Photograph of Fred CrawleyIt’s that time of year again. June is here, and that
means the Leasing Life team is gearing up for six months
of preparation, programming and nominations perusal in advance of
our annual awards and conference event.

This year we’ll be convening in Barcelona on
29 November for a conference I hope will follow on neatly from the
theme of innovation developed last year. While the agenda will no
doubt see plenty of shifts between now and November as we assemble
our speaker line-up, I think it’s fair to say that a broad question
framing this year’s conference will be this: how can the industry
keep hold of the innovations made during five years of crisis, and
use them to strengthen the penetration of leasing into both capital
expenditure and business consciousness?

Based on feedback from delegates, we’re going
to be looking more deeply into customer perspectives of asset
finance from different sectors, and developing some of the
discussions about pricing and risk that were initiated last

Needless to say, there’ll be a lot more to say
about the conference as we start announcing speakers. For now,
however, I’d like to take the opportunity to announce the

opening of nominations for our Awards evening
, held after the
conference and sponsored exclusively by CHP Consulting.

The Awards night has seen a bigger number of
nominations and attendees every year since its inception, and to
reflect this we’ve decided to launch a handful of new awards for
2012. We’ll be running our usual core of hotly contested titles
(captive finance provider, vendor finance provider, asset finance
legal provider, green finance company, innovator, SME champion,
European lessor and lifetime achievement), but adding the following
to the list:

  • Inventory finance provider of the year
  • Broker of the year
  • Transaction of the year
  • Spanish leasing company of the year
  • Rising star

By the time this magazine hits your desk, the
full category descriptions will be up on our website, as well as
information about how you can nominate your company.

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Since we had a number of requests for this
last year, I’ve also put together a quick guide to companies
looking to put forward successful nominations. Having worked with
the judging panel to shortlist and vote in winners for the last
four years, I’ve seen a lot of great nominations… and some rather
daunting ones too!

So, for what it’s worth, here are my (dare I
say ‘top’?) tips for nominations in 2012:

1. Be open about your
achievements. Even though the awards are run under the Leasing Life
brand, there is a clear line between information submitted for the
awards and information intended for publication in the magazine or
online. Information on submissions labelled CONFIDENTIAL will only
be shown to members of the judging panel. At the same time, even
where requested information on profit, volumes etc is in the public
domain, it should still be submitted with nomination documents to
provide a full picture of performance.

2. Support your opinions with
facts. When judges compare companies on various criteria, a company
that claims “market-leading service quality” will be discarded in
favour of one which can quote data on customer satisfaction, for

3. Be concise. Two pages of
bullet points and short paragraphs supported by a couple of charts
or graphs are a lot easier to take in and compare than long
presentations containing company histories, marketing copy and the

4. What makes you unique? We
are looking for companies that stand out from the crowd. When you
list the things you do well, don’t forget to emphasise where you
feel you are unique among your competitors, or where you do things
differently from the rest of the industry.

5. Follow the guidelines.
While you are invited to raise any point that you feel strengthens
your nomination, we recommend clearly and directly addressing each
point listed in the category criteria – this allows judges to
easily compare like with like.

6. Keep it current. Remember
that in almost all categories, the award title contains the words
“of the year”. For maximum impact, please refer to developments and
performance achieved in the last 12 months. While a record of
success won’t hurt a nomination, it is the most recent activity
that will win awards.

Very best of luck, and I hope to see
nominations from many of you over the coming weeks.

On a final note, I’d like to offer a note of
respect to the Ukrainian Union of Lessors, whose third
international leasing conference I attended last month. It’s no
mean feat for a national association to put on a conference that
draws speakers and delegates from an entire multinational region
and the fact this is being accomplished in a market that has seen
such a tough few years is an extremely encouraging sign.

I hope you enjoy this month’s issue.

Fred Crawley