Business Alliance
Financial Services

BAFS is a full-service financial services organization that offers a daily, interactive and cost effective approach to establishing and maintaining a Commercial Loan Program.


Business Alliance Financial Services (BAFS) is a privately owned financial services organization providing commercial loan processing, servicing, training and consulting to financial institutions.

Founded in 2009, BAFS began with a mission and seven partner financial institutions. In 2010, BAFS expanded services to the state of Texas along with two additional Louisiana partners added during 2011. Expansion into the Arkansas market began in early 2012. We delivered our proprietary BLAST portal platform in 2014 and have been expanding it ever since. With our portal platform, we have started to service financial institutions all over the country with partners in Pennsylvania, California, Nevada, Alaska and growing.

BAFS believes that meeting the needs of our clients’ businesses’ is our top priority along with the survival of many smaller financial institutions in this current economic period. Our commitment to provide innovative solutions and services to our clients across the nation will never wavier. Acknowledgment as a national leader in business lending services with a reputation of being the best at what we do each day is our ultimate goal.

To provide a superior, cost-effective, and professional business service platform for our client financial institutions and the business community that they serve.


  • Enable each client to offer business services to their current and prospective customers and the small business community in a manner that further enhances client loyalty and institution market presence.
  • Provide solutions to the financial institution’s that will enable them to grow, thrive, and serve their clients.
  • Provide solutions and services to deserving small businesses that are forgotten and often overlooked in an ever-changing economic environment.

Management & Staff

Richard Guillot, CFP®


Richard (Ricky) Guillot has been active in the small business lending market for over 30 years. He began his career in commercial banking and served as a commercial lender, charged with commercial credit analysis and loan review. He formed a regional consulting firm with specific services related to small businesses. Here, Ricky continued his focus on helping businesses by providing services such as business valuations, business planning, and conventional, SBA, and USDA loan procurement. In September 2009, seven financial institutions from Louisiana formed Business Alliance Financial Services (BAFS) and asked Ricky to serve as President/CEO.  Since that time, the company has grown to over 100 employees and serves over 100 financial institutions with an aggregate portfolio surpassing $1.7 billion.

Ricky is a graduate from Louisiana Tech University with a Bachelor of Science holding a Major in Finance and a Minor in Accounting. He has a CFP designation from the College of Financial Planning in Denver, Colorado. He obtained certifications from the Bankers School of Supervisory Training from Louisiana State University and has met all academic requirements within the discipline of Business Valuation with American Society of Appraisers.  Ricky serves on multiple local and state economic development boards.

James Shannon White

Executive Vice-President/Chief Operations Officer

Shannon White started his financial career in 1991 and has worked for both community and regional banks.  Most of his career has been spent in commercial lending, business development, and bank management.  As a commercial loan officer, he has managed loan portfolio types including large corporate, high net worth individuals, middle market companies, agriculture, small business, commercial real estate, and non-profit organizations.  Shannon’s prior responsibilities included service as bank division president where he was responsible for building ten de novo branches managing over 150 associates.  He has also served as a CFT instructor for both commercial lending and commercial bank management courses.  Shannon is responsible for all lending operations including Credit Administration, Sales, and Client Experience.

Shannon earned a BBA in Finance and Accounting from University of Arkansas at Little Rock, an MBA from Henderson State University, and a Graduate School of Banking diploma from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Jason Carter

SVP/Chief Information Officer

Jason brings over 20 years of information technology industry experience and over 10 years of service in technology management roles within the Financial Services industry.  Jason’s progressive career began in desktop support, migrated to network engineering, and eventually landed in technology leadership.  He has also been an entrepreneur, owning and managing a private IT consulting firm.  It was out of his consulting relationship that he had the vision to build the BLAST® Commercial Lending and Administration Platform.  Jason now serves as owner of all IT and engineering functions for the company, driving future technology development and growth.  He serves as a member of our Information Technology Committee and is integral in the roadmap of our platforms.

Jason attended St. Petersburg College as well as Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, LA and holds several industry certifications.

Brian Fleming

SVP/Chief Lending Officer

Brian brings to BAFS over 20 years of conventional commercial and governmental guaranteed lending experience.  Serving as Chief Lending Officer, he is regularly called upon by our clients to assist with general credit structure, construction loan guidance, and to provide expert counsel related to prospective or existing commercial projects.  Brian has coordinated numerous educational courses related to commercial and business development and currently serves as an instructor at the BAFS Commercial Lending School.

Since his retirement from the United States Marine Corps where he served as an infantry platoon sergeant, Brian received his BBA from the University of Louisiana Monroe in 2004 and has completed numerous RMA and ABA professional development courses.  Brian has been married to his wife Kelly for almost 25 years and has a daughter, Kellyn, and a son, Benjamin.

Steve Martens

SVP/Chief Credit & Administration Officer

During his 30 years in the banking and finance industry, Steve has acquired the unrivaled knowledge and experience needed to oversee BAFS’ Loan Audit & Review departments.  In this capacity, he oversees portfolio asset quality, assures acceptable credit and compliance standards are practiced, and confirms that relevant state and federal laws and regulations are maintained.  Steve’s primary contribution is to oversee and perform regular loan and portfolio reviews based on risk, size, and complexity of all credit types.

Steve holds an undergraduate degree in finance and has over 30 years of experience in the banking and financial industries including 9 years as a bank market president.

Anita Smith

SVP/Risk Management Officer

Anita Smith joined BAFS in November of 2017 and is responsible for risk management for the company, which includes managing enterprise risk, vendor risk, business processes, change processes, and insurance coverage.  She has been in the banking and finance industry for over 30 years and brings vast experience to our team including trust, internal audit, loan review, portfolio management, operational risk management and financial analysis.

Anita graduated from the University of Louisiana at Monroe with a Bachelor of Business Administration with a focus on Finance – Commercial Banking.  Anita has received the designations of Certified Bank Auditor and Certified Internal Auditor.  She has most recently completed the COSO Enterprise Risk Management Certificate Program.

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