Ford von Weise

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    A Decade of Aircraft Finance Evolution see more

    NAFA member, Ford von Weise, Global Head of Aircraft Finance at CIti Private Bank, shares why now is a good time to buy your business aircraft.

    A decade ago, the question of whether or not you could finance your business aircraft acquisition had a complicated answer. With the economic crash of ’08, the bubble burst and the lending industry became harsh, especially for what were deemed illiquid investments, including business assets such as aircraft. Unless you met the significantly increased financial requirements, encompassing net worth and capital liquidity, as well as having “investment grade” credit and a well-established relationship with the bank, then financing an aircraft likely wasn’t an option for you.

    Many banks raised interest rates across the board or got out of aircraft lending completely. This move was due to much tighter regulations that more than doubled the capital reserves requirement (new Basel III loan reserves), along with the quickly declining market value of both new and used aircraft. With these developments, coupled with heightened loan covenants (restrictions on borrower activities that could jeopardize their ability to repay), lending decreased and fewer transactions resulted. If you still pursued that aircraft investment, you either paid with cash, or waited for the aircraft market to shift again.

    That shift began taking place with the recovering economy. The demand for light and mid-size aircraft increased. New (non-bank) lenders began filling the space in the middle of the aircraft market, capital started flowing back into aircraft finance, and loans on aircraft once again became an appealing investment. The diversity in lenders brought diversity in financing options, and opened up the aircraft market to older models (although mandatory avionics technology upgrades – cost-prohibitive for some – now had to be considered).

    More customized financing, in the form of capital leases, operating leases, or traditional loans with varied terms, became available. The big banks leaned toward financing new or “like new” aircraft with secured loans, while non-bank lenders trended toward more varied aircraft and types of loans. Credit quality, along with the aircraft’s residual value, still were big factors for both. However, credit requirements lessened and residual values rose, preparing the aircraft lending market to take off. It wasn’t an awful time to buy a business aircraft anymore, but it also wasn’t the best, yet. 

    The big variable in financing terms had to do with the unpredictability of aircraft residual values. While it became easier to know what an aircraft was worth (compared to the years following the recession), residual values still were inconsistent. This situation was largely informed by the increasingly faster technology cycles in avionics, combined with new manufacturers’ discounting. Because banks look at an aircraft as an asset and need to secure collateral for its underlying worth, the make, model, and technology with which it is equipped (among other factors) influenced residual value and financing terms accordingly. 

    Demand for business aircraft continued to grow, along with financing capital in the aircraft finance market. Combined with more varied loan options and increasingly favorable terms, competition in the space soared. Banks revised their risk acceptance criteria in order to buy more volume, reducing financial requirements even more. Now, with lower interest rates, lower market values for business aircraft, mostly stable residual values, and an increasing number of buyers, “covenant light” transactions are increasing. 

    The developments in the aircraft finance market during the last decade may be complicated. Yet the question of whether or not to buy a business aircraft no longer is complicated: there’s no better time to buy! While we’re not back to the crazy deals of non-recourse lending seen prior to ’08, there’s little reason to wait to make an investment in business aircraft. However, borrow with caution. If you’re on the verge of acquiring a business aircraft, be sure to seek a lender with aviation specialization.

    This article was written by Ford von Weise and originally appeared in Business Aviation Advisor May/June 2019.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    NAFA held it's 47th Annual Conference in Coronado, CA from May 15-18, 2018 see more

    Coronado, CA., May 25, 2018 – #NAFA47 - The National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) held its 47thAnnual Conference May 15-18, 2018 with a record-setting number of member representatives attending. The conference was held at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, CA.  The four-day event included a 1-day NAFA Aircraft Education Program, a Vendor Forum, Annual Business Meeting and a wide array of aviation and finance-specific Sessions.

    With over 240 attendees and $9,380 in donations towards NAFA scholarship fund, this event exceeded expectations! “Year over year, we continue to see marked growth in the Conference”, commented NAFA President Ford von Weise. “Many thanks for our dynamic speakers who kept discussions lively and engaging.”  

    Keynote speaker this year was John Heilemann, a political reporter, National Affairs Analyst for NBC and MSNBC, Best Selling Author, and Executive Producer of Showtime’s The Circus. He spoke about Donald Trump’s Washington, the Fallout from the 2016 election, and the new realities of our political climate.  

    Economic Analyst, Dr. LaVaughn M. Henry, spoke to the audience about the state of the U.S. Economy and Monetary Policy. Dr. Henry is a policy analyst for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Former Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and provided insight on the elements influencing our economy today and their potential impact over the next few years.

    General session discussions included The State of the Aviation Industry in 2018 headlined by Ed Bolen (President, NBAA), Pete Bunce (President, GAMA) and Marty Hiller (President, NATA).  Additional sessions included The Great Financial Meltdown and its impact on the Aviation Industry; a New Aircraft Showcase with presentations by ICON, Textron, Dassault and Aerion; an update on activity in the pre-owned aircraft sales market, and a session  on the New Tax Law and its impact in Business Aviation & Lending.

    A special THANK YOU to ICON Aircraft who was generous enough to display their ICON A5 on the lawn oceanfront at the hotel during the NAFA Cocktail Reception. This was a first for the hotel and it’s 130-year history and a huge hit for not only NAFA members but the guests at Del Coronado also enjoyed this display! 

    NAFA would like to thank the conference sponsors:  Gold Sponsors– Insured Aircraft Title Services, Global Jet Capital, JetAviation, JSSI, and Rolls-Royce. Silver Sponsors– Aero-Space Reports, Aircraft BlueBook, AIC Title Service, Airfleet Capital Inc., Aircraft Finance Corporation, Aviation Management Systems, AOPA, Asset Insight, Dassault Falcon Jet, Essex Aviation, GKG Law, LL Johns Insurance, PNC Aviation Finance, Salem Five, Scope Aircraft Finance, and Vref. Bronze Sponsors– Aerlex, Aviation Legal Group, Bank of America, Dorr Aviation, Huntington National Bank, NAFCO, Stonebriar Commercial Finance and Wright Brothers Aircraft Title.

    About NAFA:

    The National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is a non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting the general welfare of individuals and organizations providing aircraft financing and loans secured by aircraft; to improving the industry’s service to the public; and to providing our members with a forum for education and the sharing of information and knowledge to encourage the financing, leasing and insuring of general aviation aircraft. For more information about NAFA, visit the website at www.NAFA.aero

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    Citi Reiterates 'Cautious Optimism' for Bizjet Market see more

    NAFA member, Ford von Weise, Global Head of Aircraft Financing for Citi Private Bank, shares his thoughts on the current state of the business jet market.

    Ford von Weise, global head of aircraft financing for Citi Private Bank, termed the overall atmosphere last week at EBACE as “benign” during a conference call earlier this week hosted by Citi Research addressing the current state of the business jet market. Participants on the call were also cautious about macro factors and trade war risks that could negatively affect the certainty the market thrives on.

    “That said, there’s still some optimism behind that caution based on stabilized pricing/values and new products driving demand,” Citi Research aerospace analyst Jonathon Raviv said. “It’s also worth remembering that the market is in a better spot than it has been for several years, which could provide some cushion if macro weakens significantly.

    “In our view, business jets are showing signs of life, with legacy orders supporting stabilized or modestly higher legacy production rates. But we do sense some jitters…which in our view means [aircraft manufacturers] are still reticent to raise rates meaningfully.”

    Citi Research noted the business jet market relies on “aircraft need, liquidity, and confidence.” While it said the first two are currently in good shape, “confidence could falter, which could be coincident with aircraft need. Confidence is very important for the high-net-worth crowd, which our expert suggests comprises 50 percent of buyers. A sentiment swoon can freeze their purchase decision.”

    This article was originally published by Chad Trautvetter in AINonline on May 30, 2019.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    Leading Economist & Aviation Industry Powerhouses at the 48th Annual Conference see more

    NAFA is pleased to announce that Dr. LaVaughn M. Henry is returning to our Annual Conference as the guest speaker on economy. Dr. Henry is a Policy Analyst in the Banking and Regulatory Policy Section at the FDIC and will discuss the Status and Outlook of the U.S. Economy and Monetary Policy on Tuesday, March 5th, 2019, from 9:30-10:30 am. 

    We are also happy to welcome aviation powerhouses Mark Baker, President, Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA), and Ed Bolen, President, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) for the State of the Aviation Industry, moderated by Ford von Weise, Director-Head of Global Aircraft Finance, Citi Private Bank. Come hear what these industry leaders have to say on Tuesday, March 5th, 2019, from 10:45 am to noon.  Click here for the full program agenda.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    Clay Lacy Aviation Joins National Aircraft Finance Association see more

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Feb. 4, 2019 – National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is pleased to announce that Clay Lacy Aviation has recently joined its professional network of aviation lenders. “NAFA members proudly finance - support or enable the financing of - general and business aviation aircraft throughout the world, and we’re happy to add Clay Lacy to our association,” said Ford von Weise, President of NAFA.

    Founded in 1968 by an aviation legend and industry pioneer,Clay Lacy Aviation is considered one of the world’s most experienced operator of private jets. For the past 50 years the company has managed, maintained and globally operated jet aircraft from every major manufacturer- serving business and world leaders, Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, professional athletes, sports franchises, celebrities and dignitaries. 

    “NAFA brings together talented leaders from across the business aviation industry and we are delighted to support and participate in their efforts,”said Scott Cutshall, VP Brand Development with Clay Lacy.

    Clay Lacy Aviation is a trusted partner for aircraft management, charter, maintenance, avionics, interiors and FBO services. The company has aircraft operations and regional offices across the U.S., including a full-service FBO at Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles, and aircraft maintenance centers in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Oxford, Connecticut. They are also the authorized dealer for the Quest Kodiak 100 Series II in the Northeastern U.S. 

     

     Waterbury-Oxford Airport, Oxford, CT

     

    The company prides itself on having the resources of a large organization, with the agility, responsiveness and personal attention of a small, private flight department. Their highly knowledgeable team of aviation professionals manages every facet of their clients’aircraft- whether one aircraft or a fleet, a light jet or an airliner- anticipating needs, reducing costs and protecting assets.

    Much like NAFA, Clay Lacy Aviation is dedicated to the continuous improvement of safety, service and value throughout the industry.Clay Lacy and NAFA foster highly trained, knowledgeable and passionate aviation professionals worldwide with their expanding networks of experienced and trusted businesses. 

    For more information about Clay Lacy Aviation, visit claylacy.com.  

     

    Van Nuys Airport, Los Angeles, CA

     

    About NAFA: 

    The National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is a non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting the general welfare of individuals and organizations providing aircraft financing and loans secured by aircraft; to improving the industry's service to the public; and to providing our members with a forum for education and the sharing of information and knowledge to encourage the financing, leasing and insuring of general aviation aircraft. For more information about NAFA, visit www.NAFA.aero.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    planesworth Joins National Aircraft Finance Association see more

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Feb. 11, 2019 -  National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is pleased to announce that planesworth™ has recently joined its professional network of aviation lenders. “NAFA members proudly finance - support or enable the financing of - general and business aviation aircraft throughout the world, and we’re happy to add planesworth™ to our association,” said Ford von Weise, President of NAFA.

    The company focuses on adding value to UNHW individuals, wealth managers, investment bankers and their tax advisors through asset valuation, acquisition and equipment finance processes. The company also aids aircraft owner-operators, managers and brokers with services such as USPAP appraisal, market insight (market or fleet evaluations), diminution of value, expert witness testimony, brokerage and aircraft management consulting.

    Led by founder, Stephen J. Coo­nan, Sr., planesworth™ has built up a strong acumen and affinity to the aviation industry with over $25B worth of evaluated corporate aircraft. Mr. Coonan, Sr. spe­cial­izes in air­craft val­u­a­tion and acqui­si­tion. He spent 17 Years as a Senior Air­craft Appraiser of the National Air­craft Appraiser’s Asso­ci­a­tion and is transitioning to the American Society of Appraisers (ASA). He is com­pli­ant with the Uni­form Stan­dards of Pro­fes­sional Appraisal Prac­tices (USPAP). His range of air­craft appraisal expe­ri­ence includes Boe­ing Busi­ness Jets, Gulf­streams, Lear­jets, Chal­lengers, Hawk­ers, Fal­cons and Cita­tions. In the past twenty years, he has com­pleted over $25 bil­lion in air­craft valuations.

    Accompanied by Stephen J. Coonan, Jr., “Junior”, with his expertise in assets and capital markets, planesworth™ is able to find and evaluate up-to-date market data, helping create insight for their clients. In the past three years the group has acted as agent for either the buyer or the seller in the acqui­si­tion of sev­eral cor­po­rate air­craft, val­ued at over $100 mil­lion. Their port­fo­lio includes the pri­vate wealth man­age­ment clients of sev­eral For­tune 50 banks and cor­po­ra­tions, includ­ing Citibank, Mer­rill Lynch, Gold­man Sachs, Wells Fargo and Deutsche Bank.

    Much like NAFA, planesworth™ provides a high level of knowledge and experience to help their clients make smart and informed decisions. planesworth™ and NAFAare dedicated to advancing the aviation industry as a whole byfosteringthe education and communication necessary for safe and timely appraisals and transactions. 

    For more information about planesworth™, visit www.planesworth.com

    About NAFA: 

    The National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is a non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting the general welfare of individuals and organizations providing aircraft financing and loans secured by aircraft; to improving the industry's service to the public; and to providing our members with a forum for education and the sharing of information and knowledge to encourage the financing, leasing and insuring of general aviation aircraft. For more information about NAFA, visit www.NAFA.aero.