Leading with a Purpose: Patel Emphasizes the Importance of Curiosity
by Markiesha Thompson Monitor 50th Anniversary 2023
As head of equipment finance at Wells Fargo, Amrita Patel’s strong history of achieving outstanding results propels her forward as she creates her own path and makes a name for herself as a leader.
Markiesha Thompson, Associate Editor, Monitor
Although she had big shoes to fill as Bill Mayer’s successor after his retirement as head of equipment finance at Wells Fargo in 2022, Amrita Patel is already making an impact by using her diverse background to deliver growth and efficiency, refine the client experience and work closely with her team to drive creative solutions for clients.
Finding her entry into equipment finance through a non-traditional path, Patel gained industry knowledge through meaningful technology, Six Sigma transformation strategies and sales leadership roles that supported financial industries. She attributes this broad experience to helping her think about the business in a strategic and holistic way while ensuring it can be tactically executed. Over the five years Patel has been with Wells Fargo, she has occupied several significant leadership roles, including national sales manager of the commercial vehicle group and transformation and process improvement leader, before assuming her current position.
Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Patel had already accomplished a great deal in her career, spending nearly 16 years with GE Capital, where she oversaw acquisitions, integrations
and divestures of GE Capital businesses, completed GE’s Management Development Course (where she was selected as a “leader amongst leaders”), graduated from the GE Information Management Leadership program, became a certified Six Sigma black belt, was published in the Washington Post, speoke at high-profile industry events and was featured in The Secured Lender’s 2020 “Women in Secured Finance” issue.
Patel makes it her mission to drive positive change throughout Wells Fargo and the equipment finance industry itself. She has found inspiration and great benefit by connecting with peers, both within and outside the industry, and by being involved with the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association. Nine months into her new role as head of equipment finance, Patel says the ELFA has been a tremendous support system that provides a wealth of information and that she has appreciated the warm welcome from the industry as she has assimilated into her new role, adding that she looks forward to being more involved in the future.
“What I love about this industry is our client base and our talent,” Patel says, noting that she is excited about the capabilities her company is able to offer its clients, always valuing when clients tell her that Wells Fargo provided a solution that helped them meet their business goals.
Looking forward, Patel would love to see the equipment finance industry continuously innovate in emerging markets and with digital technologies to offer clients solutions for the future. Patel enjoys being part of the ongoing innovation in the industry, building creativity and thinking outside the box. She believes these efforts will contribute to the growth of equipment finance.
Many leaders encounter challenges trying to navigate economic uncertainty, but Patel faces these obstacles with calmness, clarity and curiosity. “I have always been a continuous learner,” she says. And as the equipment finance industry is always changing, she makes sure to keep checking the pulse of her clients and her teams, looking across peer businesses and having conversations with industry fellows to gain as much knowledge as possible so she can be well-suited to tackle what’s ahead.
Patel has been recognized as a woman in equipment finance who is making a way for other women to see themselves as leaders in the industry. Since her path was not linear, she believes it is important for her to show that you can have a lot of different experiences in your background and still become a leader in equipment finance. Patel also feels the responsibility to grow and encourage talent of all types to take risks and support each other, advising others in the industry to “try and learn new areas that are not germane to what you normally do. It will only build your breadth and depth.”
Sharing some advice that she wished she had heard in her earlier years, Patel says, “You don’t have to know everything and it’s OK to ask for help. It will get you places faster and to the right solutions.
“When you get to an organization or a job, make sure that you learn all the pieces that are interconnected and how they work. Understand what happens before, what happens after, and leave it in a better state than when you got it — with more efficiency, increased profitability and a strong talent bench — because that shows and demonstrates what you can do.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Markiesha Thompson is associate editor of Monitor.
Director of Data Analytics and Corporate Development,
Jackie Jacobs, director of data analytics and corporate development for Fleet Advantage, discusses not just why diversity has become a major boon to any industry that embraces it, but how reaching diversity goals in this industry can be made possible with an increase in understanding of its unique requirements.
Law Office of Kenneth Charles Greene
Touching on the potential of AI across different forms of art, Kenneth Charles Greene of the Law Offices of Kenneth Charles Greene discusses the fascinating results of combining AI with creativity in this Monitor Web Exclusive.