The best place to get information, knowledge and guidance in the equipment finance industry is from leaders and people currently in the industry. James Jang, president of Accord Financial, speaks to Monitor about his time in equipment finance to help provide guidance to those new to the industry.
James Jang, President, Accord Financial
“One unique thing about this business is you are constantly exposed to unique ideas, unique business models and industries that you didn’t know existed.”
Everyone in the equipment finance industry has a different story about how they landed in the business. James Jang, president of Accord Financial, found his way into the industry after working with vendors and seeing the opportunity to help small businesses obtain financing. Being exposed to equipment leasing, Jang found it didn’t take long for the organization to expand into that business. After 20 years, Accord Financial has maintained its course. “I don’t think anybody who comes up in the industry thinks, ‘I’m going to go into equipment finance.’ We all end up there somehow,” Jang says.
Jang trusts his colleagues and says it’s important for leaders to build a great team around them. Without this, Jang believes a business will not succeed. Jang says micromanagement has no room in this industry, so he appreciates, trusts and delegates to his teammates.
The beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, for Accord Financial, was about adjusting to how to underwrite credit in the middle of an unprecedented global event while businesses were shutting down, being closed or experiencing a high probability of closing. Because of this, his team had to adjust credit underwriting in real time. Two years later, as people are starting to get back to business, the unique challenge is now to help businesses with impaired balance sheets continue to survive. Jang says Accord Financial continues to be in a unique credit stage with the small business market and the effects of the pandemic are still impacting its clients.
There are rewards in the industry that Jang finds impactful for clients. He enjoys knowing that every day Accord impacts hundreds or thousands of small businesses and helps them get the capital and the equipment, or the working capital, they need to grow and succeed. “I think that is the most rewarding part of the job, knowing that when you’re doing small business, everything is quite personal to your clients,” Jang says.
As a veteran in the industry with 18 years of experience, Jang sees himself grooming the next generation to assume his role and to take over. It is important to him to train the next generation of leaders on his team to continue growing and evolving the company to keep the business thriving for decades to come.
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