Brij Patel, founder, president and CEO of Alliance Funding Group, has the small-ticket lessor growing rapidly, something it’s been doing for more than 20 years. With an eye on growing originations while managing risk and adapting to new technology, Patel aims to keep on going.
Brij Patel, President& CEO, Alliance Funding Group
“As small ticket rationalizes with yield spreads, we feel that we’re in a great position to attract the right type of business to further scale our originations and command strong risked adjusted returns.”
Although Brij Patel founded Alliance Funding Group more than two decades ago in 1998, he is still proud to be leading a company in growth mode. The Tustin, CA-based small-ticket equipment leasing company rose nearly 10 spots in the Monitor 101 this year, finishing at No. 118. According to Patel, the company is “executing on all cylinders,” meaning it will likely continue to climb the ranks in the years to come.
“I feel that we’re in the early stage of the ‘fly wheel effect’ where we can introduce new products and services, provide value-add to our customers and vendors and drive incremental profitability,” Patel says.
A key to Alliance Funding Group’s success in the last year, according to Patel, is its strong bank partners, including both senior and wholesale lenders. Such tight connections have been particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our advantage was that we had limited balance sheet risk, so we levered up the business, ultimately adding earning assets,” Patel says. “We’re thankful that our current bank (CIBC) listened to our story, our strategy and our ability to execute.”
But Alliance Funding Group’s relationships with its lenders and bank partners isn’t all that has kept it successful, particularly during its 20 years and counting in business.
“Over a longer period than the past 12 months, our success has been the ability to recruit and retain some of the best sales and operations talent available,” Patel says.
Recruiting top talent, especially people earlier in their career trajectory, has long been a priority for Patel, who believes the equipment finance industry needs to do a better job displaying and marketing just how successful a career in the business can be. Patel knows gaining that knowledge can spark a powerful career path, as he entered the industry by working for a lease brokerage shop after realizing his initial career route in accounting would require a long journey to career stability and wealth building.
Since entering the industry, Patel has continued the process of “learning on the fly,” especially after founding Alliance Funding Group, which he says is his first experience managing a business at relative scale. Patel expects the company to keep scaling, aiming for more than 30% growth from its 2021 performance in 2022 by keeping focused on increasing originations, managing risk and investing in technology, even in a rising rate environment, which he says often benefits small-ticket leasing.
President and Chief Digital Officer,
“Technology is a tool” and this technology is a perfect fit for HR, as explained by Scott Nelson, president and chief digital officer at Tamarack Technology in this Monitor Web Exclusive. Learn how AI is not only good, but critical to human resource management in equipment finance.
Senior Vice President Fleet Solutions,
Corcentric Capital Equipment Solutions
Fleet management is no small task and comes with a long list of pain points and tough choices, but, like many things in this industry, those issues can be solved with proper planning and a clear vision of the road ahead. Patrick Gaskins, SVP of Corcentric Fleet Solutions, shares knowledge from the frontlines on everything from ESG initiatives fit to future costs of equipment.