Element’s Hudson Named EY Entrepreneur of the Year Ontario

Steven Hudson, chief executive officer of Element Financial won the 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year Ontario award.

“Steven’s originality and innovation shines through in all he does,” said Paula Smith, EY partner and Entrepreneur of the Year Ontario co-director. “His entrepreneurial vision helped him navigate his business through tough economic times – by completing daring strategic acquisitions and introducing cutting-edge technology capabilities in the fleet management business.”

In 2011, when the economy was still reeling from the 2008 financial crisis, Hudson saw an opportunity. While it was possible for big corporations to borrow money, smaller equipment and vehicle dealers had a hard time finding the financing for their needs. To fill the gap, Element Financial was born. Since 2011, it has grown its assets from $20 million to $25 billion today.

With more than three million vehicles under management in nearly 50 countries around the world, Element is a leader in fleet management. Hudson shook up this industry with a focus on high-quality data that can help improve efficiency and save costs. In 2014, he made two strategic acquisitions and invested the cost savings into leading fleet management technologies, including telematics, to offer new services to customers and set new industry standards.

Earlier this month, Element Financial separated into two standalone, market-leading companies – Element Fleet Management and ECN Capital. The restructuring will maximize the performance of both sides of the original business, for the benefit of all shareholders. Steven has since taken on the role of CEO, ECN Capital, which will operate the company’s commercial, vendor, rail and aviation finance businesses.

Steven is a devoted philanthropist. In 2012, he started a corporate program that commits 1.5% of the company’s pre-tax profit to community-focused charitable causes. As an example, Element has been a strong supporter of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and the Children’s Aid Foundation.

“Economic challenges inspired Steven to ask better questions and offer much-needed services,” said Elena Doucette, EY partner and Entrepreneur of the Year Ontario co-director. “As a leader, he inspires loyalty in those around him, consistently demonstrates his ability to innovate and makes a point of giving back to the community. We’re pleased to honor Steven with this award.”

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