Quartz Finance: Vendor finance brokers
Quartz Finance specialises in arranging vendor finance for manufacturers and system integrators. One of its biggest clients is Fujitsu. Three of Quartz’s employees work full time finding finance for Fujitsu and are fully integrated into the the Japanese technology company’s business.
Whilst this is a common approach with technology companies, Ian Jackson, the head of aviation, wants to apply the same approach to business aircraft. “Vendor finance is more than just having a list of banks,” he says. “It is about giving advice, providing options and helping the manufacturer through the whole process.”
Quartz was founded by former bankers from what was Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein’s highly regarded asset finance group. Jackson, who also worked at Dresdner – along with GE, CIT and Hitachi Capital (where he invested in aviation) – joined Quartz in October 2009 to create a business aircraft and super-yacht financing business.
Quartz’s first aviation vendor finance relationship was signed in May 2010 with Renaissance International Completions, a subsidiary of Canadian Renaissance International Holdings, based at Doncaster’s Robin Hood Airport in the UK. As well as refurbishments Renaissance also upgrades avionics and technology systems, like electronic flight bags and purification systems.
“This partnership will provide Renaissance International Completions’ clients with the opportunity to upgrade mission critical aviation technology within their aircraft fleet with flexible financing options,” said Bryan Landry, president of Renaissance International speaking when the vendor financing programme was signed. “This financing program is very important because it allows the owners and the pilots to operate with the latest technology within a secure environment without direct cash flows being affected. The transparency around our financial support to our clients will provide strategic growth in sectors that were poorly represented in the past.”
The upgrades Landry refers to typically cost between $100,000 and $250,000. “The deal sizes are not particularly large,” says Jackson but it is a good opportunity for lenders to form relationships with customers and we are also there to help aircraft owners if they want to finance whole aircraft.”
While Jackson’s main ambition is to provide a vendor finance programme for a business jet or helicopter manufacturer he is also talking to brokers and is involved in advising individual aircraft owners.
He is confident that attitudes towards the importance of vendor financing are changing. “A classic argument from salespeople in the past is that the customer will find finance,” says Jackson. “But increasingly they realise that finance is a critical part of the sales cycle. Until you have addressed financial issues you have not qualified the prospect. “