2017 Year in Review — A letter from DLL CEO Bill Stephenson

By Bill Stephenson touko 15, 2018
Blog

Bill Stephenson, CEO and Chairman2017 was another positive year in the long and proud history of DLL. We once again delivered a healthy financial performance to our parent, Rabobank, and we continued to introduce new products and services to our vendor partners. This was all made possible by an engaged and talented workforce committed to delivering a first-class experience to our customers, and supported by innovative technologies that improve the ease, speed and flexibility of doing business with DLL. Most rewarding is the fact that we accomplished these objectives while making meaningful contributions to the communities within which we operate in more than 30 countries around the world.

The year was not without change. Most significant, was the strategic decision to transfer our domestic Dutch leasing and consumer finance portfolio to Rabobank in April 2017. Consistent with our strategic plan (entitled ‘Focus and Accelerate’), we took this decision in order to further sharpen our focus and accelerate our award-winning vendor finance business. Moving our non-vendor finance activities was intended to bring these products closer to the bank and deliver more value for local Dutch customers. We also announced plans to form a strategic alliance with Erste Group Bank AG to extend our vendor finance capabilities to 10 countries across Central and Eastern Europe. The planned Strategic Alliance Agreement will expand our ability to provide solutions to our vendor partners in more than 40 countries worldwide.

2017 was a very strong year as we financed more than EUR 24.6 billion in new business volume, an increase of 14%, and experienced growth across all of our global business units. "

On the commercial front, 2017 was a very strong year as we financed more than EUR 24.6 billion in new business volume, an increase of 14%, and experienced growth across all of our global business units. At the same time, our portfolio grew to EUR 30.8 billion, despite the transfer of the Financial Solutions business in the Netherlands (approximately EUR 4.4 billion) and currency effects which negatively impacted our portfolio balance by EUR 2.0 billion. I am very pleased that DLL continues to have a strong foundation on which to build for the future and achieve sustainable commercial growth and profit generation.

Our financial performance was further validated by the overwhelmingly positive feedback of our primary customers – the manufacturers, dealers and distributors who partner with DLL. Their satisfaction with our company is reflected in our Global Net Promoter Score (NPS®) of +38, which was a marked improvement from the +34 recorded in 2016 and far surpassed comparable industry benchmarks. Further, the vast majority of surveyed customers indicated that they were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with DLL’s products and services.

We also continued to receive praise from the industry for our leading role in the global vendor finance marketplace. In November 2017, DLL received the Digital Innovation award from Leasing Life, one of the top leasing industry journals in Europe, as selected by a jury of independent experts. In the United States, DLL was named the #1 vendor finance company for the ninth consecutive year by Monitor, a leading industry publication considered the independent voice of the North American equipment finance and leasing market.

Perhaps even more important than the industry recognition was the positive feedback we received from our workforce (who we refer to as ‘members’). In 2017, we conducted a Global Engagement Survey with our more than 4,500 members worldwide. This survey told us that 82% of our members recommend DLL as a top place to work. It also indicated that overall satisfaction and engagement is what drives our members to start each day committed to delivering a first-class experience to our customers.

To ensure that our members remain a key differentiator, we continue to make a number of investments toward their personal and professional development. We also continue to focus on workplace diversity efforts to attract and retain a talent pool that brings a variety of skillsets, perspectives and approaches to our business. Finally, we are focused on designing our workplace for the future and developing our members to be ‘change capable’ as we implement the right structures and systems to support the next generation of business.

It is hard to believe that what started in 1969 as a small local leasing company in the south of the Netherlands has become the global leader in vendor finance, with offices in over 30 countries and a portfolio of more than EUR 30 billion. "

Thinking about the next generation of business, I am reminded that in May 2019, DLL will celebrate its 50th anniversary. It is hard to believe that what started in 1969 as a small local leasing company in the south of the Netherlands has become the global leader in vendor finance, with offices in over 30 countries and a portfolio of more than EUR 30 billion. This milestone is a true testament to the company’s strong foundation, the efforts of our members and the value we continue to deliver to our customers.

But how do we ensure that DLL continues to be a recognized global leader for another 50 years?

First and foremost, we will continue to focus on innovation. Traditional business models are being challenged, and the vendor finance industry is not immune. In order to maintain our market leading position, we need to challenge ourselves, our business model and our traditional ways of thinking. Every member of our workforce has a role to play in driving innovation and disrupting the status quo. I have encouraged all DLL members to think differently, ask ‘why’ and propose alternatives.

We are opening innovation hubs in select markets throughout our network and partnering with industry-leading technology firms to develop entirely new business models. "

To support this evolution, we intend to grow our investments in technology and innovation significantly in 2018. We are opening innovation hubs in select markets throughout our network and partnering with industry-leading technology firms to develop entirely new business models. It is only through such reinvention that we can future-proof DLL’s business for continued success. Further, we will remain steadfast in our commitment to delivering the latest in digital technologies to our vendor partners.

By putting innovative tools in their hands, we make it easier for them to do business with DLL and enable them to deliver economical solutions to their customers that reduce the total cost of usage. By innovating together, I am confident that DLL will continue to exceed the expectations of our customers and remain the industry leader for another 50 years.

 

Bill Stephenson
CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board, DLL