Global Jet Capital, celebrating its fifth anniversary during NBAA-BACE, is in the midst of its strongest year yet, seeing a 20 percent year-over-year jump in business aviation leasing and financing business. Founded in 2014 with a core group of veteran business aviation top executives and the backing of key financial players, the firm now has one of the world’s largest business jet portfolios comprising more than 175 aircraft valued at more than $2.6 billion. In 2019 alone, Global Jet Capital is on pace for $800 million in new business.
Global Jet Capital (Booth C8709) is paving the way for this growth by expanding its global presence, including the additions of fully functioning offices in Zurich and Hong Kong earlier this year. These offices joined existing facilities in Danbury, Connecticut; Boca Raton, Florida; and Mexico City.
Also propelling growth is its continued access to funding, including its third successful asset-backed security, bringing total assets securitized to over $2.1 billion.
The firm also continued to reinforce its leadership team, including the recent naming of financing veteran Stefan Abbruzzese as chief commercial officer. This enabled Dave Labrozzi to shift into the new role of vice chairman.
Satisfying to Global Jet Capital is its record-setting year is occurring despite uncertainties in the business jet transaction market. However, flexible operating lease and progress payment financing solutions are helping boost this growth.
“Buyer behavior is clearly changing. Business aviation once considered operating leases as somewhat exotic, yet today we are meeting with an increasing number of corporations and high-net-worth individuals motivated by the fixed rates, protection of capital, and ease of disposition afforded by our operating lease solution,” said chairman and CEO Shawn Vick.
Since establishment, Global Jet Capital was able to establish credibility with investors, including GSO Capital Partners, a Blackstone company in partnership with Franklin Square Capital Partners; The Carlyle Group; and AE Industrial Partners, and founders including business aviation and financing veterans Bill Boisture and David Rowe, along with Vick, he said. “Investors have positioned the business since our inception with a very aggressive business plan.”
Within two years, the business had grown considerably with its acquisition of the $2 billion GE Capital business aviation portfolio. This deal also added 16 GE employees to the Global Jet Capital base.
But to Vick, a key to the success was the timing and stepping into a business that was needed in business aviation. “We recognized an unmet need in the marketplace. There was a significant amount of dislocation in the aircraft financing space as a result of the great recession,” he said, noting financers had pulled back at the time despite the fact that transactions were still occurring at a steady pace. Over the last three years, Global Jet Capital has seen a “very rational market emerge,” he said.
Going forward, Vick acknowledged the uncertainties with the geopolitical environment expected in the year ahead. But given steady new deliveries of super-midsize, large, and ultra-long-range aircraft, along with an improvement in the preowned market, he said he sees “2020 as another growth year,” particularly with “a growing appreciation of an operating leasing product.”