Alexa Leasing Industry Website Report Tomorrow---
“ It's a gangbuster story. Quite a bit of investigative reporting. Hold on to your hat!”
Ken Greene, Esq.
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Two Version: Free ( text format) $59.95 yr ( html/website) Free 30 Day Trial
This edition is also available in an "up-grade" format, html, where you may
click on the headlines to go to the story, plus is also in this "new" format
posted daily on our website--- http://www.leasingnews.org/contact_us_news.htm
Cartoon---BBQ Data Processing
We Get Letters—eMail
In the dues category (that was adjusted to $2200) we have 140 that did not renew for 2003 (compared to 57 in 2002).
Director, Membership & Marketing
Equipment Leasing Association
4301 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 550
Arlington, VA 22203
703.527.8655; Fax: 703.527.2649
(Wow!!! You have really accomplished quite a bit then. Congratulations!!!
It shows why the Equipment Leasing Association is the “leader of the pack.”
In describing the benefits ELA offers its members, you omitted one very
important one--industry research and information. The ELA conducts the
annual Survey of Industry Activity, which provides critical metrics that
members use to benchmark their operations and performance against industry
norms. The 2003 Survey report is available at weeks' end. Over 130
leasing companies responsible for $120 billion in originations responded
In addition, the association conducts various market analyses, including a
well-received competitive assessment of the healthcare leasing marketplace,
released late last year. It's a must-have for companies currently engaged
in or exploring the healthcare leasing marketplace. A comprehensive study
of the IT leasing business is being finalized now.
This summer, an industry compensation survey is in the works. Results
reporting prevailing industry salary, bonus, and commission levels for 25
leasing-specific positions will be available later this summer.
Also, the ELA conducts a Performance Indicators Report--a quarterly
snapshot that chronicles the health of the leasing business. This year, it
sponsored an IT benchmarking project involving 10 major leasing companies
interested in analyzing the effectiveness of their internal IT processes
and capabilities. The association also staffs an industry help desk, in
which members are able to access experienced ELA staff who can answer
industry questions and provide referrals to subject matter experts covering
a variety of industry matters.
ELA members know that knowledge is critical to their performance and they
expect their association to develop and disseminate meaningful and timely
Thought your readers would want to know.
ELA Vice President-Industry Services
Instead of being defensive about the Fed lowering the prime rate you might have complemented your customer about being so smart about signing the lease when he did, and thus avoiding higher rates that will be here soon (not soon enough as far as I am concerned).
Bob Homans firstname.lastname@example.org
(Actually, I signed four leases that day, but didn’t want to brag. The first
was a Bank of the West very low rate, the second was an “investor rate,”
high, to an investor who likes to carry high risk paper, and the next two were Financial Pacific, a great company who prices their leases for their marketplace. In reality, before I started the trip, I went over the terms and conditions with the lessees, so my job was to basically explain the contract...most when I get there
know the terms and conditions, so the rate issue is just to prove
what I quoted and explained on the telephone is reflected in
the contracts. I try to stir away from “rate” as much as possible
and sell other aspects. I arrived in Napa at 3pm, and had hopes
of buying some wine, but it was close to quarter to four when
I left, and I wanted to get back to my office, which was over
an hour and a half drive, worse, if I got caught in traffic. Kit Menkin.)
I would like to request to be put on your distribution list. I had a friend
forward Leasing News to me this morning and found it very informative.
I look forward to the next issue!
Karen L. Marsh
(It’s that simple. All you need to do is ask for the “free edition”. Editor)
I had left a message a couple of months ago about maybe a topic on competing with bank financing/mortgage/L.O.C. and you thought that might be a topic worth pursuing. I am still interested in it. We have had several approved,(no commitment fee) transactions that we recently lost to having the guarantor chose to get a home equity L.O.C. instead (4.25% on transactions in the $35K - $75K range, app only (lessee financials probably wouldn't qualify for financial statement approvals)). I would be interested in industry opinion on creative ways to compete with that offering.
Joe Schmitz, CLP
P.S. In the interest of fair disclosure, I recently was approved myself for an L.O.C. at this rate. The approval took 5 minutes on the phone, no tax returns, no appraisal, no doc fees (unless I cancel within three years, then $500).
(As I stated earlier, I was taught to stay away from rate by Hal McAfee,
my first teacher in 1971, when I worked my way up to become vice-president of Triple C Leasing. What I learned years ago is still valid in closing most leases. Kit Menkin.)
Classified Ads----Help Wanted
### Press Release ############################################
ORIX Financial Services Announces Additions to Staff
Jay S. Holmes, chairman and CEO of ORIX Financial Services (OFS), announces the addition of Robert W. Merkle as senior vice president, Portfolio Acquisitions and Giny E. Wallace as financial analyst, Portfolio Acquisitions.
“Rob and Ginny will be instrumental in developing ORIX’s portfolio acquisition business,” said Holmes. “Our internal recovery portfolio organization has developed an expertise in this area, and we plan to leverage off the processes already in place.”
Merkle most recently held the position of vice president, Structured Finance at Equilease Financial Services, Inc. in South Norwalk, Conn. In that position, he was responsible for closing a $100 million Acquisition Facility and for handling all aspects of portfolio acquisition and financing efforts. In addition, Merkle served as director, Structured Finance, for UniCapital Corp., a $2 billion leasing company formerly headquartered in Miami, where he managed securitization and syndication functions (the company filed bankruptcy due to many of its acquisitions.editor). He has also held similar positions at Lease Financial Advisors and Icon Capital Corp. Merkle earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Ind.
Wallace previously was a senior financial analyst in the M&A Group of Robert W. Baird & Co., Inc. in Chicago. In that position, she developed company valuations and financial models, including discounted cash flow, accretion/dilution and leveraged buyout analyses. Prior to that, Wallace served as a credit analyst at American National Bank & Trust Company of Chicago. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and management from DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind.
(Readers have many opinions about Orix and its management. We would like to print them, but they would like them "name with held," so we have not printed to date. They do have strong opinions about their belief this company is being poorly managed. editor)
### Press Release ##################################################
The Alta Group Adds New Associate to European Unit
London,—Charles Taylor, a management and business development
expert with more than 30 years experience in the leasing and finance
industry, has joined The Alta Group, an international consulting agency.
Taylor, an associate in Alta’s European unit, specializes in asset
finance, cash handling and electronic payments, sales and marketing and
turnaround management for companies in distress.
His experience will be a valuable asset to Alta’s European team, which
provides joint venture and merger and acquisition advisory services as
well as strategic benchmarking, competitive positioning and market-entry
consulting, especially for manufacturers with pan European vendor
Taylor spent more than 20 years managing the leasing program at North
West Securities Ltd. (Bank of Scotland). While there, he arranged more
than £150 million in head lease transactions a year for the branch
network and was a part of the big-ticket team that launched Gerrard &
National Leasing, Union Discount Leasing and others.
Later as a managing director at Sovereign Finance plc, he turned
cumulative losses of £145 million into £20 million profit and sold the
business to Alliance & Leicester. His ability to turnaround losses and
drive growth also delivered results at Girobank Plc, where profit grew
substantially in his period as managing director. This success saw him
appointed commercial bank director of Alliance & Leicester in charge of
all its commercial lending.
In 2002, he founded Charles Taylor Management Ltd., a consulting and
project management firm serving the leasing and finance industry. Over
the years, he has held numerous leadership positions in the Finance &
Leasing Association and is a Scottish chartered accountant. He hold’s a
bachelor’s degree in commerce with honors from Edinburgh University.
About The Alta Group
The Alta Group’s European office, based in London since 1998, is
composed of four principals, all with extensive backgrounds in the $500
billion global equipment leasing and finance markets. The U.S.
headquarters, launched in 1992, is in Glenbrook, Nevada,
(www.thealtagroup.com) <http://www.thealtagroup.com)/> . The Alta Group
is a leading source of corporate consulting and advisory services,
education and training to the global equipment leasing and finance
industry. It includes 18 professionals worldwide—former CEOs, company
founders and industry organization leaders—who collectively have more
than 350 years of experience. The company was founded in 1992 by Norm
Chapman, John Deane, John Giddens and Bill Montgomery, well-known U.S.
1584-In a letter dated this date from Giovanni da Verrazano, the Florentine explorer, to Francis I, king of France “...took a Native American) childe from...(an) olde woman to bring into France, and going about to take...(a) young woman which was very beautiful and of tall stature, they could not possibly, for the great outcries that she made, bring her to the sea; and especially having great woods to pass through and being farre from the ship, we purposed to leave her behinde, beareing away the childe only.” The diaries and letters of the day describe encounters with Indians, capturing them for slaves, describing Native
American life. http://www.lihistory.com/vault/hs215a1v.htm
1775- Representatives of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Providence, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina signed a petition from the Congress to the King (George III), a final attempt by moderates in the Second Continental Congress to avoid a complete break with England. After the American Revolutionary War over 300,000 loyalist citizens to King George returned to England ( more than a third of the population was “loyal” to the king.) Many
also elected to remain in the United Colonies, as it was then called.
1776- the first public reading of the Declaration was given by Colonel John Nixon to the assembled residents at Philadelphia’s Independence Square. He had been chosen
by the sheriff of Philadelphia ( in those days, the highest ranking citizen of
a town as per English tradition ). The next day the Declaration was read before George Washington’s troops in New York City.
1844- Mary Johnson Bailey Lincoln birthday - teacher at the Boston Cooking School who authored the great Boston Cook Book which contained the daringly innovative recipe measurement methods as well as explaining the how’s of cooking, hygiene, and nutrition. Most publishers frowned on such books because women were thought to be born with the innate knowledge of cooking. Publishers thought such directions were unnecessary and women would refuse to buy the "insulting" books. The Boston Cook Book became an instant best seller.
1846-U.S. Annexes California. San Francisco had a town of 96 votes
with fifty dwellings.
1850-The overland gold rush to California through Fort Laramie, Wyo., involved
42,300 emigrants and 9720 wagons between January 1 and July 8. Over 90% of the population of California was male. Nine years later men still outnumbered women six to one.
1853-Admiral Perry and US Navy “visit” Japan
1856-Charles E. Barnes of Lowell, MA, obtained a patent on an “improved automatic cannon.” It was operated by a crank, the speed of firing depending upon the speed with which the crank was turned. It was primitive and before
the “metal gun cartridge.” Richard J. Gatling of Indianapolis, Indiana obtained
a patent on November 4, 1862, on “ an improvement in revolving battery guns.”
The first gun, which fired 250 shots a minute, was made in Indianapolis. Dr. Richard Jordan Gatling, a medical doctor with numerous patents in farm equipment to his credit, devised the famous Model 1862 “Revolving Battery Gun” now simply referred to as the Gatling gun. Although not first to manufacture a multi-fire weapon, he was the first to produce a reliable, rapid fire, “machine gun.” The rest, as they say, is history. The Gatling gun was a hand-crank-operated weapon, comprised of six barrels revolving around a central shaft. The original gun was actually designed to fire the standard military issue paper cartridge of the day, .58 caliber. The paper cartridge was placed inside a steel or brass chamber with percussion nipple on the back end just like muzzle loading rifles and pistols of the time. The cartridges were gravity-fed through a hopper mounted on the top of the gun. Six cam-operated bolts alternately wedged, fired, and dropped the bullets, which were contained in steel chambers. Gatling used the six barrels to partially cool the gun during firing. Since the gun was capable of firing 600 rounds a minute, each barrel fired 100 rounds per minute. Major General Benjamin F. Butler purchased 12 Model 1862 Gatling guns for $1,000 each, in 1863 and employed them at the battle of Petersburg.
(We wrote about the seven day battle last week . http://7-12educators.about.com/blcwphmilfed18.htm
Butler is the same fellow hated in New Orleans for his actions while he occupied the city. I could find no information about the first use of the Gatling gun,
except : “His failure to act decisively with the Army of the Potomac against Petersburg, and following his ability to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory during the first expedition against Fort Fisher, North Carolina in December 1864, led to General Butler's forced resignation from the Army.” As an interesting side note, what we see in movies today and usually displayed or shot is not the original model 1862. Most probably, it is a model 1873 or later version.
All in all, the 1862 Gatling gun is one of the greatest design achievements in military armament ever created ranking up with breech loading weapons and metallic cartridges in significance to modern warfare.
In January of 1865, Gatling proposed is his improved model 1865 gun to the U.S. Government, which was subsequently tested by the Ordnance Department. This model was adopted officially in 1866. It served the frontier, enabling the Union
Calvary to be of small number in domineering the West. After receiving government approval, Gatling began to sell his guns throughout the world, where they achieved world-wide fame. Twenty five countries, twenty nine calibers, and 55 years later, the hand-crank Gatling gun was finally retired from U.S. military service just months prior to the U.S. entered World War 1. Even then, it remained deployed into the middle 1920’s stateside. Tucked away in storage for over 30 years, an original model 1883 in 45-70 caliber, was able to successfully fire 5,600 rounds per minute by hooking it up to an electric motor. This ultimately became the forerunner of today’s Vulcan system capable of firing 6000 rounds per minute of 20 mm cannon shells. http://www.users.dircon.co.uk/~warden/colonial/misc1101.htm
1861-Winfield Scott, general in chief of the Union army, announced that the Washington telegraph office would not longer carry “dispatches concerning the operations of the army not permitted by the commanding general.” All stories
had to be cleared first with the Army as “press accounts of the activities in Washington, DC, might prove helpful to the enemy.
1863- JEB Stuart At The Battle of Gettysburg
Taken From"The Life and Campaigns of Major-General JEB Stuart"
By H. B. Mcclellan, A.M. Late Major, Assistant Adjutant-General And Chief Of Staff Of The Cavalry Corps, Army Of Northern Virginia
From the 8th to the 12th of July Stuart covered the front of Lee's army, which had now taken a strong position, and was securely entrenched while waiting for the waters of the Potomac to fall. These days were occupied by severe fighting between Stuart's command and the divisions of Buford and Kilpatrick, at Boons-boro', Beaver Creek, Funkstown, and on the Sharpsburg front. The cavalry fought mostly dismounted, and was aided on either side by small bodies of infantry. It would be tedious to enter into all the details of these battles, in which both parties claim the victory, and with apparent sincerity. Stuart reports an aggregate loss of 216 in these engagements, while Generals Buford and Kilpatrick and Colonel Huey report a loss of 158. Stuart accomplished the object he had in view, which was to delay the advance of the enemy until General Lee was secure in his chosen position. On the 12th of July Stuart uncovered Lee's front, against which the Federal army advanced, but found it so strong that it declined to make an attack.
These days will be remembered by the members of General Stuart's staff as days of peculiar hardship. Scanty rations had been issued to the men, but nothing was provided for the officers. The country had been swept bare of provisions, and we could purchase nothing. For four or five days in succession we received our only food, after nightfall, at the hands of a young lady in Hagerstown, whose father, a Southerner, sympathized with the Confederacy. But for the charity of this lady, whose name we shall always gratefully remember, we would have suffered the pangs of severe hunger. The attention of students of psychology is called to an incident which occurred at this time. After a day of incessant fighting Stuart and his officers reached the house of this friend about nine o'clock in the night. While food was being prepared Stuart fell asleep on the sofa in the parlor. When supper was announced he refused to rise. Knowing that he had eaten nothing within twenty-four hours, and that food was even more necessary for him than sleep, I took him by the arm and compelled him to his place at the table. His eyes were open, but he ate sparingly and without relish. Thinking that the supper did not suit him, our kind hostess inquired:--
"General, perhaps you would relish a hard-boiled egg?"
"Yes," he replied, "I'll take four or five."
This singular reply caused a good deal of astonishment on the part of all who heard it, but nothing was said at the time. The eggs were produced; Stuart broke one and ate it, and then rose from the table. When we returned to the parlor I sat down at the piano, and commenced singing, "If you want to have a good time, join the cavalry." The circumstances hardly made the song appropriate, but the chorus roused the general, and he joined in it with a hearty good will. During all this time he had
1863-Confederate General Lee decided to take the war to the enemy, specifically
Washington,DC, which he hope to capture and thus have the war ended.. On June 13, he defeated Union forces at Winchester, Virginia, and continued north to Pennsylvania. General Hooker, who had been planning to attack Richmond, was instead forced to follow Lee. Hooker, never comfortable with his commander, General Halleck, resigned on June 28, and General George Meade replaced him as commander of the Army of the Potomac. On July 1, a chance encounter between Union and Confederate forces began the Battle of Gettysburg. In the fighting that followed, Meade had greater numbers and better defensive positions. He won the battle, but failed to follow Lee as he retreated back to Virginia. Militarily, the Battle of Gettysburg was the high-water mark of the Confederacy; it is also significant because it ended Confederate hopes of formal recognition by foreign governments. The days following Lee’s retreat saw major battles won by the
Union Army is General Grant’s long time plan to cut off supplies to Confederate troops. On November 19, President Lincoln dedicated a portion of the Gettysburg battlefield as a national cemetery, and delivered his memorable "Gettysburg Address."
Photographs of the battleground began immediately after the battle of July 1-3. This group of photographs also includes a scene of Hooker's troops in Virginia on route to Gettysburg.
1889-John L. Sullivan, heavyweight champion of the world, defeated Jake Kilrain in the 75th round of a fight in Richburg, MS. This was the last bare-knuckles title fight after which boxing was governed by the Marquess of Queensbury rules.
1908- jazz alto saxophonist and singer Louis Jordan, whose records in the 1940's with his Tympany Five helped shape the R'n'B of the following decade, was born in Brinkley, Arkansas. After playing with several big bands, Jordan formed his combo in 1938. For the next decade, they produced blues and novelty records such as "Caldonia," "Let the Good Times Roll" and "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie," a million-seller in 1946. Jordan's 1943 hit "Five Guys Named Moe" became the title of a 1990's Broadway musical based on his songs. Many blues and R'n'B artists grew up listening to Jordan's music, and among those acknowledging his influence are Chuck Berry and Ray Charles. Louis Jordan died on February 4th, 1975.
1911- Nan Jane Aspinwall rode into New York City carrying a letter to Mayor William Jay Gaynor from San Francisco Mayor Patrick Henry McCarthy, becoming the first woman to cross the US on horseback. She began her trip in San Francisco on Sept 1,1910, and covered 4,500 miles in 301 days.
1914- birthday of Billy Eckstine, bandleader and bass-baritone
singer. After performing with the Earl Hines band for almost 20 years,
Eckstine formed his own band in 1944. At one time or another in the band’s
ranks included Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Fats Navarro,
Dexter Gordon, Gene Ammons, Art Blakey and vocalist Sarah Vaughn---some
of the greatest bebop musicians of all time. Among Eckstine’s hits were
“Fools Rush In,” “ Everything I Have Is Yours,” “ Blue Moon,” and
“Body and Soul.” Billy Eckstine died March 8, 1993 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
the city where he also was born. http://www.steveandeydie.com/ http://www.britannica.com/blackhistory/micro/185/30.html
1932-The stock market fell to its lowest point in the Great Depression. The Great Crash had begun in 1929, and this was the darkest day. Dow Jones Industrial Average, 41.22 http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/jul08.html
1935-Birthday of Steve Lawrence ( Sidney Liebowitz) pop singer born in Brooklyn, New York. His "Go Away Little Girl" was a number-one hit in 1962. Lawrence, who got his start as a singer on the "Tonight" show in 1954, had more than 20 chart records. He and his wife, Eydie Gorme, often recorded and performed together.
Some Enchanted Evening - Perry Como
Again - Gordon Jenkins
Bali Ha’i - Perry Como
One Kiss Too Many - Eddy Arnold
Teddy Bear - Elvis Presley
Love Letters in the Sand - Pat Boone
Over the Mountain; Across the Sea - Johnnie & Joe
Four Walls - Jim Reeves
1958 - The first gold record album presented by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) was awarded. It went to the soundtrack LP, "Oklahoma!". The honor signified that the album had reached one million dollars in sales. The first gold single issued by the RIAA was "Catch a Falling Star", by Perry Como, in March of 1958. A gold single also represents sales of one million records.
1960 - Storer Broadcasting Company purchased WINS radio in New York City for $10 million. It was the highest price paid for a radio station (to that time). Many great radio personalities including Murray the K, Bruce Morrow and Alan Freed were stars on WINS Radio. WINS, under Storer ownership, also aired some very clever promotions, including the time they drove the New York media crazy. It was a discovery (thought to be a rare find) in the back seat of a New York taxicab: a clay tablet that looked to be Egyptian and had carvings on it. Upon closer examination, it read, “Everybody’s mummy listens to 10-10 WINS!”
I Can’t Help Myself - Four Tops
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones
For Your Love - The Yardbirds
Before You Go - Buck Owens
1965-Roy Wilkins becomes executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. http://www.tccom.com/wilkins/
1967—Tennis player Billie Jean King of the United Sates won three titles at Wimbledon. She beat Anny Haydon Jones for the singles title, teamed with Rosie Casals for the women’s doubles title and joined with Owen Davidson to capture the mixed doubles title.
1968-the first movie directed by an African-American director to be released in the United States was “Story of a Three Day Pass,” directed by Melvin Van Peeble, His story of an African-American serviceman on leave in France, based on his book of the same name, led to his being signed by Columbia Pictures to make more files for African-
American audiences. http://www.info-france-usa.org/culture/cinema/festival/vanpeebles.html http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/6304446195/e22digital.6/102-8917386-9557756
1970 - The San Francisco Giant’s Jim Ray Hart hit for the cycle (a single, double, triple and home run in one game). Hart became the first National League player in 59 seasons to collect six runs batted in (RBI) during a single inning. The Giants walloped the Atlanta Braves 13-0.
Will It Go Round in Circles - Billy Preston
Kodachrome - Paul Simon
Bad, Bad Leroy Brown - Jim Croce
Why Me - Kris Kristofferson
1978- Bjorn Borg of Sweden won 3rd consecutive title at Wimbledon
Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes
All Those Years Ago - George Harrison
The One that You Love - Air Supply
I was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool - Barbara Mandrell
1984 - John McEnroe made short work of Jimmy Connors at Wimbledon. Connors managed to win only four games and tied for the second lowest number of games won by a Wimbledon men’s singles finalist since 1922. McEnroe won the event in just 1 hour 20 minutes.
1985 - Pro Football Hall of Famer Jack Lambert of the Pittsburgh Steelers announced his retirement on this, his 33rd birthday. A 1974 second-round draft choice from Kent State University in Ohio, Lambert played 11 seasons with the Steelers. He racked up several awards including the NFL’s Rookie of the Year , Defensive Player of the Year ; and nine consecutive Pro Bowls [1975-1983]. Jack Lambert was a major chunk of the Steel Curtain and owns four Super Bowl rings to prove it.
1987 –The Iran-Contra hearings began, covered live on television. While Lt. Col. Oliver North was being interviewed, contrary to internet mailings, Senator
Al Gore was not on the committee, nor did Osa Bin Laden name come up, as this was over fifteen years ago.
1987 -Kitty Dukakis, wife of Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, who was the following year to become the Democratic candidate, revealed addiction to amphetamines for 26 years 1988-singer/composer Stevie Wonder announces he will run for mayor of Detroit in 1992
Satisfied - Richard Marx
Buffalo Stance - Neneh Cherry
Baby Don’t Forget My Number - Milli Vanilli
I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party - Roseanne Cash
1990- Germany beats Argentina 1-0 for soccer's
14th World Cup at Rome
1994- Elton John and Billy Joel kicked off a 14 city tour in Philadelphia. They shared vocals on each other's hits, including John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" and Joel's "Piano Man" and "New York State of Mind."
“ Take the Money and Run”
by Christopher Menkin
The story of how the RW Professional portfolio went to Bank of Boston
and finally to Sierra Cites
This story is pieced together over a two year period, with numerous “off the
record” discussions with many of the “players.” None of the participants want
to be acknowledged nor did they want to even substantiate or correct anything
from the notes taken. The great majority of this story came from former Sierra Cities/First Sierra officers directly with the stipulation they not be quoted directly.
Note: The Company was first called “First Sierra” and changed its name to
Sierra Cities to enter the Internet marketplace.
The RW lease portfolio was originally at Denrich Leasing, but it went to AT&T and finally to CIT after a short stop at Newcourt Financial. When the CIT relationship ended with lawsuits and counter suits due to disputes over payments not made from lessees, retention of early payoff monies and record keeping by RW, Sierra Cities apparently ignored it. They had taken the account away from CIT’s predecessor in 1995 and at the time, said the payments were coming in like clockwork.
It appears the RW Professional portfolio began developing when Bob Quinn resigned from ATT Capital and joined First Sierra as VP of Credit in 1994. Since he had worked with RW Professional at Denrich and ATT Capital, it made sense to recruit the business for First Sierra. In fact, when Mike Wing and Chuck Brazier
first put the private label program together for Denrich Leasing in 1991, they had in mind bringing in Bob Quinn from Bank of Boston for his expertise in credit.
Bob Quinn was hired by Denrich and moved to Florida and was there in time to witness the damage when Hurricane Andrew struck in August 1992. When Denrich was acquired by ATT in late 1992, Bob Quinn brought Barry Drayer and RW with him along with Barry Drayer’s personal guaranty to AT&T. After living through the reported less than pleasant changes at AT&T after the Denrich purchase, Bob Quinn resigned with his trusted sidekick Pete Smith and both joined the group led by Tom Depping of Sun America who had decided to put together a conglomerate of “private label” brokers. Naturally, Bob Quinn recruited RW Professional after joining First Sierra since he had an excellent history with RW and Barry Drayer. Most observers tell us that he brought Barry Drayer’s personal guaranty with him. As the RW portfolio grew each month, the loss reserve held by First Sierra grew to over $5,000,000.
Leasing News was not able to confirm the personal guaranty aspect of the portfolio when Sierra Cities began its relationship with RW. There have been conflicting stories about Drayer’s personal guaranty since many felt it was not necessary based on RW’s performance history.
In June, 1997, Depping decided to move the credit function from Jupiter, Florida to Houston. Quinn was the vice-president of credit who had been managing the portfolio and appears to have had a full handle and watchful eye on the operation. He was reportedly a key to running the internal end of the process. Ironically when Quinn joined First Sierra, he purportedly had a deal with Tom Depping to stay in Jupiter and always have the credit piece in Jupiter. According to a highly
reliable source, “Tom showed up one day in June, 1997 and told the staff that he was moving the function to Houston at the SAME time Bob heard it. What a guy!”
Quinn did not move so Leasing News was told Depping placed him on the “s**t list.” He actually spent six months at the Fort Lauderdale office ( Eric Barash’s operation.) He had a telephone and a computer. But neither Depping nor anyone else acknowledged his presence. The Jupiter operation was not moved to Houston until sometime in 1998 as Quinn commuted over 150 miles a day to the Fort Lauderdale office from mid-1998 until January,1999, when Eric Barash left Sierra Cities. (Note: Barash was never involved in the private label program and was a friend of Bob Quinn. Leasing News was not able to obtain a comment from
Mr. Quinn for this series and this information comes from people who worked
with him and knew him well. editor.)
Quinn was the only one who had kept the operation under control, watched everything, asked questions, and apparently wasn’t afraid of the man in Chase Tower, everyone told Leasing News. In Florida, he was effectively “out of the loop.”
The entire Private Label Recourse Program was assigned to Chuck Brazier that summer since it was his job to grow the recourse sources including RW
Professional. Pete Smith moved from Jupiter to Houston and became the
contact for RW and the person responsible for booking his deals. Brazier
was spending four days a week in Houston, Friday in his Oakmont office
in Florida, commuting. Pete Smith reported to him about major accounts,
but in reality, all involved said Tom Depping personally ran the RW Professional
and Mid-Am relationship.
According to the sources present at the time, Pete Smith had little or no true authority to be the watchdog like he was when he worked for Quinn.
Obviously Chuck did the selling, the wholesale broker relationship and it appears no one was watching the henhouse for the MidAm Credit, RW and other recourse deals that kept coming in the door. Depping’s main concern was to book business.
It is reported he was the first to arrive and the last to leave. Even his detractors called him a very hard worker.
Leasing News tried to reach Chuck Brazier for a comment, but was unable to do so. It is reported his job was attracting and holding onto accounts, on
the road, on the telephone, and not involved in the day-to-day operations.
It was reported to Leasing News that Chuck Brazier had offered his resignation
several times due to his dissatisfaction. After his very good friend Oren
Hall resigned, he was even more dissatisfied and resigned to join Centerpoint. The resignation cost him some significant money to buy out of his non-compete provisions Leasing News was told. However, all that we could verify was the fact he resigned to join Centerpoint with Gordon Roberts, working directly under the owner, John Otto.
No one Leasing News spoke to seems to know who had direct responsibility
after Chuck Brazier left to join Centerpoint until Dan Ciocca took over the
program sometime in mid-1999. Several sources told Leasing News there was
not an actual direct report handling the private label program. Pete Smith and Lon
Thompson did the day to day work, but they did not report directly to Tom Depping. There were no scheduled review meetings regarding RW, we were told,
but they did have regular meetings for management/credit and scheduling.
Mike Wing may have been involved in these meetings since he also came from Denrich, but it appears Tom Depping was micro-managing it as his world was beginning to fall apart. The bank, the internet, the “roll over” of independent leasing companies under one “franchiser,” and Chase Tower were headed
for the “perfect storm.”
Thomas J. Depping Looking Out Upon Houston, Texas
According to one source, there were so many changes going on, people leaving, difficulties with sales and changes seeming to be one thing one day and another the next, the operation was basically running itself without a “day-to-day” leader.
In 1998, Mike Wing had the full credit function. Pete Smith and Lon
Thompson handled the day to day operations of the RW program along with
the other Private Label Recourse customers like MidAm. Greg McIntosh did not become manager until January 2000.
In late 1999, Barry Drayer apparently met with Depping in Houston to request that part of his loss reserve be refunded due to minimal losses in the portfolio. The portfolio was performing so well that many said “it was too good to be true.” It seems Drayer wanted cash. The financial settlement received by RW was described to us, but since we cannot verify the figures, we cannot print the information. In retrospect, the various lawsuits indicate it took a lot of cash to keep the alleged “Ponzi like” scheme working
The Sierra Cities cash reserves against losses was as high as $5 million.
The “hold back” was quite sufficient Tom Depping reportedly thought. What went on between the ( name of the floor ) is not known. Greg McIntosh reported
to Depping about the private label program, but was actually not formally
in charge until January, 2000. There were several visits to Houston to meet with Tom Depping by Barry Drayer, but Greg McIntosh had no comment to make.
Perhaps the negotiation for the life insurance was a “trade” for the removal of Mr. Drayer’s personal guarantee at that point. A key player in the negotiations said that the personal net worth of Mr. Drayer was a half million, so a $1 million
insurance policy seemed like a good idea to trade the cash for the policy.
The decision was made solely by Tom Depping, according to all the key
players we spoke with.
Several of the key officers were not in favor, but the thrust was to apparently to put more business on the books, sell the company, and as the man at one
time in charge of sale, Mark McQuitty described it , “...move on before the house of cards collapsed.”
Barry Drayer was the vice-president of RW Professional Leasing a/k/a Professional Leasing Services. His sister Rochelle Besser was the president. If credit was to be run by a community bank, it would be on Rochelle, not Barry. While a personal guaranty may not have been used in assigning leases, it is a common practice in the financial community to run credit on the president, whether they personally guaranty or not.
When Barry Drayer started his relationship with banker Bob Quinn at the
Bank of Boston, he was the president and personally guaranteed the recourse
and non-recourse lines. It was this manner as the portfolio was changed as
the lenders were changed as companies were sold and bought. In part
one of this series, RW Professional went with Quinn to Denrich to AT&T and finally to Sierra Cities.
Drayer brought along his personal guaranty to transactions, but he wanted it removed and he also apparently needed $1 million in cash. He had $5 million in a “hold back” with his portfolio at Sierra Cities. Sierra Cities CEO Tom Depping personally handled all the top accounts. He had moved the operation from Florida
to Houston, thinking that Quinn would follow. Whether Quinn would have actually moved to Houston to manage the portfolios, his apparent betrayal by Depping and the sudden “everyone is moving” without notice that allegedly turned him off ( and many others, too.)
Even Chuck Brazier did not move to Florida, but commuted and lived
in a corporate apartment three nights a week.
The CIT lawsuit was a factor that had to be considered. It was originally
$10 million, but had wound down to $500,000 over the course of the dispute.
The trade of $1 million in cash to Mr. Drayer and the release of his personal guaranty in return for a $1,000,000 life insurance assignment and the promise to deliver more business was reportedly not concluded “over night.” It was a negotiation that involved several key officers, not just Tom Depping, according to many of the sources we spoke with. It is reported that at least one key officer felt the trade was a big mistake.
At the time, it was considered prudent to do the trade because Drayer evidently “needed” the cash and those involved allegedly wanted to keep him happy so he would keeping sending in“ good business,” and the portfolio was performing “perfectly.” The medical paper was the best and Drayer’s business was very necessary, especially since the company was up for sale ( there is a slide of time between the private decision and the reality of actually seeking suitors.)
Sierra Cities needed the business, particularly since it was on the market
for sale. Talk with several top buyers was very promising.
At that time, RW Professional was “the cat's meow,” according to Leasing News contacts. No delinquencies to speak of, payments made on time, and
great medical paper from a veteran in the industry. It was also a “house
account” with high yields, and everything was going as “perfectly agreed.”
Drayer was apparently given the red carpet treatment every time he visited Houston
Drayer purportedly explained the problems with “Old Kent” and “CIT Financial” were in actuality disagreements about “late charges”, “purchase options”, and “interim rents”. At that time, the lawsuit with CIT was down to approximately $500,000, Leasing News was told. In comparison to the loss reserve of $5 million cash, a large and well performing portfolio along with Barry Drayer’s reputation of taking care of everything, the release of part of the loss reserve was reportedly considered to be a “small” risk, according to several sources we spoke with.
The CIT lawsuit was seen as a plus for Drayer, according to all the people
we spoke with. It was viewed as very positive. CIT had inherited a 10 year $100,000,000 plus RW relationship through the acquisition flow through Denrich, ATT, Newcourt and finally to CIT. It was the consensus at the Sierra Cities staff level, after this much time(10 years) and servicing by three or more companies , if all they were arguing about was $500,000 ( after a completely liquidated $ 100,000,000 portfolio) then one could make a reasonable assumption that CIT had not had any serious issues with RW. The lawsuit with CIT was definitely not ignored. It was viewed as making a hero out of Barry Drayer; making payments for lessees was purportedly seen as positive, and not a red flag.
Several of the officers actually told Leasing News “ $500,000 was nothing.”
In relationship to the size of the portfolio, the executives apparently thought it could easily be handled, and might in fact, be much lower, especially if Barry
Drayer was right about what the dispute centered on. In fact, he was
even making payments for lessees and CIT should have been happy
about it, Leasing News was told.
The key was the performance, the personal relationship that Barry Drayer,
had with his brokers and everyone at Sierra Cities “knew him well.” He always returned calls promptly, took care of any problem, and was “Johnny on the spot.”
The staff and department heads looked forward to his visits.
An executive interviewed by Leasing News via telephone, who asked not to be named, says he was employed by Sierra Cities at one time. He said he came into Houston for a meeting, and at a Chinese restaurant with Fred Van Etten, Greg McIntosh, and perhaps two other people, which for legal reasons Leasing News is not going to name, when the conversation of RW Professional Leasing came up. (Later on, the other two at that that restaurant confirmed to Leasing News that the meeting did take place).
He told the gathering he knew the company as Professional Leasing, who did
a lot of dental business when he was at the Vanguard Division of Old Kent
Bank for eleven years. He said this company ripped them off for between $6 million to $10 million. He asked, “Why should Sierra Cities do business with them?” He was told Sierra Cities had the corporate and personal guarantees---and it was recourse, so Sierra Cities was supposedly protected.
When Old Kent Financial went out of business, the employee restraining order
was no longer valid, according to the legal counsel. Susan Adamatis, who
was an employee, told Leasing News about the settlement not to disclose
the loss of the RW portfolio and the reasons behind it as part of a
cash settlement, including a restraining order that employees not divulge
“I hope this is not the same Professional Leasing on the east coast that took Old Kent Leasing for a ride on many fraudulent transactions with dental practices. If it is, I can tell everyone how it was done and what to look for since I had to charge-off the money and we ended up settling with Professional Leasing as well, “Susan
Adamatis said. “ If anyone wants some insight I would be happy to provide it.”
“A fictitious vendor supplied an application for a dental practice installing ‘NEW’ medical equipment. All credit checks were completed on the customer etc. Only if the lessee defaulted would you ever know that there was in fact no new equipment. The equipment description on the vendor invoice was either for existing equipment that was in some cases over 20 years old or it never existed. These were in fact loans. We had a couple of lessees so afraid of being sued and going to jail for fraud that they signed statements and admitted just how much cash they received. Needless to say the cash the lessee received was a lot less than the amount funded to Professional Leasing, “ Susan Adamatis concluded. “ The lessees claimed this vendor solicited them to supply additional cash for the business and all they would have to do is “sign on the dotted line.”
It was reported to Leasing News by several former vice-presidents of Sierra Cities, and confirmed by three other highly reliable sources that RW Professional Leasing was allegedly double dipping or even triple dipping deals (same deal to ATT and First Sierra and banks doing business with RW) and when RW received a payoff from a recourse client, it appears they did they did not always payoff the deal at the original funding source.
During this time, Drayer had requested $1 million in cash from his reserves
with First Sierra. He apparently needed the cash and requested a trade of a $1 million insurance policy on his life. In lieu of his net worth, and to continue to receive the “great paying” lease, Tom Depping allegedly personally approved the request, according to a very highly reliable source that was there at the time. It
is believe he relinquished the personal guaranty ( again, we could not
confirm nor get this denied, as many of the staff reportedly were not privy
to the conversations of the two individuals. Efforts to reach Mr. Depping
for a comment have been to no avail.)
Thomas J. Depping in his Office drinking Diet Coca Cola
The negotiations and trades with Drayer coincided with Tom Depping’s efforts to sell his company to American Express. He apparently wanted to continue the growth of sales in a tough marketplace. RW Professional was a house account with great yields and performance. Depping also made it know that he wanted out. It seemed as was as if his felt his luck was running out and his staff reported that he was becoming more “secluded, brooding, quick tempered and private.”
The Old Kent issues regarding RW making payments on defaulted leases, undisclosed split transactions and changing or originating vendor invoices
was considered by people Leasing News talked to as not a secret in the
leasing trade. The matter purportedly was settled between Old Kent and Drayer with a clause that no one could divulge the agreement, yet it appeared to
be “common knowledge” among people in the know. Leasing News reported a lunch held at a Chinese restaurant in Houston where key officers discussed this. However, this was not confirmed until Old Kent went out of business and the trade of cash ostensibly to keep quiet about portfolio problems made public.
In several articles, Leasing News has reported that former employees at
Old Kent now believe the agreement not to divulge this information publicly is no longer valid as the company no longer in business.
Reportedly the person in charge of RW in Houston was Dan Ciacco. He
had pulled some files, but never found any discrepancies. There
was one involving a bankruptcy, but RW explained the doctor
was still in practice.
CIT had a meeting with Dan Ciacco in Atlanta (Sept. 1999) where CIT showed them 50-60 accounts that had been split between First Sierra and ATT, which became Newcourt which became CIT. They also told them they had proof of the early payoff scheme and the fact that RW was making the payments on BK deals. Greg and Dan went back to Houston. They claimed to have talked directly with Barry Drayer, who said the dispute was over late charges, personal property taxes, and advance payments. He allegedly said he had made some payments instead of buying the leases back as the lessees were still in practice despite any credit problems. They again, do some checking, using a formula from the past, and then called CIT. They said they found no such problems with their portfolio. They also had a $5 million cash reserve, at the time, and Tom Depping told staff the company was adequately covered for any losses.
The “roll over” of companies purchased by Sierra Cities were not performing. The “entrepreneurs” told Leasing News that once purchased, the control
was moved to Houston, Texas and the method of operation changed. Don Zaretsky was very disappointed. Not as much as Mark McQuitty, who was running
the sales for the former Republic Leasing of Anaheim.
Mark McQuitty with his wife Carolann
In December, 1999, he wrote Depping that the internet and First Sierra
was not the way to create sales, predicting the bust of the dot.com
“We had made it clear to all that we didn’t want to do the deal if Tom Depping was going to change anything materially, or try to micro-manage our operation, “McQuitty said in “Whatever Happened to Republic Leasing of Anaheim.”
“Because of the representations we had made to them regarding the agreement we had with Tom Depping that no changes or tinkering would occur, all but one out of the 130 sales reps agreed to come with us, “ McQuitty added. “ You know, First Sierra stock rose to $7 on the news of our acquisition.”
“ We had an operation that was like a highly tuned precision engine, “McQuitty explains. “ It wouldn’t respond well to Saturday morning backyard tinkering by amateurs. An assimilation team was promised but it never materialized. No sooner had the ink dried on the agreement, than corporate began dismantling the Anaheim back office in an effort to consolidate with the main office.
McQuitty described his reaction in precise terms:
“This move in effect decimating the risk management team we had put in place, which had worked spectacularly for the life of the company in preventing bad deals from leaking into the system and/ or any sales-induced fraud from occurring, “ he said. “ Our crew was on top of everything with excellent control. And no sooner than the back office being dismantled, corporate went after our sales force.”
“Michael Sabel showed up on our doorstep, supposedly for a routine visit, but what turned out to be orders to fire 100 employees just before Christmas.
“Not only had we lost control of the back office functions, but now the origination side of the business as well, something we were told were the reasons First Sierra wanted us in the first place. It was a terrible time and both Jim and I had no idea about what was to happen.
“ Needless to say, this was catastrophic on company morale and on any remaining loyalties the surviving employees may have had to First Sierra, along with any credibility that we may have had as their managers and any belief that we were still in control.
“ We soon found out we were managers/VP’s in name only. And to top this off, corporate headquarters failed to keep its commitment to issue options to the top producers. They reneged on this immediately post acquisition, which had a devastating effect on morale.”
“We were now down to 25 reps from a high of 130 pre-acquisition. However, notwithstanding this small sales force, they represented over 70% of the ‘98 revenues. The best and brightest were still committed to the company and were willing to give it another chance.
“In a lengthy e-mail I pleaded with Tom Depping not to “throw the baby out with the bath water”. He did not even open it, or respond - no doubt previewed it, then discarded it. At the time, I was next to Tom Depping, the single largest shareholder employed in the company, owning over 600,000 shares and no doubt one of the top 5 or 6 shareholders of record (I still have substantial holdings). This hit me at the time as particularly troubling. In hindsight, it is clear my departure was already being planned by Tom Depping.
“It seemed as though the strategy was now on being an internet company free from the dependence on salesmen and then tying this into internet processing company... “- no commissions and cheap cost of finds. The money would surely roll in. I guess in theory it has a certain appeal, but if Tom Depping was at all familiar with our business, he would have seen it as counter intuitive.
“Not only was the original intention of training new salesmen, but even having salesman call on vendors or direct business, became the “old way” to create business. We became known as dinosaurs in our traditional way of conducting business.”
The more letters and e-mail he wrote, the more Depping was alienated by McQuitty warning him about doing sales via the internet, and actually predicting the demise of the dot.com equipment leasing industry as it was known at the time.
In retrospect, McQuitty was brilliant in his observations about the leasing
industry. He appears to also be correct that Thomas J. Depping was
isolating himself in his Chase Tower office.
Thomas J. Depping Office at Sierra Cities
Tomorrow: The Conclusion with the Latest Information