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June 2, 2021updated 24 Jul 2021 5:48pm

Holding on to your people is key to surviving a downturn, says Howells of Tower Leasing

By Alejandro Gonzalez

Doing everything possible to hold on to members of staff during the 2007/8 global financial crisis made all the difference once the worst of the financial storm was over, according to Kerry Howells, the managing director of Tower Leasing

At the time of the crisis, “we were purely a broker business and did not have our own book, as we do today .. and there was a lack of liquidity, a lack of funders wanting to lend and so our business nosedived,” she recalls about those years.

“The pressure to keep the business going and to keep the livelihood of the people you have in the business going was immense, but we came through it.”

Tower Leasing

Howell said great effort and training had gone into building the team before the crisis and that management felt that every effort had to be made to retain staff. 

“It was all about diversifying the core of the team into other areas of the business, rather than just letting them go.

“And, when the time was right, they could return to their core role, so we didn’t lose them, we didn’t lose that experience.

“It wasn’t as if we were starting again when things improved. We could push on,” she said. 

Howells, who joined Tower Leasing after completing her tertiary education 25 years ago, made the comments during a 30-minute interview with Lindsay Town, the CEO of IAA-Advisory, as part of a series of ‘fireside chats’ with UK leasing executives, to be streamed on 10 June at 1pm.

The pre-recorded chat is the fifth in a series of similar interviews that Lindsay Town will be hosting scheduled into July sponsored by LTi Technology Solutions, a US-based global provider of in-the-cloud asset finance technology.

Robert Taylor, UK country manager for LTi Technology Solutions, said: “Although LTi is a sponsor of this event, we wanted to hand the interviewing to a seasoned industry professional, so we’re proud to say that Lindsay Town, with at least 45-years’ experience under his belt in various leadership roles, agreed to do this for us.

“We know he’ll generate good debate and get the best out of the captains of industry we’ve lined up in the weeks ahead.” 

LTi Leasing Leaders Series

The ‘LTiConnections: Leasing Leader Series’ interviews are free to watch and will be followed by a live Q&A session with the interview guest and interviewer, alongside LTi’s Taylor. 

Registration is required.

The opening chat was with Sam Geneen, chairman of Start Asset Finance, followed by Neil Davies, CEO of Close Brothers’ commercial division, John Jenkins, CEO of Haydock Finance and Mike Randall, CEO of Simply Asset Finance. 

The next interview will feature Roy Royer, Head of Europe at Somerset Capital (1 July).

Taylor said: “Our series of talks have been structured to tackle the most pressing and current topics that our industry is facing today. The idea is to examine the key changes the industry has seen in the last year and to consider the challenges ahead.

“We want to appeal to new recruits in asset finance as well as explore the essence of being a leader in this industry,” said Taylor.

The next event will be streamed live on 10 June at 1pm UTC. 

Click HERE to register for the Zoom Webinar.

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Interview with Sam Geneen to open LTi’s Leasing Leaders Series

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