Video Masterclass Lecture - Credit: The Big Picture

Join me as I kick off a new 4-part masterclass series on credit, hosted by the NEFA Education Committee. I draw on advisory experience in this industry to present the first of this series - Credit: The Big Picture.

This educational series is great for credit people and non-credit people alike. Whether you’re in finance, sales, or administration, understanding more about credit will help you find and identify how your role affects company health, and how you can assist in improving overall company profitability.

This session focuses on understanding credit, how it’s put together, and how it works to create company specific credit products. My lecture takes a look at the history of credit, types of credit models, why the credit process is important, understanding risk, and how to understand and strategize for charge-offs/loss.

Explore the bigger picture with me – increase your understanding of not only how credit works, but how it affects the growth and profitability of finance companies. Here we consider some top-line issues that are key to not only informing how equipment finance companies can survive, but create a stronger framework to make money and see growth.

Watch the first course now:

Credit: The Big Picture

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Equipment Finance Advisor reports NEFA series on credit to have an overwhelming response, Rinaldi delivers an "engaging and insightful presentation"

Equipment Finance Advisor reports NEFA series on credit to have an overwhelming response, Rinaldi delivers an "engaging and insightful presentation."

With over 200 attendees, the first in a four-part series for NEFA on credit is hitting the mark with finance professionals. This course is an initiative by NEFA’s Education Committee to empower professionals in the equipment finance industry with in-depth knowledge and best practices related to credit. I was honored to present the first in this four part series, Credit: The Big Picture – setting the framework for continuing valuable knowledge that will enhance your expertise and contribute to your long-term success.

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The Equipment Leasing M&A Outlook for 2023

In this article for I examine the outlook for Equipment Leasing M&A in 2023. With the current economic landscape, there's no doubt that the Equipment Leasing industry is poised for growth and change. Drawing on 30 years of experience in the sector, I offer a comprehensive analysis of what to expect in 2023, including the key drivers of growth, challenges to watch out for, and opportunities for strategic M&A. Whether you lead a community bank or an equipment leasing company, this article provides valuable insights that can inform your decision-making and help you stay ahead of the curve.

The Equipment Leasing M&A Outlook for 2023

Fear, uncertainty and doubt are never harbingers of a good M&A environment. However, in my opinion, that is not the case as it relates to the equipment leasing and finance market.

In my 30-plus years of experience in the equipment finance sector, it’s always a good time for a bank buyer to purchase a solid equipment leasing and finance company as a way to enter the space. Generally, community banks’ commercial and industrial assets tend to be concentrated in real estate. Many community banks are also sitting on a lot of cash they are having trouble deploying into loans, especially non-commercial real estate C&I. By comparison, equipment finance companies are fantastic generators of C&I assets.

We’ve been involved in some recent transactions and projects during these less-than-ideal economic times. In early 2021, Marietta, Ohio-based Peoples Bancorp acquired North Star Leasing out of Vermont. In mid-2021, Indiana, Pennsylvania-based First Commonwealth Financial Corp. did a lift out of a team to start their foray into equipment finance. In mid-2022, Trustmark Corp. out of Jackson, Mississippi, launched a bank leasing business by hiring a well-known bank-owned equipment finance leader. Lastly, in the third quarter of 2022, New Orleans-based Gulf Coast Bank and Trust Co. acquired KLC Financial out of Minnetonka, Minnesota.

Each of these banks has a relatively small geographical footprint and acquired national leasing companies or platforms nowhere near their core markets. All were sitting on a great deal of cash and found equipment finance as one solution to effectively deploy those funds.

What does this mean for the future M&A market of equipment finance companies? The obvious headwinds for the space will be the continuation of the Federal Reserve’s tightened monetary policy, abnormal supply chain issues, elevated asset values and increasing interest rates to fight inflation. Fed governors are on record saying that the risk of recession is worth the price for reining in inflation.

Since equipment finance transactions have a short amortization period and each new transaction is reviewed based upon its own merits at the time of application, equipment leasing and finance companies adjust to conditions reasonably fast. Granted, some bank-owned competitors sometimes hold off raising rates longer than necessary; for them, it is a balancing act between needing C&I assets, their intrinsic cost of funds and their cash levels. Another thing that occurs during any period of uncertainty is that banks tend to pull in the reins on credit quality and lending in general, especially to small businesses.

The equipment leasing and finance business has all the attributes that make it appealing to potential bank buyers: The equipment finance industry does well in good times and very well in counter-cyclical times.

And generally speaking, it is always a good time for a bank to purchase a solid equipment finance company. There are roughly less than 700 independent leasing companies; there are roughly 4,800 banks in the U.S. of all sizes.

One of the key attributes of a “solid” leasing company is that it has a platform that is scalable. After all, the only reason for a bank to buy a leasing company is to scale it so it can put more of its assets to work generating larger spreads and stronger returns in this asset class, lifting the bank’s total spreads and return on assets. In every case, independent lessors are constrained by capital and the cost of capital that it can obtain. It is the exception for a bank acquisition of an equipment leasing company not to pan out as planned. Generally speaking, the actual results turn out well beyond what buyers expected going into the acquisition.

There are not many potential equipment leasing targets that are bank-ready at any moment in time; the same goes for banks that are prepared to purchase and succeed in a deal for an equipment leasing and finance company. We refer to those institutions that are ready as “equipment finance industry ready:” the prospective bank acquirer has done enough research and modeling of the equipment finance industry to understand what kind, size and equipment-type focus of equipment finance company would work best for them. That is, in fact, why banks engage advisors who have deep expertise in the whole equipment leasing and finance industry.

© 2023. This article originally appeared on All rights reserved.

Smaller Independents and Third-Party Originators - Critical Players in Equipment Finance

Smaller Independents and Third-Party Originators - Critical Players In Equipment Finance

Are smaller independent equipment finance companies and third party originators largely ignored in sizing of the industry? I think so. Join me as I have a lively conversation with Michael Toglia, publisher at Equipment Finance Advisors, about why we’re overlooking the origins and “vibrancy of the industry” and how this might just be creating unidentified risk for the bigger players.

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Video Interview with Sandhills Global - Disruption in Process

Sandhills Global has been showing up at leasing events for the past couple of years.  Some know who they are or think they have an idea.  Well, same with me.  Today we clear up the question of who and what Sandhills Global is and why we should care.  Sandhills has been known for the print publications like Truck Paper, Machinery Trader, TractorHouse, and a lot of others.  But so what?


Simply put, Sandhills Global has been working to become a significant disrupter in the core of Equipment Leasing & Finance - equipment resale price optimization and valuation analysis.

Sandhills Global is a prime example of a company morphing from a low-tech to high-tech business model in terms of asset valuations and remarketing of assets and now doing something with all of the data gathered along the way. 

Part 1: What is Sandhills Global?

Part 2:  From classified print ads to big data?

Part 3: Sandhills Value Prop

Part 4: The impact of disruption!

Part 5: What’s next for Sandhills?

Part 6   Wrapping your mind around Sandhills Global.

Mitch Helman

Mitch Helman

Scott Lubischer

Peter Zeihan - “The End of the World is Just The Beginning”


Let me be clear, this is a must-read, not for just those in the equipment finance industry but for everyone.   There is a paradigm shift afoot, NOW!  The sooner we understand it, the sooner we are prepared to capitalize on it.  This is not a dour forecast but a reset. You cannot say, "I wish I knew then what I know now," because, well, now you do! Thanks to Peter Zeihan and his first-rate team of researchers.


Peter and Bob discuss his new best-selling book and why understanding what is coming about is vital to EVERYTHING going forward.

Peter is an expert in geopolitics, a prescient sage, albeit young, who has an uncanny way of simplifying the seemingly complex and sometimes insane world we live in.

Part 1:  The Impetus for “The End of the World”


Part 2:  Peter on being right on the mark for the past 7 years.


Part 3:  Please tell me there is a happy ending?

Spoiler Alert! This is not the end of the world! Jeesh!  What we need to know to capitalize on the changes in the new supply chains.

Part 4: Peter at ELFA’s October 2022 Convention!

Peter mentions a particular section in the book that we in the leasing industry will want to read!

Link to Peter's Website

Video Interview with Dave Schaefer, CLFP – Servicing Leases & Loans, a New Normal?

We caught up with the legendary David T. Schaefer, CFLP, of Orion First to talk to us about the great migration of companies to third-party servicing, and how perception of this alternative to in-house servicing has changed.


Dave’s well-known in the industry, particularly on the operations side of lease and loan servicing, first as president of the fabled Financial Pacific, and later as he started his own operations and servicing firm. He’s currently CEO of Orion First, which he founded twenty years ago, and which offers full-service commercial loan, lease, and contract management, as well as backup servicing and commercial collections.


Bookmark this page and watch this brilliant six-part interview, especially if you are an independent with an eye toward selling your company in the future.

So, Dave tells us how the migration and the perception of this alternative to in-house has morphed.  Join us, especially if you are an independent with an eye toward selling your company in the future.     

Part 1: Changes in the perception of the acceptance of third-party servicing by the industry

Part 2:  Impact of Covid on the perception and mainstreaming of thought of Orion’s customers and prospects

Part 3: When is servicing a competitive advantage for a leasing company?

Part 4:  Can using outsource servicing be a contributor to enterprise value of a lessor with the goal of an exit to monetize their long-term investment in their company.

Part 5: The Value of Soc1 Type 2 or better Compliance?

Part 6   What’s to come over the next 3 years from a technology standpoint with respect to servicing?

Dave Schaefer, CLFP

Dave's Bio

Video Interview with Scott Nelson, Ph.D. – Artificial Intelligence Technology for Independent Lessors

Scott Nelson, Ph.D., President, and Chief Digital Officer, of Tamarack Technology Inc., provides Leasing Avenues with the state of artificial intelligence in the equipment leasing and finance industry. From AI, Machine Learning, and Natural Language Processing to how they can be implemented now, Scott explains how even small lessors can realize substantial benefits. Spoiler Alert: it is now affordable and feasible to implement in under a year.

If you do not understand what AI is or its applicability to our industry, you will want to watch all five short segments of the video interview with Scott.      

Part 1: Introduction to Scott and Tamarack Technology

Part 2: What are we talking about when we discuss AI, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing

Part 3: So, what’s the big deal?

Part 4: Practical examples of applicability for independent lessors desiring to scale

Part 5: The Money Question and Conclusion

Scott Nelson, Ph.D.

Scott Nelson Ph.D Bio

Chris Chiappetta Video Interview – Broker to Lessor to Exit – A real life “how to”

Chris Chiappetta, now less than one year after leaving First Midwest Bank, provides his real-life experience and retrospective. 

This video interview is a must for brokers and lessors that may have similar aspirations.  It is also a must for those who need to think post-acquisition by a bank in order to prepare themselves for life as a banker.

Part 1: The journey from a broker to his first line of credit as a lessor

Part 2: The Exit – How and why the exit happened & life post-acquisition

Part 3: Chris gives a retrospective on his long-term goal of an exit while being a broker.

Part 4: Educating the bank vs being left alone.

Part 5:  A SURPRISING ANSWER to what’s next for Chris!

Chris Chiappetta

Chris Chiappetta's Bio