Deep specialties distinguish new ELFA members
Never an association to stand idly by
as markets, economies and, indeed, the entire world changes, ELFA is proud to welcome the 54 companies who became members in 2021. Profiled below are five new-member firms representing the agility and expertise of this venerable group as a whole. Take a look and get to know your new colleagues and the products and services they offer.
Yamaha Motor Finance Corp., USA
Established in 1993 as a department of the financial services group of Yamaha Motor Corp. USA, Yamaha Motor Finance Corp. USA got its start leasing fleets of golf carts, or “cars,” as they are known at Yamaha.
“At that time, it was challenging to find banks that would finance these assets, so to assist our customers and our Yamaha golf-car product sales group, we launched our own in-house leasing program,” says Gale Tarver, Group Manager, Commercial Leasing & Finance. “As our portfolio grew each year, the business also expanded so that over time, it became a vibrant and important part of our company’s business.”
Golf-car fleets continue as the company’s primary asset for leasing today, and Tarver says Yamaha Motor Finance Corp. is the only captive finance company for fleet golf cars competing in the market. “We’re also looking to expand into other Yamaha products that have commercial applications, and we’re testing the waters on this,” she adds. The company already supports the entire wholesale floor line of Yamaha products in the U.S., providing dealer financing for motorcycles, boats, WaveRunners and a variety of ATV and side-by-side models.
Although the pandemic brought challenges, Tarver says it also spawned opportunity. “We struggled like so many other equipment-finance companies, but because golf is an outdoor sport, most courses opened fairly early in 2020, and many needed more cars to accommodate golfers who were playing solo,” she explains. And because families increased their outdoor activity to fill the void created by disruptions in summer camp, cruises and other travel, demand for Yamaha’s diverse line of products spiked and continues to run high. Says Tarver, “We were proud to be able to fill that void, and doing so has brought us not only new customers, but a great fit with our corporate goal of being a leader in creating lifetimes of exciting and memorable experiences.”
Yamaha Motor Finance joined ELFA to enhance its monitoring of and participation in the equipment finance industry. “We want to stay abreast of relevant changes in legislation, taxes and accounting, and we also desired a way to network with colleagues,” Tarver says. “Our research showed that ELFA stands out as a good avenue for achieving all of these objectives.”
SANY Capital USA, Inc.
In business since 2011, SANY Capital USA, Inc. restructured in 2018 to focus exclusively on providing captive finance support to SANY America, Inc. and SANY’s North American dealers. SANY America, Inc. is a Chinese-owned import, manufacturing and distribution arm of SANY Global, the fourth-largest equipment manufacturer in the world. SANY America makes construction and material-handling equipment, including excavators, container-reach stackers and empty-container handlers. “Eighty percent of what we finance is excavators,” says Dean Waters, President. “Just about every construction company has or uses at least one of these, and SANY Global is the largest manufacturer of these machines in the world.”
The remainder of SANY Capital’s business is currently divided between compaction rollers for telehandlers, front-end loaders and heavy forklifts. But the company will also begin financing crawler cranes, rough-terrain cranes and telescopic cranes in the first quarter of 2022. “We finance our 48 dealers across the continental U.S. and Alaska, and also support our dealers in Canada,” says Waters. “In addition, we manage a growing group of financial partners who provide retail finance to our dealers’ customers while SANY Capital focuses on providing wholesale finance to our dealers and direct accounts.”
Likely unique about SANY Capital USA is its status as a completely virtual captive finance company. “All of our systems are cloud-based. We’ve taken off-the-shelf products from best-in-class, software-as-a-service companies and connected them to form an extremely efficient means of doing business,” Waters explains. “We’ve also connected our system to SANY America, since theirs is the only equipment we finance, and their system pushes to us the machines we finance.”
In 2020, SANY Capital USA did over $100 million in new business volume with just four employees. “We’re now a team of seven—four women and three men—and among us, we speak three languages and are from four countries,” says Waters. He adds, “We’re proud to be as diverse as we are efficient, and we’re delighted to be part of ELFA.”
Kudos to the ELFA Membership Committee!
In 2021, the Membership Committee worked closely with the ELFA Membership Department to assist in the association’s recruitment and retention initiatives. With the committee’s assistance, ELFA met and exceeded its membership goals for the year. Many thanks to the 2021 committee for their dedication and participation:
Amy Gross, Key Equipment Finance (Committee Chair)
Do you know of a company that would benefit from ELFA membership? Please email your recommendation to Julie Benson, VP of Membership Marketing, at email@example.com
Jonathan Albin, Nexseer Capital
Julie Benson, ELFA
Brett Boehm, TBF Financial, LLC
Donna Christensen, CSC
Mike Coon, Hanmi Bank
Kelly DeCarteret, DeCarteret Transport, LLC
Mark Farlin, LEAF Commercial Capital Inc.
Tom Forbes, Wintrust Commercial Finance
Dominic Janney, Canon Financial Services, Inc.
Martin Klotzman, CLFP, Ivory Consulting Corp.
Chris Lerma, CLFP, AP Equipment Financing
Rick Matte, Encina Equipment Finance, LLC
Thomas Pericak, Hancock Whitney Equipment Finance, LLC
Marci Slagle, CLFP, BankFinancial, NA
Andrea Tzamaras, ELFA
Jeff Walker, Bank of America Global Leasing
A de novo independent that began operations this past August, Clarus Capital provides capital solutions to finance tangible assets for non-investment-grade middle-market and large corporate borrowers. The company originates transactions to be held on its balance sheet using long-term committed capital from BharCap, a private investment firm investing in businesses across the financial services industry.
Steve O’Leary, CEO, says Clarus Capital’s ability to underwrite leveraged credits is “a niche carved out by our management team over the past 10 years, and one we want to carry forward.” Clarus executives previously worked together at NewStar Financial, a publicly-traded, middle-market direct-loan originator. “Steve built a very successful equipment-finance business for us at Newstar, which we later sold to a bank,” explains Tim Conway, Clarus Chairman and Co-Founder. “When Steve and I saw the opportunity to re-establish the same platform in a non-regulated environment, we capitalized on it. We believe the market will be well served by a new, non-bank participant that is focused on non-investment grade credit.”
Chris Swanton, Managing Director and Head of Capital Markets, says Clarus is a generalist with a wide range of target industries and preferred equipment. “We can finance construction, Jones-Act marine, and material handling equipment, but we’re also willing to finance IT, medical equipment and other softer assets,” he observes, adding, “We’re able to fund and hold larger transactions, up to $30 million for the right credit.”
Swanton says Clarus senior management prescreens any opportunity and then decides whether to offer a firm proposal. “The decision-makers look at the credit as well as the equipment and how it’s being used to decide on a deal structure,” he notes. “We try to move quickly but still give our customers and partners a proposal they can rely on.”
O’Leary, Conway and Swanton believe the combination of skills, expertise and mission make Clarus Capital unique. “Our expertise lies in our people, who’ve underwritten leveraged credits and have solid experience on the equipment-finance side,” says O’Leary. “The team has an extensive background in equipment leasing and an outstanding track record.,” adds Conway. “We’ll be working with longstanding clients as well as new ones to provide competitive financing solutions. We’re already closing transactions, and our pipeline is building steadily.”
The company joined ELFA for the opportunity to create and renew relationships, to network with industry colleagues, and to participate in association conferences. “I’ve been involved with ELFA since the early 1990’s, and Chris has been involved even longer,” says O’Leary. “Membership is a wonderful way for us to keep up with industry issues and work with our colleagues to move forward.”
Eight Ways to Maximize Your ELFA Membership
Do you have any questions regarding the benefits of ELFA membership? Please contact the Membership Department at firstname.lastname@example.org
- If your company is an ELFA member, you may create a member profile from the ELFA website and gain access to valuable, members-only resources.
- Regular members may participate in the Survey of Equipment Finance Activity (SEFA) and receive a free copy.
- Subscribe to the Washington Report, a monthly newsletter that keeps members up-to-date on ELFA’s advocacy efforts before federal policymakers, regulators and standard-setting bodies.
- Access the State Tax Manual, an easily navigated reference guide designed to aid equipment finance companies in tax compliance and planning. This members-only resource provides a comprehensive state-by-state analysis of sales and property taxes.
- Help drive the association’s mission and volunteer on an ELFA committee.
- Access high-quality, interactive training and resources such as the Equipment Finance Transaction Lifecycle through ELFA Academy.
- Subscribe to the members-only, online discussion groups: LeaseTalk, AcctgTalk, LegalTalk, and TaxTalk to stay connected and exchange information with your peers.
- Take advantage of ELFA’s online and interactive tools including our Wednesday Webinars series, the ELFA Engage Mobile App and the Equipment Finance Matters Podcast.
Little Rock, Arkansas
Bank OZK has a long history of financing equipment at varying levels, from small-ticket to traditional solutions offered through its commercial banking group. Formerly Bank of the Ozarks, the new ELFA member is now launching an initiative that will focus on the middle market. Jim Lyons, Managing Director, Equipment Finance & Capital Solutions Group, says the programs represent new asset classes for the bank and will provide a full array of products dedicated to equipment-oriented collateral, including equipment finance and lease structures.
“We’ll also provide lender-finance and structured-finance loan facilities, providing leverage and capital to non-bank lenders, funds and other industries with large capital-intensive requirements,” says Lyons. With more than $26 billion in assets, Bank OZK aims to be “the perfect solution as a financial partner in these specialty lending markets, much as we are in the specialty commercial real-estate space,” he adds.
The new initiative will have average exposures in the $5-million to $25-million range, with higher individual exposures as the portfolio grows. Lyons says the programs will complement other existing loan verticals, which include aviation financing, community banking, commercial real estate, commercial and industrial, RV and marine, corporate loan specialties and SBA loan programs. “We have a tremendous opportunity to partner with many new customers, procuring deep and broad relationships,” Lyons says. “Our financial strength and size allow us to provide larger-scale financial solutions than many competitors in the industry.”
Bank OZK joined ELFA for the access, representation and communication opportunities it affords. “I’ve been part of ELFA since the late ‘90s, and I’m pleased to be involved once more in association with Bank OZK,” says Lyons. He adds, “We look forward to having access to important industry resources and metrics, accounting updates, legal and tax guidance, and advocacy representation—all of which are crucial for developing a new line of business in a highly regulated environment.”
2021 Membership Milestones
Celebrating 45 Years
Healthcare Financial Services, GE Healthcare
Celebrating 40 Years
Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation
Celebrating 35 Years
Sasser Family Companies
Celebrating 30 Years
LTi Technology Solutions
Med One Capital
Merchants Bank Equipment Finance
Mizuho Bank (USA)
Sentry Financial Corporation
SMBC Leasing And Finance, Inc.
Tokyo Century (USA) Inc.
Vedder Price P.C.
Vision Financial Group, Inc.
Celebrating 25 Years
CCA Financial, LLC
Cisco Systems Capital Corporation
Cohn & Dussi, LLC
Credential Leasing Corporation
Dean Machinery International, Inc.
First American Equipment Finance, an RBC / City National Company
Group Financial Services
Integrated Financial Solutions, Inc.
Kingsbury Wax Bova, LLC
Linedata Lending and Leasing
People’s Capital and Leasing Corp.
SCG Capital Corporation
Trans Lease, Inc.
United Leasing & Finance
Celebrating 20 Years
Bank of the West
First Bank Chicago, a division of First Bank of Highland Park
Frost Equipment Leasing and Finance
Huntington Equipment Finance
Jennings Haug Cunningham
Leasing Solutions LLC
Susan Carol Creative
TrinityRail Leasing & Management Services
Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Greenberg Traurig, or “GT,” as the firm is known, was founded in 1967 when a group of Miami attorneys came together to establish a New York-style business-law firm in South Florida. Serving everyone from entrepreneurs to Fortune 50 companies with large legal departments, GT today employs 2,300 lawyers in 40 locations across the U.S., Europe, South America and the Middle East. The company is ranked #14 in the Am Law 100 by gross revenue and is in the top 20 of the 2021 Global 200.
“We have several practice groups that support clients in all phases of equipment finance, including corporate, bankruptcy and financial services, litigation, government contracts, restructurings, transportation and automotive,” says Shomari Wade, Shareholder. The firm regularly represents large equipment financiers in borrower workouts, bankruptcies and restructurings, and helping clients find the best solutions in distress situations. This work includes both domestic and cross-border restructurings.
Wade, a specialist in government contracts, says his practice group serves banks and other financial institutions in structuring and negotiating leases with the federal government. “As companies navigate the unique risks of leasing to this market, we advise them under the Assignment of Claims Act and Federal Acquisition Rules,” he explains. The firm also litigates to pursue claims and settlements before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Wade says GT is thrilled to join ELFA. “We recognize it as the preeminent organization for companies involved in the equipment finance sector, and we want to provide value and insight that best serves our clients who are involved in this space,” he says. Having been involved with ELFA at his previous firm, Shomari says he’s “excited at the firm’s membership, which will further allow us to stay on top of key developments in the industry and to be engaged.”
In tune with ELFA’s own diversity and inclusion initiatives, GT is proud to have recently achieved certification under The Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule 4.0-Plus. Certification indicates that a law firm considers at a minimum 30% women, attorneys of color, LGBTQ+ lawyers and those with disabilities for leadership and governance roles, partner promotions and formal client-pitch opportunities. “Complacency has never been our speed,” says Wade. “We take pride in our roots as a small Florida law firm, and we continue to place a priority on diversity in our fields, our clients and ourselves.”
2021 New Members
1st Equipment Finance
Asset Intelligence Group Inc.
AZR Diversified LLC
Beacon Business Bank, NA.
CFBank National Association
Commercial Funding Partners, LLC
Dedicated Commercial Recovery, Inc.
Dedicated Funding LLC
DEKRA Services, Inc
EDA by Randall-Reilly
EFFI Finance, Inc.
El Dorado Commercial Finance LLC
Equipment Finance Group – Summit Bank
FGI Equipment Finance LLC
Finova Capital, LLC
First Commonwealth Equipment Finance
Fleetway Capital Corporation
Gordon Brothers Commercial & Industrial, LLC
Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Honour Capital LLC
Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co
Killgore, Pearlman, Semanie, Denius & Squires, P.A.
Lippes Mathias, LLP
Offit Kurman PC
On Your Six Capital LLC
Pinnacle Financial Partners, Inc.
RentCo Africa Limited
Republic Bank of Chicago
Saint Louis Bank
Sany Capital USA, Inc.
SCJ Commercial Financial Services
Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLC
Stuart-Lippman and Associates Inc.
Swickard Shared Services
TFG Financial Corporation
Trinity Capital LLC
Trustmark National Bank
Xerox Financial Services
Yamaha Motor Finance Corp., U.S.A.