Why I Became a CLP
Greg Rieke--"Small Ticket Lessor"
This is the fourteenth article in a series about the Certified Lease Professional program, explaining why individuals decided to become a CLP, the process, and their reaction to the knowledge and other benefits gained.
Greg Rieke---"Small Ticket Lessor"
March, 2000, Greg started Genesis Commercial Capital, Irvine, California, where he now employees 25 people. He is responsible for all facets of owning and operating a small-ticket leasing company. Daily activities include credit underwriting, documentation review, funding & treasury, accounting, and compliance. He started out at Balboa Capital in September, 1993 and worked his way up to chief operating officer, before going out on his own. It was a change from managing a staff of 65 in the areas of credit underwriting, IT, portfolio management, commercial syndication, and contract administration.
He also assisted the company in growing from a headcount of 25 to 250. At Balboa, he was also instrumental in developing warehouse lines, commercial paper conduits, and securitization vehicle for equipment leases. Prior his was a commercial lending officer at Wells Fargo Bank for six years.
Today he has been married for six years with twin girls that are 16 months old. Education: BS in Ag Economics from California State University, Fresno. Outside Activities: Serving in my local church and real estate investment/development. Hobbies: Jogging, being outdoors, professional & college sports, and time with family.
"My decision to become a CLP was largely influenced by Shawn Giffin and Patrick Byrne (the original founders of Balboa Capital.) It was the summer of 1995 and I'd been working at Balboa Capital for approximately two years. Shawn and Patrick had created a culture where employees were always challenged to better themselves. In fact, I recall it became somewhat of a contest amongst employees at Balboa to obtain the CLP designation. So, along with a few of my colleagues, we committed to take the next CLP exam.
"Both Shawn and Pat were CLP's. I thought if they thought so much of the designation, I should also overcome the worry about whether I could become one, too. I'd heard much about the CLP exam, so I took it serious and studied extensively. And I'm sure glad I did, because it was one of the most challenging exams I'd ever taken. It covered every aspect of the leasing business, including how to sell a lease, pricing a lease, credit, documentation, funding, accounting, and taxation just to name some of the topics covered.
I was very proud to pass on my first attempt, and ecstatic I wouldn't have to study for it again!
Becoming a CLP also gave me the courage to start a new leasing company, Genesis Commercial Capital. Because we started business in 2000, a relative low-point in the leasing industry, I know what it means to fight each day for survival.
I'm very proud of what we've accomplished so far at Genesis, and consider myself truly blessed by two incredible business partners and 25 talented employees.
I think the designation also gave me help in working with the funding sources where the key persons such as Paul Menzel at Pacific Capital Bank , Ted Brownrigg and Dave Schaefer at Orion First Financial , Ron Wagner and Ben Millerbis at Pentech Financial , just to name a few.
I can also tell you When you deal with a broker or lessor who is a CLP, there is a immediate level of trust and creditability that I also extend to anyone that is a CLP.
While we don't have an official program here, I would gladly pay for the cost for any of my employees that wanted to sit for the CLP Exam. I also am in favor of having a mentor come in during the day and while employees are on our payroll, to help them study for the exam and learn from the "Handbook of Leasing."
As I look back on my 13 years in the leasing industry, obtaining the CLP designation would absolutely be amongst my "top ten" biggest professional achievements. And much more important, I view the CLP designation and CLP Foundation as a significant way we can support higher business competencies & standards in our industry.