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January 1, 2010updated 12 Apr 2017 4:28pm

fraud – basement talk

Dear readers, welcome to Basement Talk, Leasing Lifes monthly diary page, filled with the latest gossip and insight on the less visible aspects of the asset finance industry

By Verdict Staff

Dear readers, welcome to Basement Talk, Leasing Life’s monthly diary page, filled with the latest gossip and insight on the less visible aspects of the asset finance industry

Two for the price of one

Many have wondered how on earth the litigation practice at Salans manages to get so much work done with only one partner – and now it seems the law firm’s dark secret may be revealed. While Salans was presenting at LL’s conference last month, the books of the hosting Concorde Hotel showed not one but two Kevin Heaths, suggesting that the fast-talking recovery expert may be working alongside a doppelganger after all.


Despite a mandatory black tie dress code for this year’s LL awards dinner, some had no time for such restrictions. One team in particular was showing off classy, but distinctively not ‘black tie’ attire: Italy’s UniCredit Leasing. Officially, this was because the team had had a company meeting in Hamburg a mere hour before the dinner, but we suspect that any leasing company headquartered in Milan is probably inclined to write its own fashion rules.

Luca Lorenzi, the company’s general manager and our “Functional Leader of the Year”, remarked: “Giving up expensive suits has been a significant component of our cost-cutting programme.”


The Close Brothers leasing empire has been praised for remaining not just active but aggressive in an ugly market, and a large part of this toughness may be down to the fact that its leadership appear to be indestructible. Close Leasing director Neil Davies has been seen recently sporting a large plaster cast, and a set of harrowing anecdotes about powerboats and no-nonsense Caribbean bone setting. He received public accolade in Berlin for reportedly doing up a bow tie using only one hand.


As an asset finance trade journal, Leasing Life doesn’t get its hands on too many exciting press photographs – the usual fare comprises pictures of relationship managers standing in damp car parks, next to fleets of newly leased vans.

However, we have to give credit to prosperous new asset finance lender Aldermore, whose deputy CEO, Mark Stephens, inadvertently recreated one of the most famous portrait shots in American history when he posed for a recent press release.

Leaston Blumenthal

For top-quality food at leasing events, the industry really should be calling in more favours. Gimmicky-yet-talented TV chef Heston Blumenthal revealed in a Sunday Telegraph profile interview last month that one of his first jobs was as a book keeper at his father’s leasing company. If we can’t poach him for event catering, then, we can at least get him to comment on lessor accounting – even if, in his own words, he was “pretty rubbish” at it.

In Demand

Apparently, coming to our events can mean instant job opportunities. UniCredit Leasing’s chief risk officer, Jens Hagen (for the record, possibly the nearest thing leasing has to Harvey Keitel’s problem-solving character in Pulp Fiction), remarked dryly after his presentation on network troubleshooting that he had received no less than four job offers on his way from the stage.

Considering he already has to commute to Milan from Austria to do his job, maybe he should have a word with a Mr Heath about how to be in several places at once…

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