Regretfully, it’s goodbye for now from me – from the start of June, I’m vacating the editor’s chair at Leasing Life, and moving on to a new challenge.
Before I go, however, I have some very large thank yous to say. In the five years since I joined the magazine in 2008, the world of asset finance has proved to be an incredibly interesting, spirited and idiosyncratic market to cover.
You work hard, you play hard, and you’ve been very patient and informative in educating me on what you do. Above all, you believe in your industry – and to be completely honest, I’ve come to believe in it myself.
Either this is a genuinely fascinating business, or I’ve developed a crippling case of Stockholm Syndrome.
Often, when people ask me what I do for a living, my response is met with something along the lines of: "Ha, that sounds like one of the weird trade magazines from the last round of Have I Got News For You."
After meekly acknowledging that yes, Leasing Life has actually featured on the news quiz show in question, I generally ask them whether they know just how big an industry leasing is.
And while it’s always a bit risky to talk about the particulars of the financial services sector for too long in a general social context, people are universally surprised by how much leasing goes on without them, the proverbial man on the street, being aware of it at all.
If there’s a lasting impression I’ll take from the European leasing industry, that’s it: here is a service that is virtually essential for the smooth running of modern civilisation, but which is far too unassuming for its own good.
It’s not the notorious derivative traders that have kept normal Europeans employed and solvent through a brutal round of economic restructure: it’s the underwriters who agreed to refinance their thermosetting plant, the fleet businesses that arranged contract hire for their van fleets, the brokers that found affordable finance for their forklifts.
I have no doubt that these highly talented, driven professionals will continue to play a pivotal role in the continent’s recovery, and I have every hope that they will be rightly recognised for it. I look forward to keeping an eye on it all as a reader of Leasing Life rather than editor.
Taking on that task here will be Grant Collinson, a man who – if I am to continue with the tack of honesty with which I confessed my affection for the sector – has done all the really hard work behind this title since he took the role of deputy editor 12 months ago.
I wish him, and all of you, every success in the future (and yes, for the record, I refuse to use the phrase "going forward".)
Thanks again, and best regards,
Fred Crawley, editor