MONITOR RANKING: TOP 25 MOST ACTIVE PLAYERS IN THE VENDOR CHANNEL

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For the most part, the top vendor players sustained their dominance, with the top eight companies maintaining their same positions from last year. However, a few newcomers and smaller gains shook up the rest of the vendor players, with Eastern Funding returning to the list after a brief hiatus in 2018 and Ascentium Capital cracking the top ten for the first time.

Monitor’s Top 25 Vendor Players broke the $40 billion mark in new originations this year, but while most saw positive growth, the overall percentage increase slipped slightly from 6.4% in 2017 to 6.1% in 2018. The top eight companies from last year maintained their positions, with TIAA Commercial Finance, Inc. arriving on the ranking as the successor to EverBank, sustaining the latter’s No. 8 position.

Of the group, 76% reported net volume gains of nearly $2.8 billion, while six companies experienced declines totaling $452.4 million, resulting in a net increase of $2.4 billion.

Basis for Rankings 

The rankings and data depicted in the exhibits were derived from equipment finance companies, which provided information on funded 2018 volume from vendor- and/or dealer-related relationships to qualify for inclusion in the vendor channel rankings. Many Monitor 100 participants originate new business volume from more than one source, but this aspect of our annual rankings is unique to the vendor channel, which accounted for approximately 15.5% of all origination activity in 2018. 

In a related article (see page 23), some of the most consistent vendor players on the annual list look back on the state of the industry in 2018 while making predications for the rest of the year and beyond. Three executives – Steve Grosso of PNC Vendor Finance, Jim Teal of Hitachi Capital America Vendor Services, and Adam Warner of Key Equipment Finance – contribute their thoughts on the industry, both in looking back over the past decade and in looking forward over the long-term.  

Top Five 

As a group, the top five participants reported $28.6 billion in vendor channel originations and while this provided over $463 million of the $2.4 billion increase year over year, it comprised a much smaller percentage of the overall difference than in years past. That said, the top five vendor players still comprised over 70% of total vendor originations while the remaining 20 companies contributed $12.05 billion, or 30%. This was a slightly lower market share for the top five in 2018, which had maintained a share of 73% over the course of 2017 and 2016. 

DLL USA continued to maintain its No. 1
position with $11.34 billion in 2018 vendor channel originations. This, however, was down $202 million, or 1.7%, from its nearly $11.6 billion total in 2017. Wells Fargo Equipment Finance kept its No. 2 title with $9 billion in vendor originations, up $459 million, or 5.3% year over year. Banc of America Leasing came in at No. 3, with $3.5 billion in vendor originations, a $100 million increase year over year from its $3.4 billion total in 2017. No. 4-ranked U.S. Bank Equipment Finance saw the best net percentage improvement of the top five, reporting $2.59 billion in total vendor channel originations, a 10.8% increase from its 2017 total of $2.34 billion. Finally, PNC Equipment Finance held steady at No. 5, reporting $2.07 billion in vendor volume, a loss of $147.38 million, or 6.7%, from its $2.21 billion last year.

Top 25 Vendor Volume by Year

Top 25 Vendor Volume by Year

PNC and DLL’s losses, combined with smaller percentage growth from the other three top participants, accounts for the smaller, if still substantial, market share number.

Significant Dollar Increases

Largest Year/Year Increase + Top Five Percentage Gainers

Largest Year/Year Increase + Top Five Percentage Gainers

Market Share Top Five

Market Share Top Five

Wells Fargo and Bank of the West saw the highest net dollar increases of all vendor channel leaders at $459 million and $424.1 million, respectively. Newcomer to the list Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Co., Ltd. reported a respectable year-over-year increase of $303.6 million, while U.S. Bank kept itself in the top five with a dollar increase of $253.4 million. Finally, after seeing significant dollar increases in its vendor space last year, Hitachi Capital America acquitted itself nicely, posting a $217.9 million increase in vendor activity.

Significant Percentage Increases 

No. 21-ranked Eastern Funding leapfrogged to the front of the pack for percentage improvement, seeing 181% growth in vendor channel originations between 2017 and 2018 and re-establishing itself as a solid vendor finance player after sliding off the list due to an overrepresentation of direct originations last year. Meanwhile, Sumitomo Mitsui Finance came in behind it with the second highest percentage gain of 76.4%. Navitas Credit rose from the No. 21 position to the No. 16 position this year, propelled by a 65.4% year-over-year increase, while Hitachi saw a percentage gain of 54.8%. Bank of the West, in addition to its straight dollar increase, also experienced a good percentage increase year over year of 41.2%.

Segment Composition

The 16 U.S. bank affiliates once more dominated the vendor channel in number and total originations, providing $24.9 billion, or 61.3%, of the group’s net volume. The three foreign affiliates reported $12.7 billion in vendor volume or 31.2% of the total. The five independents provided $2.79 billion, while Canon Financial Services as the lone captive contributed $270.7 million.

New Arrivals 

People’s United Equipment Brands benefitted from some re-organization at the institutional level and its acquisition of LEAF Commercial Capital, making it onto the list at No. 12, while first-time participant Sumitomo Mitsui Finance nipped at its heels in the No. 13 position.

Departures 

An 18% loss year over year had BB&T Commercial Equipment Capital losing its position at No. 24 and sliding off the list. Société Général Equipment Finance USA, usually a mainstay of the vendor channel list, declined to report their numbers this year. 

Conclusions

Generally, players in the vendor channel continued to do well, with overall volume growing year over year. However, some of the top players saw either volume loss or slower year-over-year growth, suggesting the vendor channel will likely see steady, but more restrained growth in the year ahead.

We thank the companies that participated in this year’s vendor ranking, as this annual event would not be possible without their cooperation. We also remind our readers that we are only one issue away from our annual Monitor 100 list, which will be coming up next month. •

FOOTNOTES

  1. Ascentium Capital 

2017 volume adjusted to reflect vendor reclassifications

2. People’s United Equipment Brands

People’s United Equipment Brands includes: People’s Capital & Leasing Corp, People’s United Equipment Finance, Corp and LEAF Commercial Capital, Inc.

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3. Marlin Capital Solutions

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Formerly Marlin Business Services. 2017 volume adjusted to reflect vendor reclassifications