Bill Stephenson appointed CEO & chairman at De Lage Landen

stephenson bill

William F. (Bill) Stephenson has been appointed chief executive officer and chairman of the executive board of De Lage Landen.

Stephenson’s appointment was approved by the Dutch central banking authority (De Nederlandsche Bank) and he becomes the first non-Dutch national to lead the international finance company.

Currently he is the company’s chief commercial officer and member of the executive board. Due in large part to Stephenson’s commercial leadership, the company has grown its managed portfolio to over €31.5 billion (US$43.4 billion) and is active in 36 countries globally.

Stephenson said: “”I am proud to lead our company into the next phase. It is through our diverse culture, perspectives, and opinions that we are able to create solutions for our customers that not only meet their expectations for today, but also anticipate their market needs of tomorrow.”

Berry Marttin, executive board member of Rabobank and supervisory board member for DLL added: “De Lage Landen has posted exceptional financial results in recent years. Specialized knowledge among its core markets and uniquely strong relationships with customers is what makes this possible. “Our decision to appoint Bill reinforces our commitment toward this strategy and demonstrates how important it is to preserve and promote these key success factors.”

Earlier this year DLL reported 2013 annual results, including net profit of €402 million (US$534 million), an increase of 6.2% over the prior year. Stephenson, along with his fellow Board members, intends to build upon this success by continuing the company’s focus on deep industry knowledge, innovative products and a strong commitment toward both global and local customers.

“By collaborating closely with our customers and developing products and services that help them realize their true potential, we are able to set ourselves apart,” said Stephenson. “I started in sales and very early in my career learned that if you listen to your customers and understand what it takes to be successful in their market, you become more than just a provider of capital. You become a trusted partner. I am proud to lead a company that continues to adhere to these core principles.”

Since joining the company in 1987, Stephenson served in a number of key senior positions. He played an integral role in the emergence of DLL as a global market leader within the company’s vendor finance channels and equipment leasing industry. Most recently, he was responsible for each of the company’s global business lines as well as managing a number of other departments including strategic marketing, asset management and commercial finance.

Stephenson has lived and worked in various countries and is a frequent speaker at industry events. He serves on the board of directors of the Equipment Leasing and Financing Association. He is a graduate of Florida State University and Harvard Business School, AMP.