A new company, Bridge Leasing Ltd, has been established by two luminaries of the often questionable world of computer leasing (CI No 1,296). They are claiming to provide what the trade press and disgruntled users have been clamouring for over the past 10 years, namely, transparent and honest financial services. Geoff Henderson was founder and […]
A new company, Bridge Leasing Ltd, has been established by two luminaries of the often questionable world of computer leasing (CI No 1,296). They are claiming to provide what the trade press and disgruntled users have been clamouring for over the past 10 years, namely, transparent and honest financial services. Geoff Henderson was founder and group managing director of the Mainstay Group which he sold to the Granada Group in November 1987. And Mike Schorfield spent four years as European financial services operations director at International Data Corp, after seven years as business manager with Stanford Research International. Both men are passionate about their subject and highly critical of current operating leases which penalise and handcuff unwary users. Consequently, they are offering three leases which they believe will meet user needs and still enable them to make a profit. It’s an idiosyncratic if not completely forgotten philosophy in the leasing business, but one that many users would be pleased to adopt. The primary offering is a short, fixed term operating lease with the residual value put in by Bridge Leasing, and carrying no next machine, penalty, or outstanding capital and interest clauses. Henderson says that the definite termination date enables users to plan development, and time it with the arrival of their next machine. The second lease is a Future contract. A user can order a machine for a specific future date, and Bridge Leasing will discount the current price, which is then payable on the day of delivery. The company claims that this enables people to plan their data processing departments, and also acts as an enabling tool for maintainers wishing to go into new machines. The third lease is almost a prerequisite for the success of any future contract. A Bridge Rental agreement, which Henderson compares to old IBM rental agreements, is more expensive than a conventional lease, but is of variable length with a minimum 30-day commitment.
Software services facility
Bridge Leasing is planning to extend its portfolio and offer a software and services facility which leasing companies currently find fiscally unattractive. According to Henderson, it’s a facility that should be available since services represent more than 50% of data processing budgets. The company intends to offer hardrware from a range of manufacturers, and says that its criterion for carrying a manufacturer’s products is whether the vendor supports the secondary market and its requirements. Funding for Bridge Leasing came from County NatWest, the Royal Bank of Scotland, and two UK and US fund institutions. Bridge has an office in Antwerp, but intends to work through agencies, rather than build an extensive sales force, and Henderson expects to hear from several European and US companies interested in becoming agents. – Janice McGinn