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ELFA Inducts Renner Into Equipment Finance Hall Of Fame

October 24, 2017, 07:10 AM

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) has named James R. Renner to the 2017 Class of the Equipment Finance Hall of Fame. ELFA President and CEO Ralph Petta made the announcement this morning at the General Session of the 56th ELFA Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida. The official induction ceremony took place on Oct. 21 at the Chairman’s Dinner preceding the ELFA Annual Convention.

“We congratulate Jim for being inducted to the 2017 class of the Equipment Finance Hall of Fame,” said Petta. “Over the past four decades, Jim has played an instrumental role in the U.S. equipment leasing and finance industry, helping financial institutions establish and grow successful businesses. He has also contributed immensely to our association and Foundation, lending his considerable industry knowledge and leadership skills.”

Renner has been involved with ELFA for over three decades. He served on the association’s Board, as a member and leader of many committees and as ELFA Chairman from 1998 to 1999. He has also been active with the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation, serving as Foundation Chairman from 2002 to 2004 and as National Development Chair in 2003. The Foundation honored him with a special recognition award in 2005.

Renner began his career in banking in 1971 at Irving Trust Company in New York City, where he worked in the credit department analyzing customer financial statements. In 1972, he joined First National Bank of Minneapolis, serving in the credit department and as a commercial lender. Renner began his career in leasing in 1975 when he established a leasing subsidiary called FBS Leasing for First National Bank’s parent company, First Bank System. He became President of the leasing subsidiary in 1978. Over the next 12 years the company’s portfolio grew from $10 million to $440 million, with 10 branch offices and 65 employees.

In 1990 Renner joined Norwest Equipment Finance, becoming President in 1991. He expanded working with bank customers, grew vendor financing and established a truck financing division that grew into one of the largest truck financiers in the country. In 1998 Norwest Corporation bought Wells Fargo and Company and the name of the company was changed to Wells Fargo Equipment Finance.  Renner continued in the role of President until his retirement at the end of 2005. Under his leadership, the company grew from a $450 million portfolio with 15 offices to $7.5 billion in assets, 50 offices and more than 400 employees.

Renner received a B.A. in economics from the University of Minnesota. He currently works as a consultant on a part-time basis.
The ELFA Board of Directors established the Equipment Finance Hall of Fame in 2014 to annually recognize individuals who have made unique, significant or lasting contributions to the equipment finance industry throughout their careers. More information about the program is available at

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