Monitor Women’s List 2019: Valerie Gerard

by By Monitor Staff Nov/Dec 2019



Valerie L. Gerard

Senior Managing Director, Leader of Strategy & Competitive Alignment Practice, The Alta Group
Board Trustee, Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation
Member, Equipment Leasing and Finance Association
Steering Committee, Commercial Equipment Marketplace Council


As leader of The Alta Group’s Strategy & Competitive Alignment Practice and a member of its Management Committee, Valerie Gerard plays a dynamic role in the firm’s direction and major client engagements. She is a valued advisor to companies in the equipment finance industry, helping them realize greater growth and profitability as well as adopt innovative practices.


“Looking into my crystal ball, I see an industry that advances and even accelerates its adoption of innovative financial models and technology for delivering financial services. I also believe organizations and industries will accomplish even more by promoting female professionals into leadership roles.”

“Valerie manages our largest client engagements, requiring a deep understanding of many facets of equipment leasing and financing worldwide. We depend on her ability to structure and manage multi-party complexity as a trusted advisor,” says John Deane, CEO and founder of The Alta Group. “For example, she was responsible for originating, negotiating and managing a global vendor program selection engagement, which involved dozens of companies and scores of client employees. Once completed, the client materially reduced its single vendor concentration risk and improved its customer footprint control.”

Throughout her 30+ year career, Gerard has held a series of senior leadership positions that required a deep understanding of the strategic landscape across the leasing industry, the wider financial services sector, capital markets and the investment community. She ran Fitch’s finance and leasing company ratings group and investor relations for CIT, AT&T Capital and Dow Jones before joining Alta. As a rating agency analyst, she developed the confidence to ask probing questions of executive management teams and learned the power of disruptive market forces.

Among her many accomplishments, she was part of the management team that led AT&T Capital’s leveraged buyout, then the largest transaction of its kind. Gerard was also a co-leader of CIT’s IPO post-Tyco — a major IPO in 2002. At Fitch, she developed the rating industry’s first risk-adjusted capital model for finance and leasing companies. Having authored numerous research reports, the thrill of her analytical career came when The New York Times featured her aircraft leasing report in the Sunday Business section, earning her a call from Lee Iacocca.

An active trustee for the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation, Gerard serves on its Research Committee and is a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Equipment Lease Financing. She is a founding member of the ELFA Women’s Council and co-founded the Women’s Leadership Forum at CIT. She previously served on the ELFA Investor Relations Advisory Task Force and started the ELFA’s very first Investor Conference. She has also served on three New York State Senate Advisory Councils.

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