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 client’s businesses is our top priority and 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 that will enable them to grow, thrive, and serve their members.
  • 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 25 years. He began his career in commercial banking and served as a commercial lender, charged with commercial credit analysis and loan review. During a period of financial institution consolidation, Ricky formed a regional consulting firm with specific services related to small businesses. Here he continued his focus on helping businesses by providing services such as: business valuations; conventional loan procurement; SBA and USDA compilations and closings; risk analysis; and financial, estate, tax and investment planning. In November 2008, Carter Federal Credit Union called on Ricky to produce a strategic plan for a new Member Business Lending CUSO. In September 2009, seven Credit Unions from Louisiana formed Business Alliance Financial Services, LLC (BAFS) and asked Ricky to serve as President/CEO.  As of September, 2018 BAFS services 52 credit unions with an aggregate portfolio exceeding  $800MM.

Ricky is a graduate from Louisiana Tech University with a Bachelor of Science Degree 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.

James Shannon White

Executive Vice-President/Chief Operations Officer

Shannon brings to BAFS over twenty plus years of banking, specializing in financial and business analysis, industry and market economic analysis, financial forecasting, small business counseling, SBA loans, and credit analysis for a diversity of manufacturing, retail, service and commercial property development companies.

Shannon serves as Chief Credit Officer managing and ensure that the credit department services enhance and meet the needs of our credit union partners.  He brings to the department and the company a background and expertise in analyzing the needs and shortfall of an existing business, presenting workable solutions and forecasting potential revenue.  Shannon also has vast experience in SBA lending and has brought this loan product to a new level at BAFS.  His expertise and past working relationships have opened doors to many new opportunities for our credit union member business and credit union staff.  For example, he was instrumental in bringing the RMA training to BAFS.  This financial training institute has never been available for credit unions before and we are exclusively offering the training to CUSO member credit union staff, loan committee and board members.  Shannon serves as our Director of the RMA training program.

He received his Bachelors of Finance from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock, Arkansas. Later he received his Masters from Henderson State University and certification from the School of Banking while attending the University of Colorado.

Jason Carter

SVP/Chief Information Officer

Jason brings over 20 year of experience within the Information Technology industry with over 10 years serving in management roles within the Financial Services Industry.  He began his career performing desktop support tasks, then migrating to network engineering, eventually progressing into Technology leadership roles.  Jason has also been an entrepreneur, owning and managing a private IT consulting firm in Northern Louisiana.  It was out of his consulting relationship that he had the vision to build our Custom Web Portal.

Jason now serves as Chief Information Officer ensuring that our systems and informational assets are protected and adhere to industry regulations such as GLBA.  In addition to regulator and industry compliance, Jason is responsible for the future development and growth of our custom software applications.  He serves as a member of our Information Technology Committee and is integral in the road map of our platforms.

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

Brian Fleming

SVP /Chief Lending Officer

Brian Fleming is a native of Monroe, LA where he graduated from the University of Louisiana at Monroe with a degree in Business Management and Finance. Prior to his career in finance, Brain served as an Infantry Platoon Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps until his retirement in 2003. It was after serving in the Marines that he began his banking profession. Working for medium to large sized financial institutions, he has served as branch manager, commercial relationship manager, business lender, and has managed large commercial loan portfolios. Brian has a wealth of experience performing financial reviews geared toward identifying deficiencies, providing sound financial solutions, and has been responsible for performing pre-credit and financial analysis for some of our largest financial institutions. Brian has continued to expand his knowledge by completing professional development courses for small business and commercial lending including the MZ BIERLY Business Lenders Curriculum, RMA development courses, and the Bauer Commercial Lending School at the University of Houston. Brian is now an instructor at the University of Houston Commercial Lending School

At BAFS, you will find Brian managing the Loan Production Department, which includes the Credit Underwriting department, Loan Origination department, and the Loan Document department. In addition, Brian serves as our Chief Relationship Officer (CRO) and is responsible for all client development and marketing activities. Brian is regularly contacted by our partner credit unions to assist with credit structure, construction loan guidance, and provides knowledgeable council related to general loan questions on prospective or current business loans. He has been instrumental in the coordination of numerous educational workshops for Credit Union staff training, business development workshops, and serves as a consultant regarding the structure of new business ventures/start-ups. Brian routinely provides assistance to Commercial Credit Committees regarding commercial relationships and provides hands-on assistance during third party and NCUA reviews.

Steve Martens

SVP /Director of Loan Audit & Review

Steve joined BAFS in 2017, as Loan Audit & Review Department Manager. He brings a vast and wide range of exceptional experience to our team some of which include: accounting, credit analysis, commercial lending, and compliance.

During his 30 years in the banking and finance industry, Steve has gathered vast knowledge and skills needed to oversee the asset quality of the portfolio, assuring acceptable credit standards are practiced, while ensuring that relevant state and federal laws and regulations are maintained. His main role is to oversee and perform regular loan and portfolio reviews based on risk, size, and complexity of all credit types.

Steve is also responsible for the development of the CUSO’s Dual Risk Rating Systems utilizing both loss- given default measures and probability of default measures. His role is not only its creation, but also the implementation of the system.

Annually each member credit union has their loan policy reviewed for adequacy, and validation that applicable laws and regulations are consistently addressed. He will make recommendations for changes and updates and/or revisions to the credit union’s policy content as needed or mandated by current laws or NCUA standards.

Anita Smith

SVP /Director of Credit Administration & ERM

Anita Smith joined BAFS in November of 2017. Anita graduated form the University of Louisiana at Monroe with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a focus on Finance – Commercial Banking. She has been in the banking and finance industry for 30+ years and brings vast experience to our team including Trust, Internal Audit, Loan Review, Portfolio Management, Operational Risk Management and Financial Analysis. Anita has received the designations of Certified Bank Auditor and Certified Internal Auditor.

Anita is responsible for managing the Credit Administration Division including the Loan Accounting function along with the Credit & Collateral File Management & Quality Control function.

Anita is also responsible for implementing and managing the Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) process for the company. Enterprise Risk Management includes setting strategic goals for the company that are in line with it’s mission and vision, then understanding the risks associated with the strategic goals, and managing that risk according to the risk appetite of the company.

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