2023 Monitor Icon: Kevin Hall – An Eye for Adaptation
by Ian Koplin Sept/Oct 2023
Kevin Hall takes a practical approach to his role as vice president of capital markets at Mitsubishi HC Capital Canada, surrounding himself with a team of knowledgeable experts that have transformed the platform just three short years into his mandate. This year’s NextGen Icon Award goes to Hall for his current successes but also his untold future potential.
Kevin Hall, Vice President of Capital Markets, Mitsubishi HC Capital Canada
“I’m trying to provide direction, bringing a team together towards the common goals and values of the company. But overall … I attribute my success to the confidence I’ve received from our senior leaders, giving me such an important responsibility at a young age.”
This year’s Monitor NextGen Icon Award winner is Kevin Hall, vice president of capital markets at Mitsubishi HC Capital Canada, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi HC Capital America. Hall, who is 31 years old at the time of publication, has already accomplished so much had has no plans to slow down anytime soon. Entering the finance industry immediately out of college, Hall was working for a large Canadian bank and had ‘climbing the corporate ladder’ at the top of mind. Though Hall was tenacious in his pursuit for more roles and responsibilities, the bureaucracy typically akin to large financial players bogged Hall down and made him realize that maybe it wasn’t exactly his calling. Just as he came to this realization, one of Hall’s friends joined a leasing company and after chatting with and hearing about their experience, Hall decided to give leasing a shot. That was seven years ago and now in 2023, Hall says Mitsubishi HC Capital Canada has nearly $3 billion in assets owned and under management, with $7.5 billion in assets owned and under management for the entire North American organization.
Starting from scratch, as the only person on the capital markets team when it was established, Hall has surrounded himself with experts to bolster the platform’s ability to achieve its maximum potential. How he went about doing it, Hall says, was quite simple: “My top priority with adding members to the team is about surrounding myself with people that are just smarter than me. I’m trying to provide direction, bringing a team together towards the common goals and values of the company. But overall … I attribute my success to the confidence I’ve received from our senior leaders, giving me such an important responsibility at a young age. I was able to get into this business when it was at a very early stage, and I was lucky enough to be part of these changes.”
“I hired Kevin in 2017 as an associate account manager,” Simon Jean, senior vice president of equipment finance at Mitsubishi HC Capital Canada, says. “At the time, he was supporting the direct sales team, mostly working on structured transactions. The team was very successful, and thanks to Kevin’s strong support, was able to book over $100 million of business in its first year. The following year, Kevin got promoted to an account manager role, working with brokers in eastern Canada. At that time, our broker business was mostly concentrated in central Canada. Kevin rapidly took charge of expanding our presence, building solid relationships and eliminating the non-performing ones. He also worked to train younger associate account managers. Being perfectly bilingual, this helped us gain market share in the Maritime provinces too.”
Speaking of his expansion efforts, which Hall and his team are approximately three years into, he says building a syndication buy and sell desk from scratch has been a challenging journey, but one not without its milestones. The team recently started working on a private securitization product for independent leasing companies in Canada. Completing $125 million in the first year, the team is now up to $500 million in new originations. At first, Hall says, it was challenging to keep up with the new initiative, and sometimes finding motivation toward that big-picture goal proved tough in the early days before business started rolling in and resources started flowing. However, Hall says he and his team have built something special. “Starting from scratch — the operational side of building a process [the capital markets platform in Canada] — was all new to me, and there’s a lot of work that goes into that with every department,” Hall says. “So, it was really a team effort with all the departments internally. I would say it was the biggest challenge, and that’s what I’m the most proud of.”
“From his early days at the company, we all knew that Kevin was an ambitious young man, quickly making his mark as a sales associate and quickly growing into an account manager position,” Vincent Villeneuve, account executive for capital markets at Mitsubishi HC Capital Canada, says. “Since his promotion as vice president of our capital markets team, Kevin has been the cornerstone of our growth in this market. Our third-party originations and syndication (both buy and sell) markets grew exponentially through his ability to source, materialize and maintain relationships throughout the Canadian market with external parties. Not only was he able to single-handedly develop our funding facilities and assignment product from scratch, he was able to convert and source tens of current and new partners to this business approach over the past years. His creativity is reflected through his ability to offer highly tailored solutions to all of our external partners to ensure their satisfaction and continued business.”
The Status Quo is Not an Option
Seeing the capital markets team grow from just himself to a team of about 10 in three years, Hall has been provided with a unique perspective of company culture. Some members of the senior leadership team used to work together at GE Capital, according to Hall, and they have imported an aspect of the culture from that experience that has really worked out well for the current company. “It’s all about doing more, generating growth, new industries, new products, innovation, always challenging ourselves to do better,” Hall says. “I try to incorporate that in my day-to-day, and it’s my objective to incorporate that culture within our team. Personally, I try to get myself out of my comfort zone in this fastpaced environment, and I think it’s served me pretty well so far.”
Hall believes the equipment finance industry is at a pivotal point in its history. As a funder, Hall says the industry is turning the spotlight on sustainable financing, green energy electric vehicles and other climate initiatives but with little historical data to reference. This raises many issues for financial experts looking toward the future. Big banks with low cost of funds can be aggressive in this space, but for non-bank institutions, the outlook is a little different. Hall believes the answer to adapting includes changing a company’s model, educating partners or even transitioning more towards as-a-service models. “How do we incorporate AI into the picture and what role does that have in the near future?” Hall asks. “There are a lot of questions to be worked out, but for us, it’s all about trying to transform our organization at this point. I want to be a part of how business owners change the way they look at or incorporate financing into their business going forward.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ian Koplin is an editor of Monitor. Rita E. Garwood, editor in chief, interviewed Kevin Hall for this article.
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