“You never know what you don't know because I never knew such an industry existed,” said Byron Cordon, a finance and mathematics double major after attending a presentation last week focusing on the equipment leasing and finance industry. The event was held on Feb. 13, 2018, and is one of many co-curricular offerings hosted by the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business Finance Fellows program, which is designed to expand learning outside of the classroom. Cordon is a member of the Banking and Private Wealth Management Fellows program, one of seven that each offer a unique academic focus.
“I had no idea how big of an industry equipment finance and leasing was,” said Quantitative Finance Fellow and Senior Jesse Fidel. “When I saw that this was a trillion dollar industry, I was very shocked and immediately became interested. Until this event, I had never thought about equipment leasing as such a prevalent industry in society when it is.”
Susan White, a clinical professor of finance and faculty champion for the Finance Fellows programs explained, “Speakers Nancy Pistorio and Bruce Winter told us about a financial market that is huge, but little is known about it - equipment leasing. We all know cars can be leased but this is an entirely different market, where multi-million dollar purchases are made through lease financing.”
Pistorio is a Certified Lease and Finance Professional with over 25 years of experience in the lease finance industry. As president of Madison Capital, Pistorio’s areas of responsibility include strategic planning, originations, marketing, syndications, and co-management of credit underwriting, documentation, and funding. Winter, a University of Maryland alumnus, is president of FSG Capital, Inc. (formerly FSG Leasing, Inc.), a 27-year-old middle market commercial equipment financing and leasing company.
Both Pistorio and Winter emphasized that the industry is dynamic and ever-changing and offers many lucrative professional opportunities, especially for young people. “There is definitely money to be made,” said Winter.
Chirag Kothary, a member of the Junior Wall Street Fellows program added, “The presentation gave me some insight on a different career path that I could take. Overall, I enjoyed this presentation a lot and look forward to attending the next event.”
Finance Fellows are obligated to attend three co-curricular events during the academic year. Event options include Networking Night with over two dozen industry professionals, visits to the FDIC in Washington, D.C., and the CFA Institute in Charlottesville, Va., case competitions, and attending guest speakers’ presentations.
Smith Undergraduate Fellows programs are one-to-two yearlong reality-based learning programs that provide students:
- Specialization in an area of business
- Small class sizes with dedicated sections of Fellows courses
- Opportunities to work closely with other Fellows students and faculty
- Site visits, speaker series, and case competitions
- Links to alumni and corporate partners
- Claudia Donnelly, Undergraduate Program Office