Banking veteran to become executive chairman of Colo. fintech firm

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Chris Marshall, former chief financial officer of Capital Bank in Charlotte, N.C., has found a new gig outside of banking.

Marshall, who helped Capital Bank become a $10 billion-asset company before last year's sale to First Horizon, has agreed to become executive chairman of Tax Guard, a fintech firm in Boulder, Colo., that helps lenders assess borrowers’ tax-related risks.

Private equity firm Falfurrias Capital Partners, which was launched in 2006 by former Bank of America executives Hugh McColl and Marc Oken, said in a press release Tuesday that it had invested an undisclosed sum in the fintech firm. Marshall's appointment was part of the deal.

Falfurrias, which was also an early investor in Capital, will add three other directors to Tax Guard’s board.

Tax Guard, which employs about 120 people, has 350 bank and nonbank clients. The firm uses technology to let lenders know if potential clients owe money to the IRS.

It’s hard for banks to know that information unless the IRS files a tax lien, Marshall said in an interview.

“Tax debt is really a very clear, but early, indicator of financial problems,” Marshall added. “Absent someone like Tax Guard, there is no way for a bank to know if [a client has] cash flow problems and are not paying the IRS.”

Most of Tax Guard’s clients today are community banks. Marshall said he hopes to add more midsize banks as clients.

Oken, a former Capital Bank director who hired Marshall to work for him at Bank of America about 20 years ago, had been interested in having Marshall involved in a Falfurrias portfolio company under the right circumstances. Marshall, meanwhile, helped Falfurrias vet investment opportunities.

Tax Guard was "a win-win for both of us, really,” Oken said in an interview.

Marshall, who will remain in Charlotte, will work with Hansen Rada, Tax Guard’s founder and CEO, on expansion.

When asked if he hopes to get back into the banking industry, Marshall said he plans to join the board of a bank soon, though he added that he isn't ready to announce the institution. The banking veteran said he is interested in an expansion-minded bank or fixing a struggling firm.

“The only thing I’m not interested in doing is going in and maintaining something," Marshall said. "If it ends up being in banking, great. Or something else like Tax Guard would be cool, too.”

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