post-Soviet Ukraine, the assets lease you
This month, a special Basement
Talk report from the conference of the Ukrainian Union of
It was a well-attended event,
studded with representatives from all over Europe, and the reporter
doesn’t mind admitting she was a little bit star-struck when she
met Leaseurope chairman Jukka Salonen.
The panel discussion, too, was
informative and relevant – even featuring two alarmingly
robust-looking members of the Ukrainian Parliament. Nevertheless,
the whole affair had its bizarre moments – at least to the cosseted
English sensibilities of this reporter.
Held at the imposing-looking
President Hotel in Kiev, the conference itself took place in the
basement, in a room that looked not unlike a school hall, but
filled with suited-and-booted asset finance types, and a number of
extremely well-dressed and somewhat out-of-place-looking women.
Nevertheless, the hospitality was
flawless and the UUL put in a sterling effort, including a vast
spread of finger food during the 11am coffee break.
Held in a courtyard area, bathed in
golden Ukrainian spring sunlight, the atmosphere could not have
been more conducive to polite discussion. Problems arose, however,
when it came time to try the food.
Not being terribly adventurous in
her culinary choices on the whole, and being loath to show her
ignorance by asking, the reporter surveyed the spread with quiet
That looks like cake – but wait, it
has fish on it, probably best to avoid that. That could be a
sandwich, but it’s hard to be sure. Water it is, then.
It was, however, impossible to
fault the UUL staff for their attentiveness and willingness to make
sure everything was clear and coherent.
Being but a niche trade magazine,
we at Leasing Life are not accustomed to being given any
kind of preferential treatment – so when the magazine later got a
special mention during a speech, the reporter must confess she was
quite taken aback.
But the real pièce de résistance of
sheer oddity arrived when, apparently à propos of nothing at all,
the reporter was presented with a decorative plate.
While a very sweet gesture, not quite knowing what to make of it
and with a flight to catch, she thanked her hosts and hastily made
tracks. What would have happened had she been able to stay for the
second half of the day, we will never know.