A Time of Transition: Journeying into the Unknown of Displacement

by Jennifer Martin and Scott Preiser Mar/Apr 2024
A great deal of transition has taken place in the employment landscape of equipment finance over the last 12 months. Jennifer Martin shares her journey into the unknown that came with displacement and Scott Preiser shares his perspective as a recruiter in the industry.

Jennifer Martin,
Chief Product Officer,
LTi Technology Solutions

Scott Preiser,
SVP, Client Partner & Recruiter,
Molloy Associates

In the wake of turmoil that rocked the banking industry in 2023, many regional banks shut down or scaled back their equipment finance divisions. Scott Preiser, senior vice president, client partner and recruiter at Molloy Associates, an executive search firm serving the equipment finance industry, says many people from these organizations were laid off and salespeople were often the first people to go.

Larger banks and other major industry players underwent major restructuring over the last year as well. “A lot of people who have been in these organizations for a long time in senior positions were effectively let go because of the restructuring,” Preiser says. “So, it not only affected the banks in terms of staff reduction, but also some of the independents that rely on the banks for warehouse lines. Everybody has been sitting on their hands waiting for the next shoe to drop. I see a lot of people moving around.”

On the other side of the coin, Preiser notes that non-banking entities see this environment as an opportunity to pick up great talent.

Getting displaced by circumstances like this can be tough, and Preiser says he’s been through this a few times during his 40-year career. “We’ve weathered the storms,” Preiser says. “A lot of the pain is over now.”

Monitor editorial board member Jennifer Martin recently assumed the role of chief product officer at LTi Technology Solutions after being displaced from her role at Key Equipment Finance and shared the following story with us:

Being laid off from a job you’ve dedicated 30 years to can be a profound journey into the unknown. For me, my work was a significant part of my identity. The onset of emotions after having dedicated such a significant part of my life to something felt like grief and contained a sense of purposelessness. It also created a significant imbalance in my social structure — my work family was just that: family. Would everything change? As much as you can hope it won’t, it certainly does, through no fault of anyone or anything but circumstance.

Over a period of time and healing, I began to understand that within this uncertainty lies the opportunity for personal and professional reinvention. I began to organize a path and ask myself a targeted question: What is it that makes me truly happy in a role and at a company, and what is off the table?

After 30 years working at the same company, I had no idea. It took time to come to a list I could smile at. But there was one thing that I knew right away: I wanted to stay in this industry. The people in the equipment finance industry consistently demonstrate exceptional partnership and commitment to excellence, and the leaders I’ve interacted with are dedicated to inspiring and motivating those around them. I have fun with everyone I’ve had the chance to work with and have always looked forward to engaging with my industry colleagues. In my ideal work world, alongside a list of other must have and must have nots, the equipment finance industry had become my home, and I did not want to leave it.

So many say, “I fell into this industry by chance and here I still am.” I believe genuine, caring, smart people are most of the reason.

“This is a trillion-dollar industry, and everything is cyclical,” Preiser says. “Towards the middle of this year, we’re going to start seeing some positive changes.” •

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