Harry Kaplun - An Interview with an industry leader with deep expertise in starting and building a significant and successful bank equipment leasing and finance business.

This video series is a must for banks wanting to add a significant commercial asset generation business and specifically, doing so by starting an Equipment leasing and finance lending vertical.  Harry Kaplun, who very recently retired as President of Frost Bank Equipment Finance, has deep expertise in green-fielding the business at a 150-year-old Texas-based bank. Harry describes what works, what does not work, and some of the pitfalls along the way.  Bob and Harry discuss the national vs. footprint models as well as middle and large ticket sectors vs. small ticket (small business).  Harry has been there and seen it all.  Harry has also been a longtime contributor of time, talent, and treasure to the Equipment Leasing & Finance Association.  It was Harry’s idea to create the ELFA Guest Lecture Program to evangelize the industry at colleges and universities across the USA.

Harry Kaplun – Introduction

Part 1: A discussion around equipment leasing & finance banking models

Harry and Bob discuss the two types of models for a bank equipment leasing and finance business unit.

Part 2: A discussion around equipment leasing & finance banking models

Harry discusses the “characteristics of success.”  One such requirement is a well thought out strategic approach with buy-in with all stakeholders at the bank.

Challenges to starting a new bank leasing & finance model

Harry discusses a couple of the more significant challenges, such as the need for transaction speed and receptivity to change.

Addressing the Cost of entry concern

One false perception by the bank is usually that the cost of entry will be high, but the reality can be very different.  Understanding the banking metric of efficiency ratio is a must.

The role of the bank’s CEO and culture

How does a bank usually get started in entering the equipment leasing & finance business?  The role of the Bank CEO, which is where the impetus all must begin, has to build consensus across the bank executive team.  Harry discusses the two models of “footprint” vs. “national approach.”  Assessing whether the bank’s culture can tolerate the change requires objective and frankly brutal honesty.

Harry Kaplun

Harry Kaplun's Full Bio