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June 24, 2019updated 15 Aug 2022 12:12pm

Book review: clear, concise and accessible

By Brian Cantwell

The second edition of the A to Z of Leasing and Asset Finance demonstrates that there is a valuable space for simple explanation in the modern world of leasing. Brian Cantwell takes a closer look at the latest publication by Julian Rose.

Julian Rose has written succinctly about asset finance for years, including comments on relatively technical topics delivered in clear and accessible prose in the pages of Leasing Life.

So it was with great interest that we received the copy of the second iteration of the A to Z of Leasing and Asset Finance, penned by Rose and co-contributor Stephen Bassett, current chair of the Asset Finance Professionals Association (AF-PA).

Since his days working as a policy mandarin for the Finance and Leasing Association, to striking out on his own in 2014 as a consultant with his own business, Asset Finance Policy, and championing the leasing industry, Rose has developed a singular insight on policy, practice and the specialist terms that were previously passed between senior members of the profession in banks and finance houses to junior members of their teams.

The market has evolved since the bank-backed parent model, with an evolution in alternative finance and developments in bank leasing, but the concern is that the informal knowledge being passed on to new students of leasing is at risk of being lost. What was missing was a manual, or glossary, for this on-the-job terminology.

Hence, then, the second edition of the A to Z of Leasing and Asset Finance, which includes 50 extra terms and updated definitions of over 100 existing terms from the first edition.

The book is straightforward and easy to use, with alphabetised page markers alongside the sides of the page which aids searches.

I thought of any of the recent regulatory or funding-led news stories that Leasing Life has written over the past year, and the topics covered in them were all easy to find in the book and simple to understand.

The art of speaking simply is a real asset to any business, as is the ability to understand quickly and conveniently. So having an A to Z like this at hand is very useful – and, incidentally, of great use for journalists to the sector like ourselves. Of particular benefit to knowledge were the indexing hashtags at use across the book. Whereas this mechanism is most formally used for Twitter-obsessed millennials, it really drives the ability to sort information, via hashtags such as #Associations or #Funding, and thereby increasing associative knowledge across the book. It is a great feature.

Rose has not had the whole burden to himself – Stephen Bassett, former managing director of Arkle Finance and now chair of the AF-PA, and a hugely-experienced leasing professional and industry linchpin, has helped road-test the information in the book.

Arkle and Rose have a strong and existing relationship: they produced an asset finance guide to GDPR for brokers together in 2018. Clearly, the reception for the first edition of the A to Z of Leasing and Asset Finance, found a real need for easy-access texts on the industry.

Rose says the first edition sold around 650 copies, and I am sure this could do as well – if not better. Certainly for new market entrants, this book is of great use to all staff, from a grounder for front-of-house staff to a memory aide for trained brokers.

Certainly, as we push into an age where the market is starting to get better at training and education with bespoke training courses, and the type of candidate entering the market is getting younger, I can see the business case for this book stretching out into further editions to come.

Copies can be ordered directly from Julian Rose at Julian@assetfinancepolicy.co.uk

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