Customer-focused Solutions Have Always Driven Innovation in Equipment Finance

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July 11, 2023

The equipment leasing and finance industry expanded in recent decades from the need to provide businesses with a better way to pay for and manage the growing amount of technologically sophisticated equipment needed to keep pace with their competition.

Paul Bent, Senior Managing Director for The Alta Group, looks back on the industry’s early days helping businesses acquire computers in the 1970s in a column recently published in the 50th Anniversary edition of The Monitor. Read his article about the equipment leasing industry.

That initial focus on equipment, Bent argues, morphed over time, as the industry underwent a “slow but inexorable trend toward becoming secured lenders rather than actual lessors,” he writes.

“Rather than thinking in terms of equipment, equipment values, equipment refurbishment, equipment sales and specialized equipment markets, a large portion of the industry seems to have morphed into thinking primarily in terms of syndication opportunities, borrowing rates, credit methodologies, funding cost, securitization implications and such,” he wrote.

But everything old is new again, and Bent makes the case that current conditions are now ripe for the reemergence of more traditional equipment leasing and more focus on equipment.

Technology, he writes, is “serving to make leasing … applicable to an increasingly wide range of ‘financeable’ assets,” and could herald an “age of ‘Almost-Anything-as-a-Service.’”

Bent, who leads Alta’s Legal Services practice, draws on decades of experience in the leasing and finance industry to offer insights on how its past is informing its future.

Read Paul Bent’s Equipment Financing article on The Monitor.

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