Learn from Mike Pulito, Aircraft Industry Project Manager, as he shares his perspective and experience.
1) How has the leasing and financing industry changed since you joined First American?
The industry is constantly evolving around two things: regulation and accounting treatment; and asset types. We position ourselves months, often years, ahead of forthcoming policy changes and new asset types so that we can better understand and serve our clients. That—plus our industry-leading abilities in digital and electronic capabilities—is what has propelled us forward. Being able to meet virtually and execute electronically on a platform where clients can access real-time financing data whenever and wherever they want has positioned us ahead of our competitors. In today’s digital age, with devices serving as mediums between our everyday interactions, clients deserve the same with their financing solutions.
2) What is most notable about the sectors and assets you work on the most today?
Health concerns related to Covid-19 have resulted in an increasing demand for aircraft ownership and flying private (both fractional and whole). We have clients who have owned previously, but we also are managing an increasing number of first-time owners. It’s exciting to be able to make a client’s financing experience enjoyable and memorable, especially when we can guide or handle complex aircraft ownership technicalities on their behalf.
3) What evolving trends are you watching over the next five years?
The demand for newer aircraft models that address environmental concerns and carbon neutral emissions is driving innovation and enabling manufacturers to think differently. We already have engaged with partners regarding their new investment plans and we are thrilled to be a part of those plans. If the assets we finance can make for a more sustainable planet, we are all for it.
4) How are your responsibilities in terms of supporting clients evolving with those trends?
Reading and listening to the experiences and knowledge of other industry peers is important. Subscriptions, attending webinars, and live conferences also keep me in front of real-time industry discussions. Doing so better positions First American for success with our clients. Listening to our clients’ needs is also extremely vital. They are the lifeblood of our organization. Without them, we have nothing. So, finding solutions that work for them always needs to be at the forefront of our interests. We do not believe in “one size fits all” products and solutions. That ideology is not sustainable for any type of client or relationship we value.
5) What is one valuable piece of feedback you have heard from clients?
That we move thoughtfully and quickly. Given our partnerships and the stable foundation we have built, our internal team members make rapid, accurate, and sound decisions while our external team turns around documentation and legal concerns quickly. Because we are a tight and time-tested group, information moves seamlessly and accurately, which strengthens our ability to execute on all types of deals and keeps us top of mind for clients. It’s a great industry and I’m proud to be a part of it.
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