Wintrust Commercial Finance Launches Aviation Group, Hires Cole to Lead

Wintrust Commercial Finance, a division of Wintrust Asset Finance, launched Wintrust Commercial Finance Aviation Group, a new group supporting businesses in the aviation industry. Wintrust Commercial Finance hired Michael Cole as senior vice president to spearhead the development of the group.

Wintrust Commercial Finance Aviation Group will design custom financing solutions for business aircraft. The group will structure these solutions to meet the financial requirements of privately-held companies and publicly-traded corporations.

“After serving clients in the aviation industry for years, we decided it was time to form a group to focus specially on this space,” Kirk Phillips, president and CEO of Wintrust Commercial Finance, said. “Speed, consistency and transparency is our commitment to our customers, and I’m confident Michael will help us continue to grow and deliver on this commitment to the aviation community.”

“I have a background in and passion for the aviation industry, so I’m really looking forward to making an impact with Wintrust Commercial Finance within this space,” Cole said.

Cole has experience in both the banking and aviation industries, having served as vice president of aviation at Bridgeview Bank Group and managing director of aviation at Bank OZK. He also holds an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate, a Commercial Seaplane Certificate and is a Certified Flight Instructor.

Wintrust Commercial Finance Aviation Group will support both new and pre-owned airplanes operating under FAR Part 91 and FAR Part 135. The group will finance single- and twin-engine turboprops, entry level, light, mid-cabin jets, large-cabin and ultra-long-range jets.

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