Nancy Pistorio, EVP
The Way In
Back on the mainland after two years in Puerto Rico, I looked at a map and calculated which city, within a four-hour radius of my Pensylvania hometown, would allow my savings to last the longest, so I chose Baltimore.
Twenty-five years later I am a principal and partner at Madison Capital. I started as an administrative assistant. My educational background was in business administration and my strengths are in finance, so I did much of the back office and operators work and I learned originations. Things just grew from there.
Keys to Success
I’m a firm believer in attendance, and showing up. I also believe in persistence, if I start something, I finish it. I was the first woman president of EAEL, a predecessor to the National Equipment Finance Association, and I have served ELFA, the Equipment and Leasing Finance Association, in several capacities.
As independent lessors, we can adapt more quickly than most large operators. We help firms that don’t yet qualify for bank credit, but have potential. We limit exposure to half a million dollars per lessee on the equipment side, and go into the seven figure range for our commercial-vehicle fleet clients.
Today’s largest small-ticket challenge is managing an appropriate level of risk while processing a high volume of small transactions with limited underwriting time and/or information. You can have the same parameters in two different transactions but miss some nuances if you rely completely on technology. So we try and balance it, relying on technology for speed, but keeping our own people involved so we can make exceptions or take a closer look wherever we think it’s necessary. A second challenge is pricing pressure from bank lenders and high-volume vender captives focused on rebuilding their lease portfolios. There is a lot of competition for the customers who are slowly returning to a capital equipment acquisition mode. To build volume, some competitors lower their pricing. Madison Capital remains committed to making prudent pricing decisions and maintaining an appropriate risk versus reward balance.
We try to provide fabulous customer service, and it really builds loyalty. Even if the pricing is slightly higher, there are many businesses that value a greater level of personal service and, for example, not having to deal with the frustrations of talking to customer service represenatatives in another country. In our vehicle-leasing division, we’ll even purchase cars for clients and get incentive money back from the manufacturers for them. We’re a boutique shop, small enough to provide a high level of service, but large enough to take care of all the details.