Competition is set to increase in the leasing of materials handling (MH) assets in 2010, as lenders with vendor-based growth ambitions make inroads on a surprisingly robust market.
BNP Paribas Lease Group (BPLG), through its Equipment & Logistics Solutions (ELS) division, seems keen to hold on to its prominent role in the industry, where it trades as Albury Asset Rentals.
Kevin Lofting, the long-standing manager of Albury, retired last month after more than 12 years of service. The French lessor’s subsidiary will now be managed directly by UK country manager Benoit Dilly.
However, BPLG has a new resource for MH expansion: Brian Warbrick, the new head of key accounts for ELS, who has specialised in MH for 20 out of his 30 years in leasing. It is thought he has been brought on board to develop vendor relationships. Warbrick worked with Lofting at Capital Asset Finance, before it was acquired by vendor specialist De Lage Landen (DLL). For the last six years, Warbrick has been country sales manager for DLL’s materials handling and construction divisions.
Warbrick said: “I feel BPLG is ideally placed with its size and group/parent background to capitalise on its position in the market place, particularly as other funders are repairing their structures due to past over lending.”
Not all other funders are licking their wounds, however. HSBC Equipment Finance (HEF) is known to be determined to grow its lease book significantly in the next three years, and has identified MH as a key expansion area.
HEF’s materials handling division is headed by Adrian Shepherd-Roberts, who reports to structured asset finance manager Bill Cuff, and deals with a number of vendor partnerships as well as processing business from HSBC customers.
An even newer competitor is Bibby Leasing, which has just gained an important foothold in the MH market by forming a sole funder partnership with Italian brand CESAB.
CESAB, owned by Toyota, is known to be pursuing market share in the UK, and is known to have funding relationships with BNP Paribas. The selection of Bibby to help it grow in Britain shows changes may be afoot in the MH leasing market.