Vice President Fred Carollo tells all about the company’s new U.S. office technology leasing division.
It didn’t take long for industry leasing veteran Fred Carollo formerly of TIAA Bank to secure a new position after it was announced that TIAA was leaving the office technology space. He joined Macquarie Group Limited, an Australian independent investment bank and financial services company, under the radar early in November. We are thrilled to have him back in our industry, even though he never really left.
Carollo now heads a seven-person team in the U.S. of what Macquarie Group described in its press announcement as “sales executives with deep office technology leasing experience.” The new U.S. leasing division is part of Macquarie’s Specialized and Asset Finance (SAF) business, a unit of its Commodities and Global Markets group.
In this interview, Carollo discusses Macquarie Group, its mission in the U.S., and the value proposition it brings to the U.S. dealer channel, as well as how it is responding to the latest trends impacting the office imaging industry.
CR: For dealers who are unfamiliar with Macquarie Group, what should they know about the company?
Carollo: We are a diversified global financial group headquartered in Sydney, Australia, and working across 31 markets. Macquarie employs over 16,000 employees and manages $398.4 billion in assets. The Americas make up over 30% of our total income. Our U.S. headquarters is in New York City, and our leasing processing team is based in Jacksonville, Florida. This is an expansion of Macquarie’s previous success in leasing IT equipment, as well as a number of other leasing businesses here in the U.S. and globally. We have a strong knowledge of IT financing as well as a long history of office products leasing in Australia. We have a number of other leasing businesses in regions across the globe that all combine to give us world-class systems and a strong customer experience. We provide leasing approvals and operations in 32 countries, and there are 10 million assets processed and billed monthly by our systems. Macquarie has over 20 years of experience in raising residual value investments.
CR: Why is this a good time for Macquarie Group to enter the U.S. market?
Carollo: Our view is that there have been pockets of dislocation, as one might expect in times of market volatility, and changes to the way that people and organizations perform their work in the current business environment. We believe the long-term demand drivers are still strong in office technology leasing, there are strong adjacencies to existing Macquarie leasing businesses, and we have developed a strong client offering. We feel there is a void in the market and that our products and approach to the business will be very relevant to customers now and in the near future.
CR: Why should a dealer consider you as a finance partner?
Carollo: First off, we view the dealer as our customer, not the end user. The end user is the dealer’s customer. That view is shared throughout our organization. Additionally, we are taking an old-school approach in much that we do. Our plan is to build deep relationships with select dealers, and we intend on going deep and not wide within the industry. We aim to be a value-add partner to the dealers we do business with and will utilize a high level of customer service with personal interaction coupled with technology. We will offer a best-in-class product mix that focuses on increasing our dealer partners’ sales and margins as well as retaining and deepening their customer base. We understand where the market is going and embrace that direction. Our sales team will provide true added value by being trusted advisors, and we feel this approach will resonate with many in the industry.
CR: How has the leasing market changed as a result of COVID-19, and how are you responding to those changes to better serve the dealer community?
Carollo: We feel the changes that are taking place in the workplace environment. COVID-19, and many trends existing before the pandemic, will lead to increased demand for the solutions that our targeted office technology partners offer to the marketplace. The convergence of IT offerings, as well as traditional office technology equipment, is very exciting to us. The solutions offered into the market are more relevant and essential than ever before with a workforce working remotely, as well as in the office. The ability to meet, communicate, and share information, as well as documents, effectively and securely will be essential for organizations moving forward. We are focused on financing and invoicing the solutions that our dealer partners are offering to the market.
CR: Beyond offering financing for traditional office technology such as copiers, what other types of products can you help a dealer finance, especially as more dealers are diversifying beyond traditional office imaging technology?
Carollo: Our focus will be on solutions that include office technology equipment, and IT products and services. Our knowledge of the IT business coupled with the experience in office products we have in Australia, as well as the expertise of our team, will give us a unique ability to structure and offer some innovative products to the U.S. imaging market beyond traditional equipment leasing being offered today. We will offer the ability to bundle pass-through services, along with financed assets in a total solution offering to help our partners acquire and keep their end-user customers in a very competitive marketplace. Our focus will be to take the traditional offerings to a new level that is relevant with the changing marketplace.
CR: A4 is expected to grow in the coming years. What types of programs do you have in place to accommodate dealers who will be selling greater numbers of A4 devices?
Carollo: We feel the greater number of A4 placements will require various programs. Our programs are focused on invoicing capabilities that help end users track placements and costs, increased products addressing the adding and deleting of assets, and a number of products to address the back-end of transactions. These back-end products will focus on flexibility for the dealer to retain customer placements as well as expand sales and profit opportunities for those customers.
CR: What can you tell me about the U.S. sales team?
Carollo: The sales team that I will be leading consists of team members from a previous employer that have been with me for years. This team is made up of six salespeople with an average tenure of 18 years in the office products leasing market. We are highly regarded in the industry and in the individual markets that we serve. We are very excited to have the level of experience and talent, as well as the deep relationships that our team brings to Macquarie.
CR: How do you plan on connecting with the dealer community in 2021?
Carollo: First, our sales team will be reengaging with those dealers that they have deep relationships with in the past. In addition, we plan on engaging with the various dealer associations within the industry. We also plan on joining and attending BTA events as well as the numerous manufacturer events throughout the year. We are very eager and excited about connecting in the industry at many levels.
CR: Why do you think you’ll be successful in the U.S.?
Carollo: We are very focused on the customer experience. We will combine a great customer experience with an industry leading product mix and a very tenured sales staff that bring many years of relationships with them to Macquarie. Our sales staff provides a high level of added value to our customers. Combining an excellent customer experience, industry leading product mix, and a robust technology offering, along with a commonsense approach to the business, will make Macquarie a formidable competitor in this space.
CR: What are the keys to that success?
Carollo: Our intention is to establish a leadership position in office technology leasing, to deliver industry-leading service, and build meaningful partnerships with our clients that help grow their businesses with products that increase their sales and margins. If we do that, the business will thrive.
Access Related Content