John C. Deane

John Deane is a founder of The Alta Group and its chief executive officer.

He leads the global consultancy composed of five major practice areas: consulting, merger & acquisitions, legal support services, professional development, and vendor and captive programs.

Prior to co-founding The Alta Group, he served as a principal in the firm of Amembal, Deane & Associates, the world’s leading provider of training, educational and consulting services for the equipment leasing industry. He has been CEO of both Great Western Leasing and BancOne Leasing and has served as the CFO and president of several major financial corporations.

His broad expertise over more than 35 years was fortified by his work as chairman of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) and as a member of the World Leasing Council. Click here for his full bio.

”Grim confidence.” That’s how executives at a recent equipment leasing roundtable characterized attitudes in the industry today. It’s a far cry from how things were in the early 1970s when John C. Deane entered the business.

Deane, who began his career in banking and today is CEO of the global consulting firm, The Alta Group, helped pioneer the equipment leasing and finance business.

“Economic factors today are more significant to our industry than ever,” Deane said in an interview recently for Leasing Avenues. Today the action “is not in product development, but in management and execution,” he said.

When Deane entered equipment leasing, the business was new and entrepreneurial, and the U.S. was in recession. Fifty years later, the industry is mature and the nation is emerging from an even deeper recession. But Deane sees numerous opportunities in new vertical niches, in international expansion (both inbound and outbound), and in trimming costs and improving management.

Although the last decade wrought more negative than positive occurrences for the industry, solid growth occurred mid-way through, Deane said, allowing many companies to survive and prosper. The industry “hasn’t done anything wrong,” he said; “[but] there may have been some ‘overly creative’ structuring in the late 1990s.”

Deane practiced equipment leasing and finance from 1971 to 1992 and then started The Alta Group. Soon afterward, the consultancy produced Perfect Storms, a research paper written for the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation that is still downloaded today. “It was a deep dive into what went wrong in some well-known equipment leasing companies,” Deane said.

In the video linked to this article, Deane talks about his entry into equipment leasing and the satisfaction the business has provided over the years. He also discusses high points of his career, one being his role as chairman of the ELFA.

John Deane’s Biography >>

Sudhir R. Amembal

Mr. Amembal, chairman and CEO of Amembal & Associates as well the CEO and editor of Global Leasing Resource (GLR), is interviewed about his experience as an educator and entrepreneur featuring his global perspective. This pioneer, like others interviewed here, remains extremely active in the industry and has recently launched both the GLR and the World Leasing News.

Sudhir P. Amembal is Chairman and CEO of Amembal & Associates as well the CEO and Editor of Global Leasing Resource. He began his professional career in lease education, consulting and publications by co-founding Amembal & Isom in 1978, the first entity in the world to serve the global leasing industry.

Entities under his stewardship became the world’s most highly respected training and consulting firms in the field of equipment leasing. These entities have trained over 70,000 leasing professionals throughout the world. Mr. Amembal has conducted technical presentations on leasing in over 75 countries.

As a government advisor, Mr. Amembal has spearheaded lease consultancy engagements conducted on behalf of over 20 governments including China, Indonesia, Korea and Nigeria. These engagements required him to review the overall leasing industry in each country and devise strategic recommendations to facilitate the growth of the industry. His most recent assignment was to assist in the introduction of operating leases into Bangladesh.

He has co-authored 16 books on leasing and has appeared as a keynote speaker at numerous domestic and international conferences. He has addressed conventions held by all four of the global regional associations – African Leasing Association, Asialease, Leaseurope, and the Latin American Leasing Association. He has chaired each of the annual World Leasing Conventions from 1993 to date. He will chair the forthcoming World Leasing Convention to be held in Cairo, June 7 & 8, 2011.

Mr. Amembal is the publisher of an online global magazine, and he serves as an advisor to Sigma Consultancy, a global provider of lease management software. He recently launched World Leasing News – Global Resource Guide & Directory, a unique product/service that seeks to revolutionize the dissemination of critical information to the leasing industry.

For a period of five years from 1997 to 2002, Mr. Amembal was Chairman of Amembal Capital Corporation, a middle market leasing company. Prior to 1978, he was a member of the faculty at the College of Business, University of Utah, prior to which he worked with Ernst & Young in New York City.

He has a B.Com from the University of Bombay, an MBA from the University of Utah and is a CPA qualified to practice in New York.

James Renner

Jim Renner, a consultant with The Alta Group, has extensive expertise helping financial institutions succeed in equipment leasing and finance markets. Prior to joining the global consultancy in January, 2011, he was president of Wells Fargo Equipment Finance and its forerunner, Norwest Equipment Finance for 15 years, before retiring. Jim led the growth of its leasing portfolio from $530 million to $7.5 billion, establishing Wells Fargo as one of the largest bank leasing companies in North America. Jim was president of First Bank System Leasing prior to joining Norwest.

His career began in the credit training program of Irving Trust Company in New York City right out of college. He later returned to Minnesota and joined First Bank of Minneapolis, where he was a commercial lender in the real estate department before starting its leasing operation.

Still based in Minneapolis, Jim is well known for his leadership in the equipment leasing and finance industry. He has been active in the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) for more than 25 years, serving on committees and as a director, vice chairman, and chairman in previous years. He also has been a trustee, chairman, and national development chairman of the ELFA Foundation, which honored him with a special recognition award in 2005.

Jim graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor of arts degree in economics.

Bob Rinaldi Site Features Interview with Bank Leasing Pioneer Dennis Neumann


CINCINNATI, OHIO, March 8, 2011–Bob Rinaldi, the founder of, interviewed equipment leasing industry pioneer and leader Dennis Neumann, currently the CEO of BNY Capital Funding LLC. The Skype video interview is in four parts covering Neumann’s early career and his long-term experience within the bank leasing and large-ticket sectors of the industry.

Rinaldi and Neumann first met years ago through their involvement with the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) and worked together on its board of directors.
Neumann, who entered the industry in the large-ticket sector, speaks about leveraged leases funded by banks, syndication, investment tax credits, and in the future what it will take for new entrants in the equipment finance business to succeed.

Rinaldi says he has a number of pioneer interviews that are going to be added soon. “Each one shares fascinating accounts of events as they happened and each one is insightful,” he added. Rinaldi hopes the videos will provide inspiration and spur comments, questions and contributions from visitors to the site.

“This is also a place for you to comment, ask questions, review the latest industry news, and connect with colleagues worldwide,” said Rinaldi of his blog site, LeasingAvenues.

Rinaldi, who has almost three decades of experience in the equipment leasing industry, joined CSI Leasing last year as a senior vice president to spearhead the IT leasing company’s expansion into other markets. Previously, he served as executive vice president of National City Commercial Capital Company (NC4), now a part of PNC, and he also was president of NC4 Canada.

LeasingAvenues is an independent venture by Rinaldi launched last year at the ELFA convention. He established the website to capture industry stories from many leaders who carved out career opportunities and who have deep knowledge, vision and advice to be shared and valued. Please visit

Dennis Neumann, Leasing Pioneer

Bob Rinaldi interviewed leasing pioneer, Dennis Neumann, currently the CEO of BNY Capital Funding LLC. The Skype interview was captured on video Jan. 8, 2011. Bob and Dennis had first met years ago through their involvement with the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association and their roles on its board of directors.

Mr. Neumann entered what is known in the equipment leasing industry as the large-ticket sector through a company called North American Car (NAC) Leasing in 1978. He came to NAC from First National Bank of Chicago where he was an investment officer for large corporate pension funds. At NAC he was responsible for syndicating leveraged leases to banks and credit companies used to finance rail cars to a variety of railroads and shippers. These deals generally involved 100 to 150 railcars–not large by today’s standards–but, nevertheless, rewarding for NAC and also for Mr. Neumann. It was in this position that he developed what became a lasting relationship with Bank of New York.

When NAC was sold to GE, he was hired by First Chicago Leasing to join a team to reinvigorate the then dormant leasing company. After leading their leading their syndication division for a number of years, he was recruited to join BNY in 1989.

This Interview (in three segments) captures Neumann’s story, discusses bank leasing, investment tax credits, large-ticket deal-making and also what he thinks it will take for new entrants to succeed today in the equipment finance business.

WLN Launches Series on Emerging Leaders

World Leasing News launched a new series to feature emerging leaders. Bob Rinaldi is interviewed for the Feb. 2011 story, and Leasing Avenues is cited.

Industry Veteran Bob Rinaldi to Share Best Practices for Moving Forward, Speaking at ELFA Convention

CINCINNATI, OHIO, OCT. 15–Industry veteran, Bob Rinaldi, senior vice president of CSI Leasing, Inc., is joining an esteemed group of his peers for a panel discussion on the future success of companies in the equipment leasing and finance industry at the ELFA Convention in Boca Raton, Fla., on Monday, Oct. 25, 2010, at 11 a.m.

Considering the conference theme, “Move Forward,” Rinaldi plans to share his insights on what has helped his company and others survive, prosper and prepare for the future during the past couple of years, widely considered among the most challenging and volatile in the history of the industry.

The panel discussion, entitled “Building a Better Business Model: Adapting, Innovating and Evolving for Improved Performance,” also will include John Karolenko, vice president – operational excellence, PHH Arval; Guy Klingler, president, First American Equipment Finance; and Rick Remiker, president, Huntington Equipment Finance. It will be moderated by Steve LeBarron, vice president – marketing, CHP Consulting.

Among the topics to be covered during the moderated panel discussion include funding challenges, risk management, operational efficiency, technology deployment, regulation, origination opportunities and ways to embrace change.

“There’s no question this has been a tumultuous period for virtually everyone in our industry,” Rinaldi said. “The future looks brighter, however, and this is an ideal time to share our ideas and ways of meeting various challenges that can help others. The goal is to use our lessons learned to strengthen the overall health of our industry and its prospects for future success as the slow recovery continues.”

During his 25-year career in the equipment leasing and finance industry, he has used his creativity, leadership skills, knowledge, experience, and often times unconventional approach to enhance systems, operations, sales and marketing activities in both domestic and international arenas. At CSI Leasing, the largest privately held, U.S.-based equipment lessor, Rinaldi supports growth strategies for this expanding company with operations in 28 countries.

Rinaldi was formerly president of National City Commercial Credit (NC4) Canada and executive vice president of NC4 in the United States. He was a founding partner of Information Leasing Corp., which he helped grow to the fifth largest bank-owned leasing company in the country. He is a trustee of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation, a director of the Equipment Leasing & Finance Association and Chairman of its LeasePAC.