This year’s Leasing Life Awards 2023 – to be held at the Corinthia Grand, Budapest, Hungary on 9 November – are open for nominations.

The 20th edition of the Leasing Life Conference & Awards will bring together top people from across Europe to deliver key, actionable insights into the latest regulatory requirements, technological innovations, strategic developments, and strategies of use to equipment financing experts.

Last year’s Conference was a great success and included participation from 3stepIT, DLL, CSI Leasing, PEAC Finance, Siemens FS, Hickman Shearer and KPMG – among others.

This year’s event will culminate in an awards ceremony in the evening. The deadline for entries for this year’s 13 award nominations is 5pm GMT on 22nd September 2023.  

How to submit your nominations:

1. Download and complete the Entry Form.

2. Send your completed Entry Form and supporting documents to Christy Chang: christy.chang@arena-international.com by the deadline.

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The Award Categories and the eligibility for each are as follows: 

1. Distribution Channel Management Champion:

A good distribution channel management lessor covers the full value chain from acquiring and onboarding channel partners (resellers and dealers), making them an integrated part of their ‘Go2Market’ model & sales channel, including training, marketing/animation programmes, as well as “easy to deal with” processes & IT systems to help them support their business growth with a performance sales financing programme.

Judges will consider:

  • Sustainable year-on-year business growth of the distribution channel and evidence of increased penetration of the leasing offer in the product sales of the channel’s partners
  • Existence of online capabilities for the management end-to-end transactions, including online automatic credit scoring
  • Evidence of training, marketing, and sales support programmes, including a focused channel management organisation, to help the partners growing their business profitably
  • Examples of “added value” services brought to the partners
  • Evidence of partner satisfaction in terms of relationship management, quality of service and reporting tools

2. Professional Services Provider 

The stand-out firms are those that lead thinking, add value back to the industry and challenge the status quo while offering an exemplary service on top of their industry knowledge.  Asset finance must be a core discipline and demand a real focus from the firm.

Except for software houses (to avoid potential conflict of interest with sponsors), applicants to this award can be any services company to the leasing and asset finance industry: management consultants, legal firms, training company, marketing and communication agencies.

Judges will consider:

  • Team focus – is it a specialised asset finance professional services team? Can it clearly bring in other disciplines where needed?
  • Scope of services offered to meet the various demands and example of successful projects
  • Thought development – is the firm proactive in challenging and informing the industry.
  • The professional services client satisfaction and market reputation.
  • Growth of profile and capability; has the firm built on its successes and made inroads into developing its service reach and client capability.
  • People development – does the professional services provider demonstrate a development culture and do they bring on (and attract) strong new talent.

3. SME Champion

This award recognises European and UK asset finance lenders that directly engage in supporting the SME market, beyond volume picked up via wholesale/intermediary type operations.

Judges will consider:

  • Demonstrable interest in the SME markets, beyond the provision of finance
  • Clear endorsement from clients
  • Consistent growth and commitment to the SME market
  • Examples of demonstrating creativity and addressing SME market demands in imaginative ways, including risk policies

4. Vendor Finance Provider

This award recognises an asset finance lessor that has worked in conjunction with a manufacturer to provide tailored asset finance at the point of sale. The essence of success is building strong and successful partnerships that add clear value to both sides: this is not just about the provision of funding but also about creating a strong service and partnership business culture that withstands the ebbs and flows of the external environment.

Judges will consider:

  • Range and longevity of working partnerships
  • Endorsement from vendor partners
  • Evidence of developing more than “just financing”
  • Growth over time and the depth of their commitment to the business sector
  • Evidence of training, marketing and sales support programmes, including a focused vendor management organisation designed to help the vendors grow their business profitably
  • Evidence of OEMs satisfaction in terms of relationship management, quality of service and reporting tools

5. European Lessor

To qualify for this award, nominees must have businesses across at least two of Europe’s major five economies and write at least €500m worth of new business annually. The European lessor of the year should be able to explain how it is driving change in the industry with market initiatives, product design, or value-add services.

Judges will consider:

  • Business being written in multiple jurisdictions within the EU
  • Strong brand market presence in multiple jurisdictions
  • Evidencing should include deal volumes, with some ‘marquee’ deal example, with a few lines explaining size and complexity.
  • Demonstrating how the lessor is driving change in the industry with market initiatives, product design, value-added services, alignment of operations / back-office activities
  • Demonstrating the consistency of services across each country and overall vendor satisfaction

6. Captive Lessor

This award is open to nominations for the captive finance houses of any commercial asset or vehicle producer. This award recognises real focus on the captive’s efforts in supporting the parent and developing solutions that are relevant.  Support through all parts of the economic cycle is a critical feature and the lessor should be able to demonstrate how they use their skills to improve the products and services to assist sales and create additional value.

Judges will consider:

  • Degree of finance penetration both in absolute terms and as a percentage of parent sales
  • Demonstrating a commitment to support through all stages of the economic cycle and finding creative solutions to challenges (eg, difficult markets/locations)
  • Creativity in product design, implementation and in service, both to the parent and to the customer
  • Evidence of the strength of the parent/lessor relationship showing how they work “hand in glove” to add additional value to the customer and additional value to their group.

7. Digital Innovation

This award is meant to recognise a policy, product or leasing-related site or application that pushes the envelope on how commercial lessors relate to their customers including ‘servitization’ and subscription models (Pay as you Go).

Judges will consider:

  • The judges must understand, through a convincing narrative, about the genesis of the product or site, and about how it is new or differentiates itself from previous digital innovations.
  • Evidence must be provided on how the innovation improves the customer experience, or allows an improvement on costs, speed of transaction or response and communication.
  • Evidence of commercial advantage through the innovation is encouraged.
  • Potential developments as well as implemented innovations qualify, e.g., regarding data quality, the use of block chain/distributed ledger technology in the areas of document and asset verification could qualify, as much as a client facing site or direct platform innovation, or an efficiency in the speed of service.

8. Best ‘ESG/Sustainability’ Initiative of the Year

This award is meant to recognise major initiatives undertaken by a lessor in the ESG domains, either within their company or outside

Judges will consider the existence of proven initiatives in at least two of the three ESG areas

  • Environment: proven initiative to protect the environment, save energy, reduction of carbon emissions.
  • Social: the applicants should demonstrate a major initiative regarding diversity, inclusion, equality at work programmes
  • Governance: proven initiative in terms of the fight against corruption and fraud, transparency of information to the various stakeholders (clients, employees, shareholders).

9. Best Circular Economy Model

To qualify for this award, nominees must have implemented operational solutions covering the full value chain from collection of used equipment to remarketing.

Judges will consider proven evidence of:

  • An asset management Information system
  • Organisation and processes to source used equipment from off-lease and / or trade-in from existing fleets
  • Refurbishment capabilities including required steps in terms of data erasure and waste management
  • Remarketing capabilities

10. Best Energy Transition financing programme(s)

This award is meant to recognise lessors’ contribution to the financing of new assets and solutions part of the energy transition revolution

Judges will consider

  • The existence of initiatives/programmes re-financing energy transition-related assets and solutions: renewables, batteries, EV chargers, cooling systems, lighting, etc with concrete examples
  • The existence of initiatives/programmes re-financing e-mobility assets: e-cars, e-bikes, e-scooters
  • The creativity of the financial solutions to address these new and not yet well-known markets
  • An initiative designed to help customers achieve transition to a carbon-neutral status
  • Evidence of uptake and success of the programme

11. Young Professional of the Year

The young professional of the year category will recognise someone under 40 years of age who in 2022 has demonstrated the depth of their talent and the breadth of their expertise in the leasing and asset finance industry. The winner does not need to have risen to a senior position but will be someone whose peers agree has had a positive impact on the leasing community, influencing not just the success of their company but also the wider industry.

The following two awards are presented to individuals and as such these will be awarded by the judging panel without prior nomination.

12. Industry Ambassador of the Year

This award will be given to an individual who is considered to have done more than any other to promote, develop and enhance the reputation, economic role and social status of the leasing industry in 2022.

13. Lifetime Achievement Award

This prestigious award goes to an individual who has helped to build and to shape the international leasing industry during their career. Their contribution will have driven new developments across the industry. They will have successfully steered companies and mentored colleagues through challenges and taken strategic leadership within their organisation and the leasing community. They will be a top influencer among their leasing peers and with the wider business community. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognises talent, tenacity, experience and commitment.