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ELFA | Conference Draws Industry Professionals and Institutional Investors

Industry News: Around the Industry

Conference Draws Industry Professionals and Institutional Investors

The 12th Annual Investors’ Conference on Equipment Finance was held March 21 in New York City. The event, hosted by ELFA and the Information Management Network, drew more than 300 equipment finance professionals, institutional investors and service providers who support the industry.

Highlights from the day-long conference included:

William G. Sutton, CAE, ELFA President and CEO, opened the conference with an overview of the association’s membership, programs and priorities for the coming year. He also provided an overview of the association’s research affiliate, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation, and political action committee, LeasePAC.

ELFA Chairman Rick Remiker reported on the equipment finance landscape, noting that the U.S. economic outlook for 2013 is a "tale of two halves." He said that consumer spending continues to improve, investment spending continues to grow slowly, and credit conditions have stabilized, but are reactive to Fed monetary policy. However, headwinds from the Eurozone crisis, a slowdown in emerging markets and regulatory uncertainty continue to hamper growth and foster uncertainty. He said in the $725 billion equipment finance industry, new business volume continues to grow, and portfolio quality is high.

Following Remiker’s remarks, Stephen Whelan of Blank Rome LLP provided an update on tax and public policy developments. He reported that the SEC is working to establish a Credit Rating Agency Board as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and touched on developments in the areas of data disclosure, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and bankruptcy.

Next, John Detweiler of S&P gave an overview of credit markets and term ABS market activity, and ELFA Chief Operating Officer Ralph Petta shared the latest news on the lease accounting project. Petta reported that a revised lease accounting exposure draft is expected in May or June, and stressed that it will be critical for lessees and lessors to submit comment letters in response to the draft.

Petta, Remiker, Detweiler, Whelan

A session on the state of the capital markets, moderated by Andrea Petro of Wells Fargo, looked at where ABS term markets are headed, trends in new and alternative financing strategies, the driving forces behind  increased capital market activity, and the role of banks.

Investment opportunities in the equipment finance sector were the focus of a session moderated by Miles Herman of Leaf Commercial Capital, Inc. The session looked at how new tax rulings are affecting investing, how the landscape is changing for investors and the primary drivers behind equipment investment decisions, among other topics. Sessions followed on risk management in today’s financial environment; trains, plans and transportation finance; and assessing the correct path for startups and early-stage finance companies.

Investment opportunities session

Transportation finance session

Startups session

Attendees network

ELFA's new exhibit booth

See more photos from the event.












Contact Name: Amy Vogt
Organization Name: ELFA