I’m often asked why D&D Leasing exists

It’s a fairly simple answer; we exist to change the lives of a million entrepreneurs. What does that mean exactly, though?  It means that we strive to provide funding to entrepreneurs and small and growing companies in the gap left by the banks. This is where business owners need the most help, and where they are least likely to receive to it. This is also the area where I think the most exciting growth can happen.

In both the UK and in Canada, most of the economic growth is stimulated by small businesses and yet the owners of these businesses would tell you that they still have a difficult time finding financial support at their banking institutions. It’s easy to find money when you are a good strong blue chip company, but what happens when you sink your life savings into the corner shop, hire the neighbourhood student and try to make a go of it? All too often, you find that outside of family and friends that support is hard to find. So almost 15 years ago we decided to change things.

D&D Leasing had very glamorous beginnings – Not! There were only two of us, my brother with the money and me with the idea. We agreed on one simple premise: fund the businesses that had a story and that couldn’t get funding elsewhere; i.e. help those that just needed a helping hand. We decided to start this endeavour on the basis that I’d been in the leasing world for a number of years in Canada already, and had worked for both a funder and a broker. My brother being a neurologist at the time, and single, had disposable income. So with the name D&D Leasing, culled from our mutual last name, we were in business to change the world.

He was the silent partner and I was the sales, credit, funding, and collections departments as well as everything else. The early years were challenging; I studied my credit courses, my Th. D and my MBA concurrently while the business grew. However, we found that we had a little business that was not only making a go of it, it was somehow respected by the people that knew of  us.

We found the UK had many of the same needs and issues as our clients in Canada.

As we grew, and office space, staff and external funds came along, we realized we had an actual company before us. While the market had its ups and its downs, we learned to manage our way around the pitfalls to continue treating our customers fairly and delivering excellent service to our partners. As we continued to grow, an opportunity like no other appeared before us and we took it. This led us with great pride six years ago to have the pleasure of opening our doors here in the United Kingdom. In opening here we found the UK had many of the same needs and issues as our clients in Canada, i.e., not enough funding for SMEs.

In fact, when we opened here the term SME, was almost a dirty word, well that certainly changed quickly when the credit crisis happened, and as we all know, SME is quite frankly one of the trendiest words in the asset finance market right now. However, while times change, our philosophy and business focus has not. We strive to fund those businesses that have a difficult time obtaining traditional finance. Whether this requires a professional loan, or a hire contract, we’re there  to serve those customers’ needs.

However, it’s not just enough to work hard is it? I believe that we need to give back. Perhaps it’s the Doctorate of Theology I acquired or perhaps I just have a leaning this way, but I fervently believe we need to do more than simply create returns for the shareholder. We need to strive to create a better world than the one we’re in.

One simple principle, let’s leave the world a little better than when we found it

One of D&D Leasing’s core values is to be a Community Builder, and what that means is that we expect our people to be absolutely involved outside of the office in endeavours greater than themselves. Whether this is coaching on the rugby pitch, being part of an FLA group, being a special constable or serving on a board at a local parish, it is a key part of our company culture. For myself, I’m involved in a number of endeavours, both in the industry and outside of it. I think there is nothing better than giving a piece of your time, or your money, and donating it to causes greater than yourself. Many people call this philanthropy but you can call it whatever you want as long as you understand one simple principle, let’s leave the world a little better than how we found it.

I personally spend a fair amount of time giving to a number of organizations; chiefly among them is the Entrepreneurs Organization. EO, as it is known, is a 10,500 strong member- led organization, which is in 46 countries around the world.

The main goal is to fuel the entrepreneurial engine. Said another way, it strives to make better entrepreneurs. As I’ve personally received a great deal of knowledge and help from this organization, I now spend time giving back to the group by helping to bring along the next wave of entrepreneurs. Personally, I find it quite satisfying work.

There are so many places we can give of our time, whether it’s mentoring a new hire or serving both inside and outside the industry, I believe there is a place for all of us to give of our talents and our time. The Leasing Foundation, of which I’m a proud Fellow, raises funds and awareness through many of its events throughout the year. Whether it’s the new lecture series, the annual conference or the Christmas Lunch, I’m proud to give my time to a group that wants nothing more than to buoy our collective industry. The Finance and Lease Association (“FLA”), on which I serve as a Board Member works tirelessly to help shape, guide and protect our industry, especially as we move forward through this time of FCA regulation. The Asset Finance Professionals Association (“AF-PA”), of which I’m honoured to take on the chair duties this year, puts on a few golf days and amazing lunches to help you network with your peers, and of course their aim is to raise funds for various charities. All of  these organizations and more would love to have your support and assistance.

So what of D&D Leasing? What’s next for us, I’ve been asked? We have a planned USA expansion which we hope to do in the near future, which we are quite excited about. Our UK operation is poised for growth, especially since we’ve just expanded the size of our Professions Loans product to £75,000. Our Canadian operation is entering a new frontier as well – the French province of Quebec. So things are looking quite bright and we’re very excited about it. I believe that 2015 will be an important year for us and I look forward to seeing what the industry as a whole can and will accomplish. I hope you’re excited about it too.


Rev. Dr. K. Bill Dost, an entrepreneur with interests in a variety of fields, got his start in the Asset Finance field over 18 years ago working for Fidelity Leasing. In the year 2000 in Canada he started D&D Leasing to service the entrepreneurial segment of the SME field and expanded into the UK in 2009 when he opened D&D Leasing UK Ltd. He sits on a number of boards including the Finance and Lease Association, Asset Finance Professionals Association and the Toronto Chapter of Entrepreneurs Organization where he was the 2013-2014 President and served on the Canadian Conference Committee. Today he serves on the Canadian Regional Council. A Fellow of the Leasing Foundation, Director for the FLA and 2015- 2016 Chair of AF-PA, he believes it is not enough to simply run a finance company successfully but that one must give back into their community both in their own business and outside of it as well, to that end he not only serves on various committees but also holds an annual charity event to raise awareness and funds for small and often unknown charities. Among other degrees he holds a Doctorate of Theology and an MBA in Human Resource Management.

He is currently pursuing his Chartered Director (C. Dir) designation through The Directors College and in conjunction with DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University. He is a lifelong learner having completed various other programs including an Executive Education program based on Case Study Method at London Business School and Leadership Academy via the Entrepreneurs Organization. His past board experience has included a nine year period as an Advisory Board Member for Liberty International Church. In 2015 he was awarded the Leasing Foundation Philanthropist of the Year Award.

www.leasingworld.co.uk | VOL 10 NO 104 2015

Leave a Reply