Equipment Finance

Women Eye Opportunities in the Equipment Finance Industry

March 13, 2023
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shaking handsComing into equipment finance around 2003, Reid Raykovich found that there were very few women in the field. Attending her first Captive and Vendor Finance conference through ELFA with 300 people, she realized she was only one of three women in the room. Fast forward to current day, Raykovich has seen a great influx of women come into the industry and she herself is now the CEO of the Certified Lease & Finance Professional (CLFP) Foundation, the organization that helps individuals in the industry achieve exceptional standards of professional conduct and technical expertise. She first attained that position in 2012 when she was only 34 years old. From there she has watched change come firsthand. Associations like NEFA, AACFB, and ELFA have also made efforts for women to be more involved and have a seat in leadership positions, according to Raykovich.

“I think that people are now aware that it’s not just having them work at a company, it’s giving them opportunities to go out, so the conference composition is no longer – to give the phrase ‘stale, male, and pale,’” Raykovich said. “It is changing and there’s certainly a lot more women…”

“Women just offer a unique value to the industry,” said Jena Morgan, COO at 360 Equipment Finance. When Morgan was first employed at a working capital provider, only 10% of employees were women. These days she’s a C-level exec for a well-known equipment finance company. Although she has gradually noticed more women being embedded into the industry, she still finds situations where she is the only woman at the executive table.

“A lot of times, I’ve seen women just spin off and start their own business, because they’re not able to move up how they want to,” said Morgan. “And so, I think sometimes that’s part of it, part of why you’re seeing more women in equipment finance is because they’ve spun off and just started their own business; and then they hire women.”

Like Morgan, Raykovich of the CLFP Foundation echoed the possibility of making a change if a ceiling has been reached.

“I think the best advice is if you’re at a company that’s not acknowledging your role as maybe a mother or a woman, move on to another company,” said Raykovich. “The amount of opportunities in this industry is just limitless. You can do any position, anything you want to do and you can find that in this industry if you do it well, you will never leave because you will have a name and people will want to hire you.”

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March 9, 2023
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The Buck in Trucking

December 21, 2022
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Big rig semi truck transporting cargo in refrigerator semi truck“If you don’t have the marketplace of lenders, yes, it can be problematic,” said Cheryl Tibbs, Owner/CEO at Equipment Lease Co about providing capital to the trucking industry. “If you don’t understand the trucking industry, it can be very problematic.”

In the last year, there has been an increasing interest in equipment financing. It was the primary topic of a panel discussion at Broker Fair and the subject of several sidebar conversations throughout the day and thereafter. For Tibbs, who lives and breathes equipment finance and trucking, she said she doesn’t see funding in that space slowing down.

“Every business that’s in business needs some type of equipment to operate,” said Tibbs. “Whether it’s a cell phone, a POS system, a car or truck, excavator, whatever it is, every business has some type of equipment. So I don’t see the industry slowing down at all.”

Tibbs, for her part, says that some companies in her lender network can provide a uniquely beneficial solution, a funding bundle that is part equipment finance and part working capital.

“Some of those customers may need that working capital for a down payment or if you’re buying a truck, for instance,” Tibbs said. “And this working capital comes in handy because if you know anything about trucking, the insurance on those things can be– I’ve seen it go as high as 60,000 a year, almost half the cost of a truck. So that working capital comes in handy.”

And the costs of trucks is in a state of flux. Jonathan Nelson, General Counsel at Dedicated Financial GBC, said the costs of used trucks is rapidly shifting.

“This month, you could get $20,000 for this particular used truck on the East Coast and next month, if you were to sell it on the West Coast, you might get $40,000,” said Nelson. “It’s very volatile at the moment.”

Evan Sowa, Senior Finance Manager at Everlasting Capital, echoed same.

“Depending on the geographical market, prices on the same truck can vary substantially,” he said. “Market prices are as high as I have ever seen them, up to 80% higher than similar units 4 years ago.”

Sowa continued by explaining that demand and prices in the used truck market have been booming but that they’re finally starting to cool off.

David Lee, CEO at North Mill Equipment Finance, said there are some issues in the wider trucking market right now.

“The trucking industry is facing a lot of challenges currently,” Lee said. “In addition to supply disruptions, and an inflation in used asset values and unavailability of newly manufactured equipment combined with significant increases in diesel fuel costs, a number of operators have felt tremendous margin pressure, with load rates having decreased, the cost of the equipment being higher, and the cost of operating the equipment via fuel being higher.”

American FlagA lot of those costs have not been able to be passed on to shippers, Lee added, and he said that they’re seeing a material increase in delinquencies and defaults amongst trucking operators.

Nelson at Dedicated, speaking on a much broader level of equipment finance, said that in general the industry has been able to escape the wave of defaults happening in other industries.

“We are a part of the National Equipment Finance Association and the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association to make sure that we understand issues and different trends that are happening in the equipment finance industry, because that’s where most of our clients are,” he said.

Tibbs, who’s a super broker, explained that she has seen lenders and funders tighten up their guidelines post covid.

“It’s not as easy to get plugged in with certain lenders,” she said. “It’s not as easy to get certain deals approved that we probably could have gotten approved pre-pandemic.”

Because of her experience and relationships, however, Tibbs is optimistic about the kind of deals she can get done, especially over newcomers who are at a disadvantage, explaining that she can finance pretty much anybody.

Evan Sowa at Everlasting summed up the state of things as such.

“Still funding trucks every day but the market is crazy right now,” he said.