Gary Batchelor, recently appointed SVP Strategy and Business Development, is a recognizable leader within the Canadian Equipment Financing & Leasing industry. Gary’s career started in small ticket originations, but through the years he has developed his skills and challenged himself to handle larger and more complicated assets, transactions, and programs. In a special one on one conversation, Gary shares insights about his career in Equipment Financing (EF) and CLE/HCCC.
What gets you excited about coming to work at CLE/HCC?
“We have employees with great potential, and there is no stopping the evolution of growth and opportunities in this company. No matter what your department, business orientation or skills. Learning opportunities, and advancement is possible at all levels.
For me, motivation comes from setting individual and team goals. It is exciting to make those happen and satisfying to apply myself every day so those goals are achieved.”
As a business leader, what makes a great sales professional within the company and in the industry?
“Success in selling; I believe it starts with a commitment to self-development. The best sales people learn and develop their communication and relationship skills. They are dedicated to understand and engage customers in all stages of the sales process, they are relentless in understanding the expertise of negotiation. First and foremost in this industry, at our essence, we are all ‘lenders’. Therefore understanding credit and analysis at the same level as a Credit Manager is essential. Knowing your product is the foundation to effective selling.”
If you were to give career advice to individuals exploring a career with Hitachi Capital/CLE Capital what would it be?
Become a subject matter expert in leasing. My advice is put in the research and work to understand all aspects of this business. Take courses, develop the relationships that matter (internally and externally), recognize that ideas and taking action are what make you stand out in the crowd
What advice would you give individuals about dealing with change/being a leader?
“I didn’t know it while it was happening, but looking back, I realize that being adaptable to change was the biggest reason for progress in my career. I made it through, and contributed to the changes I faced because of a desire to try new things and to succeed. To be honest, I never wanted to fail. But I certainly did fail, several times I failed! However I always learned from that and recovered in the next opportunity. It takes courage to be a leader. To become knowledgeable in your area, and to have the courage to present to the organization a different approach. Or to have the courage to speak up and protect the business when we see the company applying wrong policies, or wrong logic. I always say, you don’t need a title to be right in this organization. Leadership usually shows up with those who do what others don’t.”
Tell us about your work with the CFLA - ACFL.
This industry has offered me so many wonderful experiences, relationships, and opportunities for personal growth. I naturally wanted to support the growth of the leasing industry; so I became active in the CFLA. I suspect that by doing so, I received more than I gave. A great experience in getting involved. I hope others will volunteer also.
Currently, I am the acting Chairman of the Education and Planning committee. The committee directs the key CFLA event, the annual Convention where approximately 500 industry and company delegates attend each year. Additionally, the committee is currently renovating and updating the existing Education platform called CLEO (Canadian Lease Education Online). This dovetails with another project in partnership with Dalhousie University. The goal is to recruit young talent; to bring more student interns into the industry, and generally to educate and publicize that the EF industry is a great career option for new graduates.
I am proud to have worked with the committee for ‘Women in Asset Finance’. Those on the committee were named ‘CFLA 2019 Members of the Year’ at the annual CFLA conference this September in Vancouver. It is evident that Women are underrepresented in Management and Executive levels of this industry. This is an initiative to bring more women into the industry, and also to create a network that supports women’s skills and capabilities in EF.
Thank you for this chance to comment on our EF Industry, and especially to mention how highly I think of our company, our employees, and the ongoing opportunities employees have.