In its first annual industry leadership awards, equipment leasing and finance industry publication Monitor has recognized Key Equipment Finance President Adam Warner with the inaugural Veteran Icon Award.
Leadership tested during tough times
Inspiring, empowering and humble, Warner's strong vision for Key Equipment Finance has shepherded the company through a wide range of industry conditions. Through it all, he has motivated his employees to succeed throughout all economic climates and guided Key Equipment Finance to generate the highest returns in its history.
When Amy Gross, Executive Vice President, joined Key Equipment Finance in 2009, the industry was going through a lot of turmoil, an environment in which she saw Warner's leadership defined by how he responded and recovered.
"I observed how he handled the challenges at the time, maintained the company’s connection with KeyBank partners and refocused the business for growth and success over time," Gross said. "Adam was very deliberate in adding leadership talent to Key Equipment Finance to refocus the business and create a framework for profitable growth in existing and new areas, like clean energy. Talent development was also a focus for Adam to develop bench strength in his organization."
Warner dedicates three decades to industry
Warner joined Key Equipment Finance in 2001 and has served as president for over 10 years. He previously spent 13 years at Mellon Leasing Corporation. Altogether, he has dedicated more than 30 years of his career to the field of equipment finance. Along the way, he helped build an industry that makes it easier for all types of companies to obtain the equipment they need to thrive, grow and meet customer demand.
During his tenure as president of Key Equipment Finance, Warner led a transformation of the company, which is recognized as one of the world’s largest bank-held equipment finance companies. The business results under his leadership speak for themselves. Since 2010, Key Equipment Finance’s growth rate has outpaced that of the industry by 76%. In 2017, the company experienced over 50% growth, culminating in a record year for Key Equipment Finance.
Vision inspires client-focused culture
To Key Equipment Finance's benefit, the vision of both Warner and the company are inseparable. The company’s mission is to finance client success through outstanding partnership, industry expertise and extraordinary people. Warner lives by those tenets and continually works to instill them in the culture of Key Equipment Finance.
To foster an entrepreneurial, client-focused environment, he leads a team that sees itself as big enough to win — but small enough to innovate. He encourages employees to remain curious as they seek to understand client needs. In this way, Warner builds and leads a team with in-depth knowledge of equipment and financing solutions, without ever losing sight of the goal: Serve as a trusted advisor to company clients.
Under Warner's leadership, the company's bank channel team has improved its partnership with the parent company, KeyBank. Today, equipment finance officers partner with their relationship manager counterparts to deliver industry-leading equipment-financing solutions to bank clients.
On the vendor side of the business, Warner refined the business strategy to focus on industry verticals in which Key has the greatest proficiency. His strategic approach also nurtured brand differentiation: Compared to the competition, Key Equipment Finance provides expertise throughout the financial process because of the deep, industry-specific knowledge it possesses.
Focus on diversity improves leadership and collaboration
A strong, active proponent of diversity and inclusion, Warner believes leadership teams perform better financially when they include diversity of thought. He remains keenly – and successfully – focused on diversity on his leadership team. Currently, 50% of his direct reports are women.
"He is thoughtful in his approach and always acts with the highest level of integrity and values," Gross added. "Additionally, Adam strives to maintain connections both internally within our parent bank and externally with our most valued clients. I truly enjoy working for him and have learned a lot from observing his leadership style and approach."
Learn more by reading Monitor's feature article on Warner: