In an effort to better describe the solutions and services we provide, BOK Financial Equipment Finance Inc. has rebranded itself as BOK Financial Commercial Finance. All operations will now be under the BOK Financial Commercial Finance umbrella.
“We are going forward as a single brand,” states Martin Brown, senior vice president.
The company was founded in 1910 as Exchange National Bank and was a regional source of capital for the oil industry. In 1933, the company became Exchange National Bank of Tulsa and in 1975, changed its name to Bank of Oklahoma. In 1991, the holding company (BOK Financial) was formed but Brown explains that they continued to use the trade names in each of the 7 footprint markets.
“In 2013, we were originating business in two organizations, Bank of Texas and Bank of Arizona, and doing business in 13 states. When we expanded our practice nationwide, we couldn’t use the ‘Bank of (state)’ name, so we used BOK Financial Equipment Finance as a national marketing brand.”
As a specialist in the equipment industry, BOK Financial Equipment Finance partnered with heavy equipment distributors to provide customized financial services and lending capacity for clients in asset classes that include the following:
- Construction and aggregate – dozers, excavators, compactors, crushers and screeners
- Crane and lift – aerials, all-terrain and crawler cranes, boom trucks and forklift
- Power and transportation – trucks, trailers, generators and buses
- Agriculture – applicators, combines, harvesters, tractors and trailers
BOK Financial Equipment Finance lent money to the wholesalers of products that they in turn sold to end users. They also wrote leases for end users, although the leasing was not nationwide. “It was an easy name to build a brand around nationwide, but now that we’re into other asset verticals, we can’t use that name.”
With the focus on generating revenues from other types of assets other than heavy equipment, the name is no longer adequate. “We have broadened our scope. Equipment Finance doesn’t fit all our markets. We want to expand to other markets with a consistent name and have alignment with our parent company, BOK Financial Commercial Finance.”
BOK Financial Commercial Finance will soon be launching a new tool to better serve its customers. As Brown explains, customers want an efficient way to transact business today which provides for a seamless method of moving iron from the manufacturing floor to dealer showroom. This new tool will provides value through a broad offering of loan products and provide customers a one-stop convenient solution to transact their financing needs for equipment, whether new, used, or rental inventory needs.
“We are focusing our efforts on designing a system that will allow us to scale our business,” Brown points out. The system automates communication and facilitates the synchronization of initial shipment to the deployment of the inventory. “Our manual system requires a lot of phone calls between the parties; with this tool, we automate most of the workflow which will allow us to work with more dealers. It’s more efficient, he says, and speeds up the process.
Why BOK Financial
Most equipment dealers use four or five sources of financing, Brown explains. But it’s only natural that dealers do business with lenders they already know. “If they enjoy doing business with us at the wholesale level, but can’t use us on the vendor level, they have to go to another financing source.”
Not every manufacturer offers vendor-subsidized programs, but if they do, it only makes sense to utilize a source that provides their dealers with customized financing plans. If their dealers already work with BOK Financial on the wholesale side, “it’s a natural fit to use us on the vendor side, too,” Brown points out. “Now there’s more flexibility.”
“Vendors want a financial source that know the industry and has a wide coverage base,” Brown elaborates. “They want a quick and efficient process.” They’ll get all of it with BOK Financial Commercial Finance’s new system.
Operating under a single brand name provides clarity, but BOK Financial’s rebranding also signals growth. For years, BOK Financial has been expanding and acquiring other banks, becoming a leading provider of financial solutions. This latest investment in technology better aligns them to their long-term strategy, Brown says – “without changing our name again.”
Launch plans have yet to be announced, but they are nearing completion. “I’m excited for the launch,” Brown exclaims, humbly adding that there’s “still a lot of work to be done” and that he is equally enthusiastic about the company’s future.
BOK Financial is one of the top 25 U.S.-based banks with more than $40 billion in assets. Many of their commercial and wealth management services have been operating under this universal brand for quite a while.