April 19, 2001

 

 

 

 

  Headlines:

       Irwin Leasing Shows Loss

        Lakeland Leasing Noninterest Expense Up

         Depping: Lion or Gazelle?

           Superbroker: Definition

             Powerfarm.com, MachineryLink Announce Business Alliance

               Intuit Appoints Former GE/Colonial President to New Position

                All United Capital E-Mail Accounts Come Back/No Longer Connected???

 

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  Irwin Leasing

 

Irwin Financial's small-ticket leasing line of business (www.irwinbf.com ) incurred a pre-tax

loss of $0.7 million in the first quarter, compared with a pre-tax loss of $0.9 million a year

earlier.  Lease and loan originations totaled $33.9 million in the first quarter and the

portfolio totaled $170.7 million at quarter-end.

 

Irwin Ventures (www.irwinventures.com ) lost $1.4 million during the first quarter, compared to

net income of $4.3 million a year earlier.  The loss in the first quarter of 2001 principally

reflects a $2.5 million pre-tax valuation adjustment in its portfolio, reflecting market

conditions for early-stage companies.

 

Overall, Irwin Financial net income in the first quarter of 2001 of $11.1 million or $0.49 per

share, compared with net income of $8.5 million or $0.40 per share during the same period in

2000, an increase in earnings per share of 22.5%.

 

First quarter results reflected strong performance by the Corporation's mortgage banking and

home equity lines of business as well as stable credit quality, they report.

______________________________________________________________

 Lakeland Leasing

 

The Leasing Division of Lakeland Bank, which was purchased in the second quarter of 2000.

Noninterest expenses for the first quarter of 2001 were $7.4 million as compared to $6.4 million in the first quarter of 2000. The increase reflects additional costs incurred in the newly

acquired leasing division and the impact of new branches.

 

Diluted Earnings were announced today as Per Share of $0.19 for the first quarter of 2001, up 6% from $0.18 for the same period in 2000. Net Income was $2.4 million, equal to the net income for the same period last year. Return on Average Assets was 1.08% and Return on Average Equity was

12.45% for the first quarter 2001.

 

"Despite the slowing economy, Lakeland continues to experience healthy loan, deposit and

earnings growth," said Roger Bosma, Lakeland Bancorp's President and CEO. "With the roll out of

Internet Banking and debit cards in the first quarter, Lakeland continues to expand its product

array to meet customer needs."

es.

 

 

______________________________________________________________

 

 

           Depping: Lion or Gazelle?

 

I would have to say he went out like a Hyena. I was one of the about 20

employees that worked for First Sierra from ground zero, starting in

Jupiter, FL. Tom Depping personally guaranteed that we would be there

indefinitely, as people were wanting to purchase homes. Those people bought

there homes, which came with new mortgages. With in 90 days Depping showed

up and in the office and, in short, said you are moving to Houston or find

new jobs. This management style became the normal SOP for Depping and his

puppets. The less of a back bone and proven experience you had the better

chance at becoming a VP. There are still employees employed with First

Sierra since late 1996 and early 1997, that helped take the company public,

that were promised a bonus or compensation for their loyalty and hard work,

to date, they are still waiting for that compensation. I hope Depping enjoys

his success as it was by the commitment of dedication of people whose

talents and ethics have been exploited, because of them, he can enjoy his

current lifestyle.  The TOP TEN list reported in your issue yesterday is a very

accurate representation of Depping and the First Sierra experience. So my

vote is as a Hyena!

 

Ex-First Sierra Employee, there are a lot of us out there!

 

PLEASE WITHHOLD MY NAME, AND LIST AS ANONYMOUS, AS I STILL HAVE A CAREER IN

THIS INDUSTRY. THANKS!!

 

          +               +                   +

 

Since I resemble a much more plump animal that either a Lion or Gazelle, I

can't relate to Tom Depping's analogies, but I was disappointed that Tom's

goodbye letter never mentioned the First Sierra employees who were the real

reason the company had any value left to offer Amex. After the hiring of

Mike Sabel and the acquisition of the Republic Group, management of First

Sierra became a lesson in virtual reality with the management players

changing almost weekly. The only constant was the hard working folks at all

levels who ignored the management fiasco and just kept doing their jobs day

in and day out. With a high of $31 per share in 1998 and the sale to Amex at

$5.68 in 2000, First Sierra did not exit this world as the success described

by Tom--survivor, yes--success, no. It was also disappointing that Tom

failed to recognize Bob Quinn for presenting the industry consolidation

concept to him at least a year before First Sierra became a reality. It

would be interesting to know what the fate of First Sierra would have been

if the original leadership team of Eric Barash, Oren Hall, Bob Quinn, Greg

Macintosh, Pete Smith and many other high quality people had been left in

place instead changing the entire direction of the company to high pressure,

high yield telemarketing.

Good luck to everyone left at First Sierra and I hope Amex treats you with the respect you

deserve. I miss you guys. Take care.

 

Charlie Lester

clester@lpifinancial.com.

 

 ( Charlie is on the Leasing News Advisory Board. Many people think all the stuff

 I get about Sierra Cities comes from him. It does not. Charlie always signs his

 name to what he sends.  One of my favorite all time quotes comes from the story

 he wrote for us about Sierra Cities ( I helped with some parts, but most of it

 is from Charlie http://www.leasingnews.org/articles.doc/newsletter3.htm ).

 " Depping's ego and lack of loyalty...The best line I have heard about

   Tom is 'He has no old friends,just new friends and wannabes'."

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         We encourage you to send to a colleague

                   or print any or all of what we write without our permission.

 

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  SuperBroker: Definition

 

I bet you really opened Pandora's Box with your comments on superbrokers and other terms of art

in our industry! Kudos on the effort and your definitions.

 

After years of internecine struggle - and even threats of physical violence, NAELB decided to

abandon any effort to distinguish between "true" or "pure" funders and superbrokers. Too often,

the latter term seemed to  imply some value judgment or stigma.

 

Instead, we now focus on (1) educating the brokers as to why they might want to know the nature

of their "funder's" business and (2) requiring the funder to furnish this information.

 

NAELB funders are required to fill out questionnaires divulging whether they make their own

credit decisions, what percentage of their business they keep in house, whether they use their

own funds or borrow, etc. along with other information a broker should want to know.

 

While the funder must sign and return the questionnaire, he/she may refuse to answer one or more questions - we leave it to the broker to evaluate the meaning of a blank response.

Questionnaires are available from the NAELB office.

 

Falsity in the questionnaire is an ethical violation which can result in censure or expulsion.

 

This is a new project, and we are still chasing some members for compliance. Hopefully, someday

soon we will have questionnaires from 100% of the funders (as well as brokers and associate

members - we have to fill out the questionnaires, too!).

 

The quid quo pro for all this is that we encourage NAELB members to do business with one

another. It is all part of the ethics program.

 

It isn't perfect (yet) but it's a start!

 

Barry Marks

bsmblik@aol.com

 

  This is what Mr. Marks was referring to at yesterday's Leasing News:

 

    Super Brokers

 

The funder has been the first noticeable casualty in the leasing business, according

to the Leasing News List. But were they "true funders" or "super brokers?"

 

I don't have the answer to that question, but ask readers for their reaction.

 

So we are all on the same page of this discussion, here are the terms you will

not find on line or in the leasing books, as we see here:

 

 

Vendor

     A seller of equipment; manufacturer, distributor, dealership, sales representative.

 

Captive Vendor

    A seller of equipment who utilizes either a funder or lessor to finance

their equipment, often on an exclusive basis. Some are the lessor themselves, such as Ford Motor Credit or IBM.  Many have exclusive arrangements with lessors or funders.

They require their dealers or salesmen to use their financial services exclusively, many

pay a  commission  from the lease transaction to the salesman, from two to five percent is

common, depending on the size of the dollar transaction. ( IBM pays two percent,

Dictograph pays five percent ).

 

Debtor

   Lessee  ( or the entity that is responsible for the "debt," as occurs in a loan. )

 

Creditor

    Who the lessee makes lease payments to ( specifically, often not the entity

        that approves the lease ).

  

 

Broker

   Intermediary between debtor and creditor, legally represents himself.

     Lease Broker

          Generally responsible for obtaining a credit application, may collect

       financial documents, most often is responsible for getting the lease contract

       signed, receiving a commission based on the purchase option and difference

       in "sell" and "buy" rate of the "stream of payments" in the lease.

 

     Lease Packager

            A broker who not only obtains the credit application, financial documents,

      but also runs consumer credit, business credit, and submits a full package

      to a creditor.  Most often non-recourse, but may have "representations and

      warranty" to nature of transaction, meaning credit, equipment "financed,"

      and  "truthfulness" of the transaction.  Most lease packagers retain the

      purchase option.  Most lease packager will sign the lease documents on

      their own contract, which may be a "private label," meaning a creditors

      document with the Lease Packager name on it, but in reality, not the

      creditor.

     

       Super Broker

            A broker who obtains credit applications, financial documents, and coordinates

        between broker and creditor, from other brokers. Most often does not conduct

        credit investigations, but "packages" the credit application to a funder who is best

        suited for the "debtor,"  including the "buy" and "sell" rate of the transaction.

       A broker may not meet the monthly volume  requirements of the creditor, or may not               have  knowledge as to the placement of the transaction due to credit criteria, rate,                   type of equipment or nature of the transaction. Often a super broker can obtain

      a "better" commission than the broker or offer advise on "closing the sale."

       Usually a very experienced broker.  Most often the only source of credit applications

        is from other brokers.

 

       Lessor

            A creditor with their own lines of credit.  They may warehouse, hold leases

       for several months, six months or longer, and sell them to another creditor for

        a "better rate" due to the volume of transactions or to "free up" their warehouse

        line of credit.  They may sell their leases at a "non-recourse" position, thus

        becoming a "Super Broker", or as a "packager," with "representations and

        warranty", or as a lessor, " retaining recourse on the credit decisions."

           A true lessor keeps all leases and purchase options.

 

       Funder

          A creditor who offers "private label" contracts to Super Brokers, Packager,

       Vendors, and  sometimes to brokers who produce a volume.  They are a lessor

        and rely on warehouse lines, usually from a bank, or lines of credit from a bank

       or financial institution, or from money raised by private and/or public investors.

       Many form funds of partner investors or money directly from "stock" investors,

       either to the company or a specific "fund" for profit; can be tax profit, although

       these are usually "private" funds.

 

 

 

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   United Capital, Austin, Texas

 

All th e-mail addresses at United Capital keep coming back. Their server is

down, or perhaps the company is no longer in business.

 

What ever happened to United Capital? Steve Dallas said in an exclusive interview

last December they would have their collections in order for Lehman Brothers, and

be back taking leases by January 1.  I assumed he meant the year 2001...

 

Do any of our readers know what is happening at United Capital. We have not heard

any inside news in quite some time. editor.

 

______________________________________________________________

 

  Thank You  Carl--Maria

 

Either Carl Moberg or Maria Martinez-Wong post the news to Leasingnews.org every day.

Usually it is within a half hour after I send it out.  If it is longer, it is because

I get too busy and forget to tell them I have sent it out. I used to send them

an e-mail to post it on line, but both are within walking distance of my office,

and I don't know if they get the e-mail right away, so I am used to talking

to them face-to-face. They usually drop whatever they are doing to put the news in html, or make changes. So, if it is late, it usually is my fault,like yesterday.

 

I would like to thank Maria for undertaking the corrections to the Chronological and

Alphabetical List. She said, "Kit, there are duplicates, some missing from one to

another, and it is time to clean up this mess."  I didn't think it was that bad,

as I usually react by complaints, and not hearing many, thought it was okay.  I sure

was wrong.  Thank you, Maria, for cleaning up both lists:

 

http://www.leasingnews.org/list.htm

 

The following companies we never found dates for, and they are listed Alphabetically, but

at the end in the Chronological section.  If anyone can tell us where to look

to find the dates, we can then put them in order.  editor

 

American Business Leasing ( gone )

The Bancorp Group, Inc. (Southfield, MI) (Not accepting news business. The BOD of the parent

bank is assessing what to do with the leasing subsidiary.....currently servicing portfolio

but not originating. no longer in business )

Imperial Credit Industries (ICII) ( sold portfolio )

Merit Leasing ( gone )

Prime Leasing, Minnesota ( no longer doing business )

 

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  eMail Subject Headling

 

 

 Sorry, but I just could not resist. Shouldn't it be "Fed Drops Pants?"

:_)

 

Doug Delack

DDelack@USA.NET

 

(Perhaps you are correct. "Feds" sound more like an Elliot Ness operation.  My mind

was thinking the "government."  Also, it sounded funnier to me.  There was an allegory

there, not sexual, so those of you thinking that, have a dirty mind.  In Vaudeville,

the comedian to get a laugh, would drop his pants.  Among the old timers, they would

say of a comedian, he is not above dropping his pants to get a laugh. So that

is where my mind went: Greenspan was making a joke, suddenly dropping his pants.

Lowering the fed rate affects the mortgage industry and has some affect, but in

reality does not have the affect it had twenty years ago.  You don't see credit

cards going down, you don't see banks loosening their credit criteria for $10,000

or $50,000 transactions, or businessmen saying, "Wow, I can get the copier for

a 1/2 percent less," which they can't really. So it is more a psychological thing,

and to me, it was a joke, so Greenspan dropped his pants to get a laugh.

 

(And while we are on the subject of grammar, Doug, it should be "The Fed Drops Pants."

You know, it is "The Bronx," "The Yankees,"  "The Bears," and "The Fed."  We never say,

Bronx" or "Yankees" or "Bears." We might say, "Da Bears" or "Da Bronx" but never

"Fed". editor )

 

Kit, you might be right, and anyway, they only dropped one leg!

 

Seriously, it would seem that the Fed(s) ability to control the economy is

severely diminished at these low rates. Just look at the leasing industry!

Our funding sources don't enjoy the benefits of these rate drops. The Fed is

following the economy; not leading it! The only way to save the economy is

to pass a meaningful tax cut. Notice that I did not say a spending cut.

Although, I consider myself conservative, I know that tax dollars are not

spent in a vacuum. Cuts in government spending cause very real economic

dislocation. If congress had not spent our way to prosperity, we might not

be where we are today!

 

Doug Delack

(Yes you can print that)

 

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###########################################################

Powerfarm.com, MachineryLink Announce Business Alliance

 

 

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 19, 2001-- Powerfarm.com(TM), a leading agriculture

e-commerce website owned and operated by Ag Services of America, Inc. (NYSE:ASV), has formed an

alliance with MachineryLink(TM) (www.machinerylink.com), one of the leading independent online

resources for

 farmers who want to buy, sell, share or learn about farm machinery.

 

The relationship will include content exchange, joint marketing and unique product offerings.

MachineryLink's aggregated classified ads and equipment auctions will initially be available for

Powerfarm users. More services will follow in the near future.

 

"When evaluating strategic alliances, we try to do a couple things," stated Tad Mozena,

spokesman for Powerfarm, "focus on opportunities to add complimentary products and services that fit well for our customers and work with companies that provide the highest quality services in

those areas as their core competency. MachineryLink is a great fit that allows us to upgrade Powerfarm by giving our customers access to comprehensive resources related to farm machinery."

 

MachineryLink seeks to lower farm machinery costs through on-line and off-line services such as

equipment sharing agreements, special arrangements for producer groups, auctions, classifieds

and other innovative resource strategies. Through Powerfarm, MachineryLink now offers their

resources to facilitate equipment sales and purchases, including warranties, insurance

inspections and escrow services.

 

"Alliances are an extremely important component of our business strategy and we look forward to

working with Powerfarm to bring some exciting products to America's farmers," says David Forsee, MachineryLink CEO. "We currently maintain relationships with some 20 farming associations and

producer groups representing over 20,000 members, including the Iowa Corn Growers Association,

Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and the Iowa Soybean Association."

 

MachineryLink is building a collection of services to assist producers in managing their capital equipment. "It makes sense for producers to reduce their operating costs by more efficiently

utilizing their farm machinery," says Forsee. "Our equipment sharing network, for example,

provides a way for farmers to work together." An equipment sharing program is currently

available online with other related services under development.

 

Powerfarm.com has compiled one of the most comprehensive assortment of agriculture products,

services, credit and leasing options available on the Internet today. Among the products

currently available include seed, fertilizer and crop protection products, along with headline

ag news, market quotes and weather. Growers can shop at their convenience day or night for

products and sign up for additional services like crop insurance, grain marketing programs, crop  cscouting and soil sampling services. Within the Powerfarm Community, growers can post questions for the Company's agronomists and Certified Crop Advisors, as well as communicate with other producers around the world to share ideas and discuss topics of concern.

 

Ag Services of America, Inc., which operates Powerfarm.com, is based in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and

is a leading supplier of input financing and agricultural inputs, including seed, chemicals,

fertilizer and cash advances to primarily corn and soybean growers in the U.S. ASV's one-stop

shopping business model includes competitive and flexible financing packages through its

AgriFlex Credit(R) program combined with the most comprehensive offering of agricultural inputs

from national sources such as Asgrow, Aventis, BASF, Dekalb, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont, Garst,

Monsanto, Pioneer Hi-Bred and Syngenta. The company also provides ancillary services such as

crop insurance, crop scouting and grain marketing.

 

The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a "safe harbor" for

forward-looking statements. This release contains forward-looking statements based on current

expectations that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The factors that could cause

actual results to differ materially, include the following: general economic conditions within

the agricultural industry; competitive factors and pricing pressures; changes in product mix;

changes in the seasonality of demand patterns; changes in weather conditions; changes in

agricultural regulations; unknown risks; the amount and availability under its asset backed

securitization program; and the risks described from time to time in the Company's SEC reports.

 

Powerfarm.com is a trademark of Ag Services of America, Inc. All other trademarks or product

names are the property of their respective owners. For more information visit

www.agservices.com, www.powerfarm.com or www.machinerylink.com.

###########################################################

Intuit Appoints Former GE/Colonial President to New Position

 

Intuit, a division of Quicken, has named former GE/Colonial President Tom Allanson senior vice

president of the company's tax division. Allanson will oversee operations for Intuit's 

professional and consumer tax businesses.

 

Allanson resigned to get more involved in the internet tax software, which

Intuit calls thier flagship tax products,  Lacerte and ProSeries) for professional accountants

and Quicken TurboTax, the tax software product for consumers, are used to prepare about one in

four of all individual tax returns filed in the United States.

 

Intuit says "to ensure a smooth management transition, Allanson joined Intuit in September 2000

as the designated successor to Larry Wolfe, who is retiring after eight years with the company

and 15 in the electronic tax business." In his new role, Allanson will report directly to Steve

Bennett, Intuit president and chief executive officer.

 

"When Larry and I began discussing his retirement last year, our first priority was to develop a

seamless transition plan," Bennett said. "We brought Tom on board well in advance of Larry's

departure, enabling them to work together over the past seven months.

"Because Larry had done such a great job of building this business over the last several years,

and has worked so closely with Tom over the past several months, we'll continue to move forward, building on our success, without missing a beat."

 

Intuit says describes GE Capital Colonial Pacific Leasing as a" Vendor Financial Services

business which provides equipment leasing to small businesses."  They state, " Under his

leadership, the unit delivered 40 percent profitability growth over a two-year period. Allanson

also directed the unit's move to the Internet, which increased efficiency, lowered costs and

simplified the leasing process by reducing the amount of paperwork involved. He also focused on

revising core business strategies to enable the company to move into more profitable market

segments."

 

Allanson said that Wolfe's knowledge, experience and vision provided insights that will help

assure the continued success and growth of the tax operation.

 

"I've spent the past seven months working closely with Larry and the tax team getting to know

our business and all the key people who make it run so successfully," said Allanson. "This has

been an orderly, well-managed change that has enabled all of us to focus on additional

opportunities for innovation and growth."

 

There is no doubt that Intuit is a leader in both the accounting and tax software field

for small businesses and consumers.

 

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