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Scaling Equipment Finance Across J.P. Morgan

Date: Jun 02, 2022 @ 05:00 AM

In March, J.P. Morgan Commercial Banking named Linda Redding as its new Head of Equipment Finance. Redding leads a team responsible for overseeing equipment finance originations and solutions for clients of all sizes across the firm.

Redding joined J.P. Morgan after spending more than 26 years at Wells Fargo, where she was most recently Deputy Chief Credit Officer for Equipment Finance. She held various roles in Equipment Finance over the last 14 years, including serving as the National Sales Manager for the Middle Market Banking team. She joined Wells Fargo’s Equipment Finance team after holding various roles in its Corporate and Investment Bank. Redding is based in Charlotte, NC.

Equipment Finance Advisor interviewed Redding to learn more about the J.P. Morgan Equipment Finance Team and Redding’s outlook.

Equipment Finance Advisor: Why is leading Equipment Finance at J.P. Morgan a good fit for you and why did you join the team?

Equipment Finance article with Linda Redding, Head of Equipment Finance at J.P. Morgan Commercial Banking

Linda Redding: The opportunity to come to J.P. Morgan and lead the Equipment Finance business represented an extremely compelling and unique opportunity to build out the existing equipment finance platform by leveraging what is a very strong foundation and scaling it so that it can reach across the entire firm and help more businesses. You don’t get too many opportunities like that in a career. The team has a lot of growth potential and every day I feel I'm just sitting on top of a rocket ready to lift off. It's such an exciting place to be right now.

Equipment Finance Advisor: What has been your initial focus starting out in the position?

Redding: I have been on a classic listening tour for the last few weeks, meeting with the Equipment Finance team and our internal stakeholders, to better understand where the business is today in the context of the broader organization. It's been invaluable to get the feedback and to hear the great success stories of where Equipment Finance has been able to collaborate with our partners in Commercial Banking to drive unique solutions for clients. As a leader coming into a new organization, learning about J.P. Morgan itself and all the unique capabilities that exist here – beyond the day-to-day priorities I'm currently focused on – has been really energizing for me.

Equipment Finance Advisor: Can you describe for our readers the sweet spot for the team, in terms of transaction size, industries and geographies?

Redding: We don't think about it as having a defined sweet spot that looks like “X.” J.P. Morgan Equipment Finance supports clients of all sizes across the firm. It’s one of the interesting attributes about an equipment finance solution within a commercial bank framework. It's a financing solution that is scalable across different growth stages from mom-and-pop small businesses, up to some of the largest corporate name brands worldwide. All clients have a need for equipment finance. That's certainly what we see here.

The team is much more committed to the thought leadership and the long-term relationship with the client to make sure that we fully understand what their financing objectives are, what the outcome is that the client wants to achieve and delivering exceptional execution. That cuts across a very diverse industry base, diverse asset types and structures.

Equipment Finance Advisor: In terms of originations, how much of it is existing customers for J.P. Morgan and how much is attracting new customers?

Redding: Like other equipment finance shops, J.P. Morgan Equipment Finance has a lot of repeat business. Once clients start working with equipment finance, they find it to be an efficient method to finance. But we are also very focused on leveraging equipment finance to attract new clients to the firm by providing a strong set of solutions and consistent, client-centric execution for every stage of a business’s life cycle.

Equipment Finance Advisor: Have you set goals for the team that you can share?

Redding: We are absolutely focused on increasing the opportunity to bring world-class equipment finance solutions to our clients by building on the strong foundation that has been created through putting the client at the center of everything we do and bringing innovative and thoughtful structures to bear from an equipment finance perspective.

Equipment Finance Advisor: What are you seeing in the industry now and what are your expectations for the remainder of 2022?

Redding: Overall, demand remains very strong. We continue to see interest in the equipment finance solution from all company sizes. The market remains very, very competitive and there's a lot of liquidity out there. That's not too different from where things ended last year. What has gotten introduced into it, and what makes the back end of the year for 2022 look a little blurrier, is the growing uncertainty.

We've got the war in Ukraine, the rising interest rate environment, upcoming midterm elections, and the question of whether the Federal Reserve can successfully engineer a soft landing for the economy. That's adding to supply chain issues, and what life post-COVID is going to look like for us. It's making companies think about how they preserve liquidity and how they maintain their cash position, because we are going into a highly uncertain time, again. For our industry, that’s an opportunity to help clients navigate through the uncertainty because equipment finance is a financing solution that allows clients to maintain their cash and maintain liquidity via their revolvers and some of their other more traditional financing sources. The foundations for the industry continue to remain very strong and the uncertainty that continues to be injected into it from a macro standpoint may have some modest impacts on near-term business. Long term, I'm very bullish on the segment.

Equipment Finance Advisor: Anything you're most concerned about?

Redding: Really there isn’t. The equipment finance industry has proven it is viable regardless of the economic underpinnings of the country. It performs through recessions; it performs well when the economy is going full steam. What's great about it is there's an annual need in most companies around the country to replace equipment. That is a little more acute now because there were many businesses, particularly smaller businesses, which had to defer their equipment purchases through COVID. Now that equipment is older than it would've been had they been replaced in a timelier manner, it'll be interesting to see what happens as the supply chain situation irons itself out and equipment delivers on a more normalized schedule. We haven't seen that kind of circumstance before in the equipment finance business. Again, I think it's all positive.

Equipment Finance Advisor: Is there anything you would like to conclude with?

Redding: I have been so impressed with what the J.P. Morgan Equipment Finance team has built here. There's such an opportunity for us to be able to build on that and continue to engage new clients with our solutions. I'm very excited about this. There's a tremendous opportunity here to scale the business in a very meaningful way.

Mike Dickinson
Editor | Equipment Finance Advisor
Mike Dickinson is Editor of Equipment Finance Advisor. Dickinson has more than 30 years of experience as an Editor and Reporter. He spent 20-plus years at the Rochester Business Journal in Rochester, NY, including 18 years as Managing Editor. He also covered Eastman Kodak, technology, optics and telecommunications, among other areas. His writing and reporting on Eastman Kodak won 1st Place – 2012 National Newspaper Association Best Business Story and the Gold Award – 2012 Alliance of Area Business Publishers for Breaking-news coverage. He also won the Silver Award – 2001 Alliance of Area Business Publishers Best Coverage of Local Breaking News – Global Crossing. Prior to working in the business news arena, Dickinson was a reporter for the daily newspapers in Syracuse, NY, and Batavia, NY. Dickinson holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications/Journalism from St. Bonaventure University.
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