Like Rodney Dangerfield, the leasing education firm of Amembal, Halladay & Isom doesn't get any respect. Not in Utah, anyway.
Located at 1406 S. 1100 East, the company does most of its business in other states and in 19 foreign countries. As a result, few Utahns know the firm exists.But the three partners in the company intend to change that when they hold a leasing seminar Thursday, May 30, in the Red Lion Hotel and a summer leasing school July 8-19 in the Red Lion Hotel.
The May 30 seminar is directed toward small and medium-size businesses, according to Sudhir P. Amembal, president and chief executive officer, who said the event is a pilot project for this area. "We don't do much business in Utah, and 99 percent of the money that comes into the firm is from outside the state and the United States," he said.
Along with his partners, Shawn D. Halladay, executive vice president, and Loni L. Lowder, vice president of marketing, Amembal said the goal of the company is to save money for companies by educating them about the advantages and disadvantages of leasing equipment.
To accomplish their work, the three men and often other members of the 20-employee company travel extensively, often to foreign countries. Last year, the three men spent 550 seminar-days outside Utah. Their public seminars are regularly offered in Canada and Europe.
"We are the most unrecognizable people and we miss the sense of involvement," said Amembal about his company's status in the community. "We have focused on larger companies as we were getting organized and now we want to serve smaller companies," he said.
AH&I is the only company in the world that dedicates all its energy to equipment leasing education, Amembal said, adding it is an important function because most lessees are ignorant about equipment leasing.
Although AH&I may be obscure in Utah, it has conducted seminars in Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, England, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Monaco, Nigeria, Singapore, the Soviet Union, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden and Turkey.
A list of the companies for which AH&I has conducted leasing training reads like a who's who in American business including Aetna Life and Casualty, American Express Co., Bell & Howell, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Chase Manhatten Bank, Dow Chemical U.S.A., General Dynamics Corp., Levi Strauss Co., J.C. Penney Co., Union Carbide Corp. and Westinghouse Credit Corp.
Some of the associations that have received leasing instruction from AH&I are American Association of Equipment Lessors, American Automotive Leasing Association, Computer Dealers & Lessors Association, Eastern Association of Equipment Lessors, National Association of Purchasing Management and the National Truck Leasing System.
Amembal said the 3,000 people attending the company's seminars today are a far cry from the seven who attended the first seminar. He said he isn't certain the equipment leasing business grew naturally or if it grew because of AH&I's influence.
In the 1970s, equipment leasing was a $35 billion annual industry, but in 1990 that increased to $135 billion, Amembal said.
Equipment leasing is a complicated process, Amembal said, and as a result AH&I has added courses over the years to meet any company's needs. AH&I offers an introductory course in the fundamentals of finance, accounting and taxation, and leads into a "core" source in the leasing as a creative financing alternative.
The advanced course are accounting for leases, advanced pricing and portfolio analysis, captive and vendor strategies and techniques, credit analysis and risk assessment, a survey of law and lease documentation, tax considerations and analysis, and winning the deal.
Amembal said the company's direction toward small businesses is natural because they are less sophisticated in their operation and taxes can provide a pitfall. He said one company with which he dealt owed $600,000 in taxes because it owned rather than leased its equipment.
In another example of AH&I's influence, Amembal said they trained 200 employees in a Fortune 25 company that owned an automobile fleet. After the instruction, company officials decided to lease the cars. The result was a $1 million annual savings.
During the seminars, everyone receives a workbook with the latest information on equipment leasing, said Halladay, but instructors also refer to the Internal Revenue Service Code, accounting standards, recent trends and computer software.
Lowder said the company also does consulting outside the classroom. He said AH&I also has printed four copies of a magazine that goes to 3,000 equipment lessors, has printed four books on equipment leasing, has produced several videotapes and published the 800-page Handbook of Equipment Leasing that has sold 20,000 copies and is in the second printing by Publisher's Press.
Amembal's interest in equipment leasing in foreign countries is natural because he was born in Bangalore, India, raised in Bombay and received an undergraduate degree from the University of Bombay. He came to Utah in 1969 and received a master of business administration degree from the University of Utah.LEASEContinued from D?
He worked for a certified public accounting firm in New York City, worked as a financial analyst for the U. from 1973-74 and between 1974-78 he taught accounting. Another faculty member was Terry Isom.
Neither wanted to work on a doctorate degree so they formed their equipment leasing education company. Halladay, who has accounting and master's of business administration degrees from the U., joined Amembal in 1983 as an instructor and consultant. In 1987, Amembal bought out Isom's interest.
Lowder, a native of Burley, Idaho, has a bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University and a master's of business administration degree from the U., owned his own furniture store, started an equipment leasing company and was vice president for a national bank leasing company before joining AH&I in November 1990.