As I write this on the 22nd of September, technically
the last day before the start of autumn, the European leasing
industry is taking on a new attitude for the year’s final
September has seen the publication of
2011’s half-year reports, for both companies and leasing
associations alike, and you will see from the rest of this magazine
that they have dominated discussion in the industry.
Needless to say there are both success
stories and areas of concern among all this reading, but the
overall impression seems to be one of a year that ran out of steam
somewhat towards the middle.
Results for the second quarter still
showed growth compared to 2010, but less strikingly than in
interannual comparisons of first quarter figures.
If this is down to increased
uncertainty over investment from customers, it is a feeling being
passed up to the lenders who serve them.
While the first quarter of this year
saw many companies we spoke to adopt a bullish stance towards the
year ahead, there is certainly more of an air of strategic
hesitation coming from the interviews we are conducting now.
The situation does not yet seem to
mirror that of the retail banking world. Here, colleagues have
spoken of an epidemic of strategic rethinks over market entries and
investments as a result of the economic turmoil in the eurozone.
However, the mood is not entirely without anxiety.
But now is the time for the industry
to share any worries, and confirm its decisions about where to
concentrate capital for 2012.
Gone is the relative quiet of the August holiday
period, and ahead lies the frenetic activity of conference season,
as the days shorten and the discussions grow longer.
Britain’s leasing association, the
FLA, will be hosting its third-quarter drinks evening and board
meeting next week, while many other European associations follow
Leaseurope, the umbrella organisation
of them all, will hold its own summit in Vienna next week.
Then, on 3 November, Leasing
Life will be holding our own conference and awards event in
Munich, which I would naturally invite you to attend.
With an even bigger guest list than
last year, and with several of the top European networks booked to
speak on topics from the relationship between leasing and banking
to the mitigation of SME lending risk, it looks set to address the
questions that have been building throughout the year so far – and
pose fresh ones besides.
And then of course there will be our
Awards ceremony, when we will get the chance to acknowledge and
celebrate those companies that have not only managed in the
difficult economic environment of 2011, but set new bars for
And finally, while I am on the subject
of the social calendar, it is timely to remind all our readers
about this year’s leasing industry Christmas charity lunch on
Friday, 16 December, at the Institute of Directors in Pall Mall,
As always it promises to by a very
well attended and jolly afternoon, with an excellent menu
accompanied by fine wines. The guest speaker is former Bath,
England and British Lions rugby player Gareth Chilcott.
The lunch is in aid of a
super cause, Macmillan Cancer Support, and has been generously
sponsored by our friends at IAA-Advisory and CHP Consulting.
Tickets are £125 a head, with a table
of 10 costing £1,200 – though if you don’t want to book the entire
table, there is no problem with you sharing with one or more other
Tables are getting snapped up fairly
quickly, so if you would like to attend this event which has built
quite a robust reputation, pleased contact Derek Soper on 01444 891
I hope to see you there,