It’s January so, like many, I am embracing, with the zeal of a convert, the previously alien concepts of exercise and healthy eating.
The indulgence of Christmas is behind me and the high of New Year rejuvenation is still in the air, so it feels like time to shed my festive lining and try to make 2014 a better year.
I won’t be the only one with such ambitions this month, but I hope I am one of the happy few who can keep it up – at least until February.
As it is a new year and we are talking ambitions, it seems a good time for the leasing industry to set some ambitious targets of its own.
At the Leasing Life Conference in Berlin last month – coverage of which you will find on pages 14-19 – the discussion turned quickly to how the industry can grow its rate of penetration of fixed capital investment and the subject came up repeatedly over the course of the day.
While across various asset sectors the rate fluctuates, from single digits and low-teens of the technology space to as much as 75% in one sub-sector of construction equipment for manufacturer Wacker Neuson and finance partner De Lage Landen, the accepted industry average still sits around the 25% to 30% mark.
But in the day’s opening session, I asked the panel members how much this could realistically grow by and I was pleased with the target set by Ian Isaac of Lombard who said achieving a rate in the mid-40s to 50s over the next two years was not unrealistic.
In this column last month, and in my opening address in Berlin, I spoke of the renewed confidence and determination I had seen across the leasing industry in 2013 and how encouraging I think that is for the future of the business.
In 2014 – and in 2015 and beyond – I hope the industry can maintain this momentum and energy and look to achieve that two-year target.
As it is January, and as I’m feeling motivated to unsheathe my new running shoes and truly test the taste variation afforded by lentils, I’m going to set a New Year’s resolution for the leasing industry too.
I challenge the European leasing industry to take Ian Isaac’s two-year target and get halfway there by this time next year; to have achieved, by January 2015, a penetration rate between 35% and 40% across the board.
It will be difficult I am sure but I am also confident it is a goal the industry will not give up on. I can’t say the same about my new exercise regime.
Grant Collinson, editor