx Stadium; Great Western Forum; Bank One Ballpark