More on Orix---And is Jay Holmes Now Gone?
Leasing News published that Orix USA was floundering, and it
was rumored that the president and chief executive officer,
Jay Holmes, was on his way out. Several readers on Thursday
sent us e-mail that Holmes was no longer with Orix , specifically
that he was “let go.”
The Orix PR Department would not confirm nor
deny it, and others contacted said, “No comment.”
Jay Holmes Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Holmes was appointed president
and chief executive officer on June 19,2000. He succeeded John Moss, who served in these positions on an interim basis after. Philip Cooper retired from ORIX CREDIT ALLIANCE in March 2000.
The press release at the time stated, "In his new role, Mr. Holmes will oversee all ORIX CREDIT ALLIANCE interests. Mr. Holmes joined ORIX CREDIT ALLIANCE after nearly two years as President & CEO of Transamerica Equipment Financial Services, a Chicago based provider of equipment financing and leasing for middle-market companies in the United States and selected foreign countries. He previously held senior positions in Heller Financial, Inc., Chrysler Capital Corporation, Citicorp Industrial Credit and Westinghouse Credit Corporation. He has 28 years of commercial finance experience.
"Regarding Mr. Holmes' appointment, John Moss, President and CEO of ORIX USA, said,'This is a tremendous step for ORIX CREDIT ALLIANCE. Jay's extensive knowledge of the equipment finance industry will be an invaluable asset to OCAI, who already has a strong foothold in this market. I am confident that he will provide the leadership and innovative approach to further improve OCAI's position in their core market, as well as diversify them into new strategic segments.'"
He then preceded to move into the “Perfect Storm” as evidenced by the Leasing News
Readers have been commenting about the steerage of the ship under Holmes’ helm,
and here are two more, one from Steve Geller and the other from Mike Pilla:
“Kit: I have read, with interest, your report and elicited comments about
ORIX. I must add my views at this time. I was a loyal employee at ORIX
Credit Alliance from 1989 to 2001, eleven plus years. When I was told
that the company was no longer interested in the brokerage business that
I was empowered to bring in and that my services were not warranted and
that I should leave the building as soon as possible so as not to
"upset" the other employees. I was hurt very badly. Although an officer
of the company, I was treated like a common criminal. This contrasts
sharply with my leaving Tilden Financial in 1989 to take the ORIX job in
Orangeburg with Bob Salge. I gave two weeks notice to my old friend
George Berenz and he "forced" me to stay the entire two weeks and review
and approve deals up until the very last day. I did not take any
company secrets, nor did I take advantage of my imminent departure by
using standards any less than I used throughout my long Tilden tenure.
If I take any satisfaction, at all, for the ORIX problems today, it is
due to those events.
“When Jay Holmes came to ORIX and announced the "bigger, better, higher"
policy referred to by the writer in Wednesdays Leasing News I knew that
it was only a matter of time before the entire company, as we knew it,
would implode and it seemed that whatever we did would never be good
enough for Mr. Holmes and his associates. No one from the new regime
ever discussed my operation with me and the nature of the business that
I was doing and whether it could fit into the new ORIX model. I believe
that I had some valuable insights into the business that could have been
used by the company. They chose to "throw the baby out with the bath
water." That was their prerogative.
“I came to ORIX long after the Palitzes were gone and after Financial
Federal was well-established. I do not think the Palitzes had anything
to do with the problems of the late 1990's and subsequent years, at
least a full decade plus later than their departure.
“I was proud of my time at ORIX, and despite a few things that I would
have done differently, I represented the company in a positive fashion.
Reflecting on the old ORIX, I look back and see that what was extolled
as the company's strength also attributed to its downfall. Most of the
management team were lifelong employees of the company dating back to
the Credit Alliance Corp./ Leasing Services days from the 1970's and
80's. The average branch manager was an employee who had been with the
company at least 15 years, and there were many loyal, highly
knowledgeable and hard working individuals who supported the company
throughout its life. We all felt that we were family. Even when I hit
my tenth anniversary with the company, I was still a short timer.
“Do I know the reasons the company did not succeed? I can only speculate that
it was high interest expense, heavy occupancy costs and a drive to put
on volume that got away from top management. We never had a chance to
see the change through. Those secrets will never be known! “
Steven B. Geller, CLP
Leasing Solutions LLC
20 Dike Drive, Wesley Hills, New York 10952
(845) 362-6106 fax (845) 354-2803
cell (914) 552-0842
“I worked for Credit Alliance, First Interstate Credit Alliance, Orix Credit
Alliance and Orix Financial Services. I happened to be in the NYC office the
day that Cal and Bernard got their first payment from First Interstate and Cal
bought Neil Reeder and myself lunch. Cal showed us the check and trust me, it
had a lot of zero's on the back end.
“I believe that FI bought in late "84 and Orix bought in "89. I agree with
the other x-employees that the Palitz Bros. were long gone and Cal had founded
Fin-Fed at some time.
I agree that it was extremely difficult to get a deal done longer that 60
months, it did happen but not to often. Regardless, those deals were long
gone, either retired by the customer or paid off by a competitor.
“The problems with Orix were not discussed with the troops in the field, so
everything would be 3rd party and speculative. New management, (Holmes)
blamed everything on old management (Phil and Sandy). For almost 40 years,
things were done in a very professional manor and customer service from
Emeryville and then Walnut Creek was held in the best of tradition. We
always had repeat business and lots of it.
“Holmes downsized into 7 offices, which was probably a necessary step and was
done by several competitors previously. We had to report to Pasadena. Our
customers suffered greatly with this change because of poor customer service
and our turn-a-round on new deals went from 24/48 hours up to 10 days. (NO
JOKE). This was typical in speaking to other marketing people in other
“Most people saw the handwriting on the wall and a lot of good people left. I
worked with some of the best people in the business and we did a lot of
business. We looked for ways to do deals instead of looking for ways to
“I'd like to see the exit package that Holmes has and for all of his "buddies"
that he brought into the company and made the Senior Vice Presidents" Hell,
they have all "chiefs" and no "Indians" in my opinion. I heard Holmes had a 3
year deal, sink or swim. It is about that time for the life boat to pull
away. He, in my opinion, tried to make Orix a "Transamerica" or "Heller
Capital". He could not see the forest through the trees. Orix did not have
that type of clientele or reputation. Sometimes the "fix" is worse that the
“Who is to blame for the Orix problems? Flip a coin. All that I know is
that I had a great time, booked a lot of deals, made good money, had a good
customer base and worked with a lot of good people and all of that is
“I heard that it was a poor credit portfolio that was the problem. So what do
you do, get rid of the sales people and keep the same credit people on staff.
“With all of my years with the company, I never had lending authority so lay
off the sales people!!!! That will correct everything!!!!!!!!!!!!”