B&F Business Person of the Month, May 2014 – Dómhnal Slattery, CEO, Avolon
Dómhnal Slattery’s ability to build and rapidly scale a market-leading aircraft leasing platform is indicative of his proven track record in the aviation industry.
In 2010, Slattery founded Avolon, a global aircraft leasing business which in four years has become one of the top 10 lessors in the world. Avolon has raised $7.5bn in capital since launching, including $1.4bn of equity from four leading international investors: Cinven, CVC Capital Partners, Oak Hill Capital Partners and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation.
In addition to the equity commitment of $1.4bn, Avolon has raised $6.1bn in debt to finance the growth and development of its fleet. Debt has been raised from a range of sources including the capital markets and a geographically diverse group of the world’s leading commercial banks and specialist aviation banks.
Today, Avolon has a fleet of 202 aircraft serving 47 customers and a team of 55 professionals across six offices. The Avolon fleet is the youngest fleet of any of the large aircraft leasing firms in the world today.
In public debt markets, Avolon completed an asset backed securitisation (ABS) in 2013 marking its first capital markets issuance. Following on from this, Avolon announced a further new $500m secured debt facility in March 2014.
Speaking in March at the time of announcement of the new facility, Andy Cronin, chief financial officer, Avolon, said: “The successful closing of this $500m facility demonstrates our ability to secure flexible, cost efficient and long-term capital to finance our continued growth. The $800m of commitments we have added since January follows additional debt financing of $1.6bn raised in 2013 including our inaugural $636m Emerald Aviation Finance ABS.
Separately, Slattery also conceptualised and structured a joint-venture with leading US bank, Wells Fargo, to form Avolon Capital Partners, which is building an additional $500m portfolio of aircraft and also invests alongside the Avolon business.
Credit Agricole CIB and Deutsche Bank AG have been supporters of Avolon since its launch. And now, National Australia Bank and HSBC as new lenders in Avolon’s strong and geographically diversified lending group.
“Avolon has balance sheet strength, significant capital resources available and an attractive debt maturity profile, Avolon CEO Slattery says. “This position of strength is allowing us to continue capitalising on the opportunities within our sector to deliver sustained growth and superior returns for our shareholders in 2014 and beyond.
Avolon is also recognised within the aviation industry as a thought leader with regard to its many research-led whitepapers, and for its innovation in transaction structuring and corporate finance. Avolon has received six industry awards over the past four years for achievements in equity raising, debt financing and M&A.
- Slattery began his career in 1989 with Guinness Peat Aviation (GPA) and GECAS – one of the world’s first and largest commercial aircraft leasing companies.
- Established International Aviation Management Group (IAMG) in 1994
- In 2001 the Royal Bank of Scotland Group acquired IAMG as the launch platform of RBS Aviation Capital.
- Slattery was CEO of RBS Aviation Capital from 2001 to 2004.
- Became managing director of the asset finance business for the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.
- Continued as a non-executive director of RBS Aviation Capital until 2008. Slattery has a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) from University College Galway and is a graduate of the Accelerated Development Programme from the London Business School.
- He was nominated as a global ambassador of ORBIS in 2004 and has worked with the organisation for the past 10 years to raise funds for its work in developing countries. He is also a board member of the University Foundation of the National University of Ireland, Galway.