Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

National Leasing sailing under bank's ownership

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Close to four years since it was acquired by Canadian Western Bank, National Leasing Group Inc. continues to grow as a virtual stand-alone entity.

Recently, the company announced its own internal succession-planning. Longtime chief operating officer Tom Pundyk was appointed president of the company. Nick Logan will maintain his title as CEO through a transition period he said will likely last until next year.

Pundyk joined National Leasing 38 years ago and has been an integral part of the company's growth and success over the years.

"I'm very excited about our prospects," Pundyk said. "We have been growing at a tremendous rate since the purchase by Canadian Western Bank. We've moved into a lot of new markets. They are great owners. They let us do our thing."

Logan said when Canadian Western Bank acquired National Leasing for about $130 million in the fall of 2009, it was always intended to operate independently.

"We have kept our own board of directors," Logan said. "And we have lots and lots of talent in this organization that we need to foster and keep going."

He said the company has been growing at an annual rate of almost 20 per cent.

As well, the Winnipeg company's skills set is such it is now on the verge of taking on some other administrative roles for the Edmonton-based bank.

"This could have the potential to anchor this organization in Winnipeg as a big component of the bank for years to come," Logan said.

Part of the success the company has enjoyed has to do with a level of automation that Pundyk said often means vendors can send in the credit information and National Leasing's system can score it, provide approval and have a cheque in the vendors' hands within the day.

He said the company is in the midst of a major project to upgrade the system to make the approval process even more robust.

"We still have plenty of capacity to generate more growth," Pundyk said.

National Leasing provides equipment financing for more than 12,000 vendors across Canada and has about 300 employees in Winnipeg. It has about $1 billion in assets, a figure that has grown about 66 per cent since the Canadian Western Bank deal.

"I think this is the centre of equipment-financing excellence in Canada," Logan said of the company, which now does third- party work for other financial institutions including the Farm Credit Corp.

martin.cash@freepress.mb.ca

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 14, 2013 B9

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