Launch of Aircraft Financing Advisory Firm Stratos

Dino D'Amore
By Dino D'Amore November 17, 2013 20:37

Launch of Aircraft Financing Advisory Firm Stratos

Stratos, a new financial advisory boutique, specialising in aircraft leasing and financing, was launched by managing director Gary Fitzgerald on November 15. Fitzgerald, who has spent the past 15 years creating lease SPVs and remarketing large aircraft, most recently at Avinco and Avequis (CA-CIB), intends Stratos to also provide aircraft sourcing and lease-related services to airlines and investors.

“Stratos has been created to address a gap in the market where many airlines and investors need cheaper and easier access to aircraft operating lease platforms. They also need advanced technology to decipher aircraft economics and the ability to tap into a network of industry financing experts,” says Fitzgerald.

Stratos has been positioned to meet the demand for new financing solutions for aircraft to ensure maximum fleet flexibility. Current values of many mid-life aircraft have become permanently marked down, in many cases stubbornly below book values, causing a book value mismatch, says the company. Adding that at the same time the current over-supply of funds chasing returns in this market has left investors struggling to find decent investment opportunities. “This supply imbalance, coupled with the book value mismatch situation, is causing considerable challenges for airlines and investors alike,” says Fitzgerald.

Stratos intends to address these and other challenges by leveraging its industry knowledge, contacts and experience and to use its advanced lease modelling technology to create innovative leasing platforms in a highly cost effective manner.

The Stratos team is comprised of experienced industry executives located across three continents. Commercial director Aisling McCarthy has spent over 11 years leasing and trading aircraft, most recently at AWAS (Terra Firma) and Pembroke (Standard Chartered). Marketing director Mark Shaw has 30 years’ experience in the leasing and MRO industries, including the past 12 years at Aviation Capital Group (Pacific Life), while technical director, Ervin Bach, is an engineer with a long and distinguished track record recovering and transferring aircraft for AWAS and Pegasus (Oaktree Capital).

The formation of the company has attracted high-level support: “This is an exciting development and certainly fills an industry need,” says Philip Meeson, executive chairman of Jet2.com. “Gary and his team are hugely experienced in developing innovative solutions for the financing and acquisition of commercial aircraft. I look forward to working with them.”

Dino D'Amore
By Dino D'Amore November 17, 2013 20:37
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