Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Udvar-Hazy Strikes Again!

Steven Udvar-Hazy founded International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) which is both the pioneer and, until the financial crisis, the powerhouse of the aircraft lease business. Eventually AIG bought ILFC so that AIG became Airbus's and Boeing's biggest customer

Then came the financial crisis. AIG got into financial trouble holding the bag for structured financial products engineered for investment bankers' profits and bonuses rather than its own financial health.  AIG lost its investment grade rating and had to give controlling interest in the firm to the U.S. Treasury in return for TARP funds.  ILFC lost access to financial markets and the entrepreneurial Hungarian found himself reporting to federal bureaucrats.

So what did Udvar-Hazy do?  He jumped ship and started all over again.  He is now the chief executive officer of Air Lease Corp.  He has reentered the big time with a whopping order for 737s at the last Farnborough air show two years ago a bigger one for the Airbus 320neos subsequently and now a $7.2 billion order of Boeing Co.'s 737max planes at the current Farnborough air show.

In this video from yesterday (July 9) he speaks with Guy Johnson on Bloomberg Television's "In the Loop:"

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