Getting to know your competition is easy when they are the size of General Electric Capital Corp. or AT&T. But what if you're up against a 10- person shop specializing in niche financing?

That's what many bankers are facing from lenders like John Fox, president of Baltimore-based Reservoir Capital Corp. Started with just three employees in 1991, the factoring company has grown to 14 employees and today is buying $12 million to $15 million of new assets every month.

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