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Whatever Happened to...
Mike Berke

Senior Vice President (Retired) Eaton Financial Corporation/AT&T Capital Corp.

Author- Selling Equipment Leasing- Amacom Books,

American Management Association

Mike Berke and son Adam on recent trip to Florida

“After twenty-five years or so in the street, I retired from active engagement in 1991. For the past fourteen years I've done some consulting, helped grow a start-up, and most recently began a new career as an author.

“Some out there might remember my first book, “Selling Equipment Leasing,” published by the Amacom Division of the American Management Association in 1994. That text is no longer in print but can be found occasionally at and other web resellers. Aside from the enjoyment of writing, I'm also an avid reader -mostly popular fiction (similar to my life in the leasing business). Thusly, about eighteen or so months ago I undertook the task of writing a novel. The book is almost as long as the RFP's required by major corporations or government agencies seeking to lease ten thousand dollars worth of equipment (354 pages in triplicate). The hero, Bobby Cole, is a bartender accidentally turned bodyguard whom eventually winds up confronting a faction of the Russian underworld in Brooklyn. According to my claque of volunteer readers the writing seems to be pretty good. Presently, an agent is working diligently to bring the work to publication. If you think closing leasing deals is tough, try selling a novel sometime. As a matter of fact, try writing one, it's a head-bender and a half.

“For those who might remember the name, but aren't sure from where, I began by selling, renting and leasing Allis-Chalmers materials handling equipment in the mid-sixties. From there I migrated directly into the business with Continental Leasing Corp. of Bedford, Ma. Due to the proclivity of Lessors to ebb and flow with the equipment and capital markets compounded by the ramifications of good old tax legislation, the rest of my career ebbed and flowed along with them, fortunately staying above water most of the time myself. Some of my employers along the way were The Bank of Virginia, Leasco, Industralease, Sussex Leasing Corp., and finally Eaton Financial Corporation/AT&T Capital Corp. I'm most thankful for having worked for and with several industry leaders and legends, including Saul Steinberg, Harvey Granat and Paul Gass. If you want a life-challenge, try satisfying those guys with your production. Trust me, it ain't gonna happen. Reaching the top of their organizations is leasing Mecca. Doesn't get better than that.

“In the event someone wants to contact me, my email address is However, I find that despite the closeness and camaraderie of the scads of leasing folks that served on my leasing teams over the years, there's little communication amongst us as time goes by. I can only hope they're too busy doing deals and prospering to socialize. I know if I was still out there takin' care of business, I wouldn't want to talk to me either.

“Lastly, thank you Kit Menkin for the opportunity to share some thoughts for old time's sake. Regards and best wishes to all, Mike Berke”