I just returned from the 50th Annual convention of the Equipment Leasing and Financing Association (ELFA), which was held at the JW Marriott in San Antonio, Texas. There were nearly 1,000 attendees, up significantly from previous years.
The general mood at the convention was very upbeat, both in terms of the improving economy, but more importantly, the state of the Equipment Leasing Industry. The feeling is that businesses are returning to the mindset of having to acquire business assets, after scaling back purchases for the last few years. Since they have survived some difficult economic times, where “cash is king”, the option of acquiring new equipment, and paying for it monthly, rather than having a large cash outlay, looks extremely attractive to them.
Another topic of discussion centered around the opportunities available for Independent Lessors, as opposed to Banks and Bank Lessors. This was especially interesting to me, as DFI is an independent lessor. With the numerous regulatory issues confronting banks, independent lessors should be better positioned to react to the specific needs of their lessee customer and prospect base, while not having to deal with these regulatory issues, at the higher levels of the company. This is an exciting time for the leasing business.