Send Leasing News to a friend
Leasing News
Independent Un-biased and Fair News about the Leasing Industry
Leasing News
Leasing News Archives
Leasing News Associations
Leasing News Job Postings and Classifieds
Contact Leasing News
Leasing News Sitemap
Leasing News List
Conference Locations for the Leasing Associations
Search Leasing News
Leasing News
Leasing News


Monday, April 14, 2003




Economic Events The Week

    Pictures from the Past---“Our First One”

        Paul Menzel---- ELA Funding Frontline Report

            ELA Claims "Pent-up Demand" for Leasing

        Union Safe Deposit Bank Expands Portfolio of Leases

    Cartoon--HP Financial

Streamlined Sales Tax Project Seeks Volunteers



This Border ##### Denotes Press Release (Not Written By Leasing News)



Economic Events The Week


April 14


Inventory-Sales Ratio: February

ELA Captives & Vendor Leasing Conference

World Golf Village Renaissance Resort, St. Augustine, FL.

ELA Principles of Leasing Workshop

Courtyard Marriott, Philadelphia, PA.


April 15


Industrial Production: March

Capacity Utilization: March

Tax Filing Date/estimated taxes due

ELA Captives & Vendor Leasing Conference

World Golf Village Renaissance Resort, St. Augustine, FL.

ELA Principles of Leasing Workshop

Courtyard Marriott, Philadelphia, PA.


April 16


Consumer Price Index: March

Housing Construction: March

ELA Principles of Leasing Workshop

Courtyard Marriott, Philadelphia, PA.


April 17


Weekly Jobless Claims


April 18


Federal Budget: March






Pictures from the Past---“Our First One”


August 26,2002 we started this feature in each edition, using a picture

from the “past.” We have been asking readers to send in photographs,

that we will return. Some have sent us pictures by e-mail, such as from

Duane Russell, Barry Reitman, Charlie Lester, and Steve Geller, to

mention a few.


Recently we started ask people who in the pictures what they have been doing

since the date of the photography. Some comments have been very interesting,

some entertaining, and others have used the opportunity to talk about their

company today.


We encourage all readers to contribute a picture that we can publish.


Here is the first one that started the series:







Bylines: Capturing “Hearts & Minds” is Critical to Success

Search is on for WMDs (Weapons of Mass Demand)

Supply Lines are Open despite coming under Heavy Attack





CHICAGO, IL - Despite assurances from the Iraqi Minister of Information that “Business has never been better and companies are experiencing triple digit growth with virtually no delinquency or losses”, three different and distinct themes emerged from a gathering of around 500 loyalists at ELA’s National Funding Exhibition.


The Fairmont Hotel at Grant Park served as the theater of engagement as 42 funding sources met with the elite forces of the leasing industry. Under chilly but crystal clear skies, a frenzy of meetings occurred over a Wednesday afternoon and full day on Thursday. The meeting room was efficiently laid out and well appointed for the series of 20 minute meetings between funders and originators. The schedules were set up in advance through the ELA website or on-site booth. Serious discussion sought targets of opportunity to set up coalitions for success. New relationships were pursued and celebrated at well-attended receptions at the end of each day.


Although total attendance (500+) was down 10% from the prior year and well below the annual exhibition’s highpoint of 738 in the spring of 2000, the number of Funding Source Exhibitors (42) increased by 20% over 2002. CentCom (ELA Staff) theorized that the increase in Exhibitors, along with a higher than usual ratio of Funder to Originator attendees, suggests a turning point in the economic war being fought in cities all around the country.


“Business is tough,” said Mike Fleming, President of ELA. “The showing at this conference reflects the exact same reaction our industry had to the last Gulf War and economic downturn ten years ago.” This is the second economic cycle the Funding Exhibition has experienced since it was established in the late 80’s. The Exhibit remains one of the most successful gatherings of industry professionals that the ELA sponsors. “The difference this time around is that low interest rates are having a positive impact on the cost of debt which is so critical to the survival of leasing companies holding portfolios”, added Fleming.


Edward Dahlka, Chairman of the ELA and President of LaSalle National Leasing Corp., reminded everyone that “Our industry always does better in a rising interest rate environment and it doesn’t look like we will start seeing that until the end of the war.”


For the first time in several years, the Funding Exhibition Committee scheduled two 90 minute breakout sessions on Thursday morning. The attendance at both sessions was so good that a few exhibitors complained that there was a noticeable drop in activity in the exhibit hall during that period. A high-energy atmosphere quickly returned for the remainder of the day.


The speaker’s panel for the first breakout session, titled “The Bank Market: What are they doing and what do they expect?” was moderated by Scott Gates of Diversity Capital and included Michael Evans, SVP of Sterling Bank Leasing, Dennis Roesslein, VP of MB Financial Bank, and yours truly. The follow-up session presented the lessor’s perspective on how the Best in Class of independent leasing companies present themselves and manage their funding relationships. The second session was moderated by William Verhelle, CEO of First American Equipment Finance, and included Chris Czaja, VP of Relational Funding Corp., and Tom Howard, EVP of Eplus Group, Inc.


An impressive cadre of leasing special forces went out of their way to capture the “Hearts and Minds” of the captains of capital. There was unanimous agreement on both sides that the key to success today and in the future was for leasing companies to take the time to get to know and understand their bankers and funding sources. Lessors described the extent to which they communicated with their bankers and the type and depth of information they provided to maintain the trust in the relationship.


The Bank sources emphasized how important the depth and quality of applications, term sheets, and credit packages has become in today’s business environment. The concern over asset quality and the increased regulatory burden were the primary reasons cited for this enhanced scrutiny. The spirit of the U.S. Patriot Act will require all financial firms to “know your customer”. Banks that provide non-recourse funds emphasized how important “attitude” toward the relationship and asset quality was in deciding with whom they will deploy their capital in the future. The times of “transaction risk transference” are being replaced by funding relationships in which the originator provides ongoing service as the intermediary.


A clear and present challenge facing the industry was finding “WMDs”. Weapons of Mass Demand are the only missing ingredients in the success equation for leasing companies and capital sources.


The absence of “cap ex’ was on everyone’s mind and the subject of every conversation. “When are businesses going to start spending to replace their equipment?” was the question of the day. Much speculation focused on when the economy might pick up or if we were facing a second dip into recession. The optimists were predicting a much better second half of 2003. Everyone agreed that the length of the war would be an important factor.


The first signs of spring in the Midwest interestingly coincided with a report that the Consumer Sentiment Index increased to over 83 in April from a ten year low of just above 77 in March. This possible sign of an emerging economy was followed over the weekend with a report of the first increase in retail sales in seventeen months.

The lessons of the first Gulf War may give us insight into economic prospects today. The one parallel in the war comparison that is hoped for is that the same prosperity emerges that persisted through the 90s.


Intelligence sources active at the Exhibition reported that substantial “chatter” was being detected between Funding Sources. Every Funding Source interviewed by this reporter revealed in private that they are anxious to lend and are struggling to meet growth goals. Even though it was acknowledged that portfolios were shell shocked, those Funders in attendance had clearly survived heavy attacks on credit quality over the last couple of years.


The present assessment is that “Supply Lines are Open”. A major difference from the first Gulf War recession is that we are not in a credit or liquidity crunch this time around. The supply side of the equation is not the greater challenge.

Thursday’s luncheon was highlighted by the leadership insights and secrets of Michael Abrashoff, former Commander of U.S.S. Benfold and former military assistant to the Secretary of Defense under the Honorable Dr. William J. Perry. Mr. Abrashoff was involved in critical missions during the Gulf War.


There are many lessons Mr. Abrashoff took from his military leadership experiences that are vital to success in business as well. He reminded the audience that, “We are all playing to win”. When he was first assigned to take over the U.S.S. Benfold, which won the prestigious Spokane Trophy for having the highest degree of combat readiness, morale was low and turnover was high. He discovered that they “…were spending more time fighting amongst ourselves than preparing to fight the enemy.”


Mr. Abrashoff advised our industry to attract and retain the best and the brightest; get employees to take ownership by empowering them to make decisions; find the rust in your organization; and allow your employees to have fun. His leadership anecdotes are the subject of his recently published book, It’s Your Ship.


While some prominent members of the leasing industry chose to stay home and not participate in the rebuilding of the funding landscape, the committed loyalists were busy in establishing coalitions for success in the future. Those in attendance were certainly counting on the adage that “to the victors go the spoils”, as they went home content that their attendance at the 2003 ELA Funding Exhibition was an important step in winning the battles for future prosperity.


Paul J. Menzel, CLP

Senior Vice President / General Manager

Leasing Division


P.O. Box 60607

Santa Barbara, CA 93160-0607

1 South Los Carneros Road

Goleta, CA 93117

Dir Ph# (805)560-1650








### Press Release ##############################################


ELA Claims “Pent-up Demand” Reaching Critical Point, Leasing to Benefit


Chicago, Illinois-The Equipment Leasing Association's

(ELA) president, Michael Fleming asserted that there is pent-up

demand for new equipment that will require companies to seek out more

flexible financing to meet the demand. Since the U.S. economic climate

has forced many companies to forgo refreshing their equipment, such as

computers, food processing and handling equipment, trucks and trailers,

and construction equipment to name just a few, the consensus among

equipment leasing industry members at today's annual ELA National

Funding Exhibition is that aging assets and pent-up demand are reaching

a critical point.


"We already see a need for equipment, and the pent-up demand

continues to grow," said Fleming. "As companies begin planning for the

upturn predicted for later this year, we expect them to discover that

the decision it isn't whether or not they can afford to acquire

equipment needed to run their businesses, but rather how they are going

to finance it."


To underscore the pent-up demand theory, the ELA reported in its

March 2003 online quick poll that, out of 118 respondents, 61% say that

once the uncertainties of the Iraqi war are over, their customers will

begin ordering equipment. Just under 39% answered "no" to whether

customers would begin ordering equipment. Respondents of the poll are

considered primarily equipment lessors.


At the Funding Exhibition today, attendees agreed that while expense

management remains a theme among companies scrambling to continue to

show profitability, equipment needs cannot go unmet much longer.

"The need for equipment forces businesses to find creative ways to

finance equipment they need to stay alive," said Fleming.


Said Darrell Harmon, President, Alliance Capital Resources, Inc.,

at the Exhibition, "Businesses cannot wait much longer to refresh their

IT systems, their transportation fleets, and other critical equipment.

With the themes of expense management and pressure to produce profits,

companies will look to flexible financing methods, such as leasing, to

allow them to move quickly and efficiently to acquire new equipment."

Currently, eight out of 10 U.S. companies lease some or all of

their equipment, taking advantage of leasing's 100 percent financing,

quick credit approval, and convenient structure.


Said Deborah J. Monosson, President, Boston Financial & Equity

Corporation, "Firms across all industries will need to respond quickly

to the economic rebound. Our shop is gearing up for high demand for



Of the $697 billion spent by American business on productive assets

in 2001, $216 billion, or 31 percent, was acquired through leasing. In

2002, that figure is estimated at $204 billion. The projected 2003

volume is $208 billion.


"The time for finance planning is now," said Fleming. "Preparation

will be key to taking advantage of growth opportunities once the

economic upturn comes."


Financial decision makers needing more information on leasing

should visit, which provides information on how

to choose a leasing company, the top 10 questions to ask before signing

a lease, a glossary of terms, and more.


About ELA

Organized in 1961, the Equipment Leasing Association (ELA) is a

non-profit association representing companies involved in the dynamic

equipment leasing and finance industry. ELA's mission is to promote the

leasing industry as a major source of funds for capital investment in

the United States and abroad. Headquartered in Arlington, Va., ELA has

more than 800 member companies and a staff of 27 professionals.

Equipment leasing is estimated to be a $204 billion industry in 2002.

Visit ELA online at


#### Press Release #############################################


Union Safe Deposit Bank Expands Portfolio of Leases

Serviced by Orion First Financial, LLC

(Gig Harbor, WA) -- Orion First Financial, LLC (Orion) announced that Union Safe Deposit Bank of Stockton, CA (Union Safe) has further expanded its servicing relationship with the addition of approximately 800 lease contracts recently acquired by the Bank from Leverage Leasing Company of Omaha, NE in the amount of $15,200,000. Kropschot Financial Services represented the seller in the transaction.


"We are pleased to be working with a progressive bank like Union Safe. This is the third portfolio we have arranged for the Bank to purchase and we are pleased to be part of the Bank's ongoing commitment to the commercial equipment leasing market. Our goal has been to help Union Safe successfully acquire select portfolios and provide the highest level of service to maximize portfolio performance. We look at the Bank's expansion with Orion as a validation of our lease servicing and portfolio management capabilities," said David T. Schaefer, President and Managing Member of Orion First Financial, LLC.

Orion provides consulting and advisory services to Union Safe Deposit Bank by assisting in the location of portfolios for acquisition, portfolio analysis and in negotiation of the purchase. The services provided by Orion allow banks and other lending institutions the ability to invest in small-ticket, high-margin leases without additional overhead or the hiring of specialized management. Orion's services include billing, tax administration, customer service and all phases of collection activity.

Karl Miller, Executive Vice President of Union Safe Deposit Bank, stated, "Our relationship with Orion First Financial has enabled us to significantly increase our equipment leasing portfolio, improve our margins and maintain losses within a reasonable level. We are very pleased with Orion's performance and look forward to a long-term relationship."


Michelle Parker, Vice President and Team Leader of the Bank's Commercial Leasing Group, noted that "The staff at Orion provides superior service and has extensive knowledge in its respective areas of expertise. The advisory capacity of Orion has been invaluable throughout the transactions. Orion is a fully capable source for efficient lease servicing."

About Orion First Financial, LLC

Orion First Financial provides a complete and comprehensive suite of services to assist lending institutions and lessors successfully compete in the commercial equipment leasing industry. With a concentration in small-ticket leasing, Orion provides consulting and advisory services, lease servicing and complete portfolio management. The company has developed a funding mechanism by creating joint ventures with lease originators and arranging warehouse and permanent financing. Orion First Financial, located in Gig Harbor, WA, employs state-of-the-art technology combined with years of management experience to insure that lease portfolios are managed in a sound and cost-effective manner.

About Union Safe Deposit Bank

Union Safe Deposit Bank, based in Stockton, CA, was founded in 1897 and is one of the oldest independent, community banks in California. The Bank's Commercial Banking Group provides traditional commercial lending services to business and agri-business customers, cash management solutions and commercial real estate financing. Additionally, the Bank's Financial Management Group provides investment management, retirement planning and traditional trust services.


Contact: David T. Schaefer at (253) 851 8778 ext. 210 or



### Press Release ##########################################










Streamlined Sales Tax Project Seeks Volunteers


The Council On State Taxation (COST) seeks private sector volunteers to review state compliance with the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement. Each

volunteer will use a compliance checklist being developed by COST. To assist in this effort please respond to Stephen Kranz of COST at



Conformity to elements of the Agreement as depicted in these compliance spreadsheets will become important to states, as they may not join the new sales tax

system unless they are in substantial compliance with each section. I hope you will consider participating in this process.



Dennis Brown


Equipment Leasing Association




Leasing News
Alerts, Flags and Bad Boys
Leasing Industry Books
Leasing News Complaints
Leasing News Home Page
Leasing News Pictures from the Past
Leasing News
Leasing News Recommendations
Leasing News Up-Grade
Leasing News e-Lease Industry
Leasing News - Whatever Happend to?
Leasing News

2003 Annual Spring Conference

May 14-16, 2003
Four Seasons Hotel,
Las Vegas, NV


Wednesday, May 14 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM Basics Session

Thursday, May 15 8:00 AM – 5:00PM Keynote Speaker, General Sessions and Luncheon
Evening – Annual Conference Dinner Event

Friday, May 16 8:00 AM – Noon General Sessions, Ending with the Lawyers’ Panel

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for the 2003 Annual Spring Conference please (Click Here)

Top Stories

De Lage Landen Financial History---Robert C. Storey
Operation Just Cause Yellow Ribbon Campaign
April Fools Day Stories
Merrill-Lynch Enters Small Leasing Market Fray
Bank of the West Leasing Committed to Brokers
Leasecomm/Microfinancial to be de-listed?
Lipski Joins Advisory Board
The Gadsen Flag
The Funding Tree---the Final Days
California "Finance Lenders License"
Microfinancial---"net loss for the quarter was $7.7 million."
Alexa Ranks Leasing Association Web Sites
CMC Not Licensed
Abacus Sues us for $5 Million

My Son--Somewhere in the Pacific--On Maneuvers-US Preble
The List---Up-Dated
PinnLeasing---Grand Jury Indictment Now Public
RW Professional---Up-Date

Bulletin Board Year-End Report
FBI Arrests Paramount Pacific Funding Group Broker
Top Stories in 2002
Interim Financing

Leasing News Virus Info Center
Leasing News, Inc.
346 Mathew Street,
Santa Clara,
California 95050
E-Fax: (781)459-4789
Leasing News Policy Statement
Leasing News Editorial Staff
Leasing News mailing list
Leasing News