Vince Knowlton: Taking the Wheel

by Ian Koplin Monitor 101 2022
Entegra Capital has seen some trying times between rising interest rates, the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the company and its clients and a rise in the price of diesel fuel. But despite all adversity, the company has broken into the Monitor 101 with blazing success. Led by CEO Vincent Knowlton, Entegra is set to succeed in 2022 and beyond.

Vincent Knowlton,
Entegra Capital

“Our leadership team is unique. We have a healthy blend of financial experience, combined with industry knowledge, which makes us a complete team.”

Entegra Capital, a company with primary expertise in the transportation industry, experienced overwhelming success in 2021. As the COVID-19 pandemic waned from the rapid increase in cases in January 2022, Entegra experienced an increase in the demand to move freight, and at the time, freight rates were very strong. The combination of strong demand for drivers, lower fuel costs and rising appreciation in truck value (therefore protecting the secured collateral on the company’s debt) created a perfect storm for Vincent Knowlton, CEO of Entegra, to take the company to new heights.

Knowlton’s team was already closely monitoring fuel prices long before the pandemic, tracking the cost of diesel, as it represents a direct impact on truckers’ margins. What the team didn’t expect, but has quickly adapted to, is rising interest rates’ impact on Entegra’s margins. Both the price of diesel and the interest rates affecting Entegra’s margin are increasing, pushing them to the highest point they’ve been since Knowlton has been CEO, but the company’s fluidity and nimbleness has allowed it to react and search out new opportunities elsewhere within the organization. Part of that included getting the sales team out on the road and meeting face-to-face with brokers, who make up the majority of the company’s clients.

The heart of Entegra Capital’s success in the past year, however, is the resilience of the owner operator, as Knowlton puts it. In an industry faced with adversity, rising fuel prices, shortages of replacement parts, increased asset prices and regulations making it increasingly challenging for smaller fleet owners and owner operators to manage their margins, Knowlton can’t help but admire the people behind the wheel. In close second for the title of top contributor to the company’s success is its broker network.

Just like they always have, Knowlton and his team are always looking ahead at the horizon. The currently rising interest rates in the economy, while necessary to tamp down inflation, do leave a mark on Entegra’s bottom line at the end of the day. The company is prepared to grin and bear it into 2023, when Knowlton sees a possible release of pressure. Until then, the Entegra team will continue to be good stewards of expense and focus on quality portfolio growth.

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