The power of leasing

Sometimes asset finance has not had the recognition it so
clearly deserves. A story reaches our ears, involving the CEO of GE
and one of its equipment leasing arms.

At an annual jamboree for employees, our source says that the
stand assigned to GE Capital Woodchester, as it was then known, was
only half the expected size and was, furthermore, in a dark corner…
near to the public conveniences, to add insult to injury. But
salvation came from an unlikely quarter. Our source was talking on
his mobile, oblivious to his surroundings, when he suddenly found
himself on the floor and in danger of being trodden on – with the
culprit none other than Jeffrey Immelt himself.

After being helped up, with the great man offering apologies
while berating his sizeable contingent of bodyguards for not having
prevented the collision, our source dusted himself off – and was
rewarded with Immelt’s undivided attention for a good 15 minutes or

He put the time to good use showing off the Woodchester stand,
while representatives from GE’s many other divisions looked on
enviously. Sometimes being in the wrong place at the right time can
pay dividends, even if the price involves a little light


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In a whiff of smoke…

During the collection of statistics for this month’s databank
feature, the author was astonished to discover that, according to
the Leaseurope website at least, the Lithuanian Leasing Association
had vanished overnight.

Completely unsubstantiated eyewitness reports have it that the
Association was last seen disappearing in a cloud of coloured smoke
in central Vilnius, leaving only four pencils, a bicycle and a
collection of extremely useful spreadsheets to mark its


Software provider in trouble

So much for the frequently repeated slogans put about by leasing
companies about the importance of investing during a downturn. At
least one international leasing software company is believed to be
laying-off staff, including some of its more senior members.


Rome alight: Nero to purchase fiddle

Although Birmingham’s Commercial Vehicle show has been cancelled
for 2009 after an avalanche of dropouts from exhibitors, it is
heartening to know that Europe’s luxury yacht industry is
soldiering on modestly.

While the National Exhibition Centre will host only the eerie
silence of financial uncertainty this year, the London Boat Show
steamrollered through January fuelled by a handful of billionaires
and an army of envious ticket holders.

It is some consolation that, should the road transport and
logistics industries go belly-up, there will at least still be a
thriving market for people who build swimming pools inside colossal
pleasure boats.


Brokers kept out of the IoD

Leasing brokers are said to be doing less work today than they
were a year ago. Consequently they are doubtless looking for nice
places to spend the daylight hours.

No surprise then that the regular briefings organised by leasing
consultancy Invigors at the Institute of Directors in London’s Pall
Mall was so filled up that organisers had to turn away potential
paying customers.


The wilder shores of leasing

Equipment leasing lawyer Deidre Dare has been asked to stop
publishing extracts online from an erotic novel she has written, as
it is apparently embarrassing her bosses.

Ms Dare, a senior associate at Allen & Overy, represents
international clients involved in equipment leasing and project
financing and works in the Moscow office of the London-based

And now, for the exclusive pleasure of Basement Talk readers,
here is the novel’s opening line: “There is something thrilling
about being in bed with a Frenchman, even if he does have a small
**** which he can’t get up…”


Oh, the glamour

Leasing? Glitzy? Can’t be.

Er, it is. Check out the following for sheer glamour. There’s a
Julia Roberts at NetSol Technologies (although, according to
Basement Talk intelligence, she left the lease software company in
recent weeks), a Vaughan Williams, a director of asset finance and
leasing at the UK arm of Deutsche Bank, and best of all Graham
Winslet, a manager at BNP Paribas Lease Group UK, who is the uncle
of the well-known actress with the same surname.

Anyone else able to provide links between leasing and the stars
should e-mail Leasing Life.


Astonishing figures

Data from ICC Information published in the Irish Times this week
has revealed that the Irish leasing industry’s balance sheet is in
shocking shape.

According to the study, more than one-fifth of Ireland’s trading
companies have a negative net worth, with the leasing sector
amassing the largest total at an astonishing €7 billion in negative

This figure translates to an average net worth of negative €32
million for Irish leasing companies, compared to a €4.1 billion
negative worth for the rest of the financial services industry.