John C. Deane, CEO, chairman and a co-founder of The Alta Group, will retire at the end of 2020. Valerie L. Gerard and James R. Jackson Jr. were appointed co-CEOs, and Thomas C. Wajnert will serve as chairman of the international consultancy dedicated to the equipment finance industry. While Deane will retire from daily management, he will continue to serve on Alta’s board of directors.
“It has been a remarkable 27 years, and now it is time for me to move on and for Alta to embrace a new generation of leadership,” Deane said in an internal letter to Alta colleagues.
“John Deane has been a guiding force for Alta and for the equipment leasing and finance industry as a whole,” Wajnert, who also serves as senior managing director of client development at Alta, said. “His wisdom and depth of industry knowledge have helped countless companies grow their equipment finance operations in the U.S. and across the globe.
“Our new leadership team will expand on his vision, and there is a lot of positive energy with the new CEOs named and Alta’s news last month announcing our new vice chairmen, Paul Menzel and Rick Remiker. We are looking forward to playing a leading role in serving the next generation of leaders and accelerating our clients’ readiness for the future.”
“It has been an honor and a privilege to work in such a remarkable industry and with such amazing clients and colleagues,” Deane said, citing thousands of client engagements and visits to more than 50 countries in the course of his 27 years leading the consultancy he co-founded with Norm Chapman, Bill Montgomery and the late John Giddens.
Prior to The Alta Group, Deane served as a principal in the firm of Amembal, Deane & Associates, a provider of training, educational and consulting services for the equipment finance industry. He also previously served as CEO of both Great Western Leasing and BancOne Leasing and as a CFO and president of several financial corporations.
Deane’s expertise over more than 40 years was fortified by his work as a former chairman of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) and his long-time participation in research, publishing and speaking at events within the global industry.
Jackson has been a leader of Alta’s M&A practice since 2016 and Gerard, the leader of the strategy and competitive alignment practice, has been with Alta since 2010. In addition to their new CEO duties, both will continue in their practice leadership positions. The co-CEOs have been a part of the firm’s management team along with Francis Maier, the consultancy’s CFO.
“Valerie and Jim are incredibly talented and focused on equipping our clients for continued success,” Wajnert said. “This is an exciting time for Alta and the clients we serve.”
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