Jim Merrilees

Vice Chairman

Jim Merrilees is a vice chairman at The Alta Group who in collaboration with the advisory’s Practice Leaders advises on ways clients can enhance operational efficiency in their organizations and added value in equipment finance markets.

Over four decades Jim’s career has been highlighted by historic firsts in the industry. His previous experience includes senior positions at Channel Partners Capital, Quiktrak, Pacific Capital Bank, Colonial Pacific Leasing, Pitney Bowes and Textron Financial.
While at Colonial Pacific, he and his team introduced credit scoring automation with Fair Isaac Co. (FICO). Jim also helped launch the concept of adding insurance to lease contracts, a product offered by Great American Insurance Group today. His deep experience includes advising service providers looking to position themselves in the industry and assisting companies seeking to raise capital.

He served on the boards of two trade groups that merged to become the National Equipment Finance Association (NEFA), and he was an early contributor to the development of the CLFP program (Certified Lease & Finance Professional).
In 2022 he was honored by NEFA with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his significant contributions to the industry. Jim also is a former board member of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association.

While much of his career centered on leading and developing business strategy for independents, he also worked for NationsCredit, which was a part of Bank of America.
He holds the designation of CLFP and has a BS in finance from Miami University in Ohio and an MBA from Pepperdine University. He resides in Costa Mesa, CA, with his wife, Renee.