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AFC Leaders’ Summit keynote message: don’t let uncertainty delay your business’s preparation for a post-ICE world


Benedikt Middendorf, senior director at Deloitte and opening keynote at the AFC Leaders’ Summit in Europe will tell Europe’s auto and equipment finance leaders that the finance companies which will dominate the emerging electric-centric landscape will be those who prepare their sustainable business models now. Laggards will allow policy uncertainties and short-term margin concerns to delay vital strategy planning and key tech investment which will be critical differentiators for their organisations’ success in the emerging electric-not-ICE world that is now inevitable.

Over 100 of Europe’s leading auto and equipment finance leaders will be meeting in Brussels on April 16th to discuss emerging issues in the asset finance industry, against a backdrop of uncertainty which may challenge the unwary. Banks are re-assessing their commitment to their equipment finance businesses as alternative uses of capital start to seem more compelling than the low-margin, volume focused businesses that emerged in the low-interest-rate-pandemic and then supply-chain-starved post-pandemic economies. The break-down in the political consensus around sustainability too seems to threaten established environmental timelines as Europe and UK prepare for national and regional elections which might bring in new less-environmentally focussed policies.

Middendorf will argue that whatever the banks appetite for sustainability risk and better-margin business, the future is now baked-in. Its electric. There are two imperatives auto and equipment finance leaders that follow: leaders need to prepare to make money out of green; and they need to find the business models that will lead in the new emerging landscape.

Middendorf will speak alongside Richard Knubben, director general of the Leaseurope who will outline policy opportunities and objectives that are the focus of attention for the EU in the lead-in to the elections in June. Bill Stephenson, global CEO of PEAC Solutions will discuss the need to seek out high margin businesses after a period in which equipment finance companies have grown used to low margins; John Saffrett, group deputy CEO of Ayvens (the new name for Leaseplan/ ALD Automotive) will talk about who pays for the transition (as the French government considers the right mix of malus and reward).

Asset Finance Connect Leaders’ Summit Europe is an invitation only one day summit taking place at the Steigenberger Icon Wiltcher’s in Brussels on April 16, 2024.

Automotive and equipment finance companies who would like to attend this year’s event should write to or apply online at

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