CDB Aviation Lease Finance appoints top management team, with Rob Murphy as COO, and Pat Hannigan as CCO
January 16th 2017: China Development Bank-owned CDB Aviation Lease Finance (CDBALF) today announced the appointment of former Freshfield's global aviation and asset finance team leader Rob Murphy as COO and its General Counsel and Avolon's former head of EMEA Pat Hannigan as Chief Commercial Officer. Former GECAS executive John Cunningham has been appointed SVP Asia Pacific. CEO Peter Chang said the team will be charged with expanding CDBALF's "market reach beyond China and shifting the company's current approach to a more western, customer-centric focus serving all global markets".
The appointments underline the change in strategy being sought by CDBALF, the aircraft leasing unit of China Development Bank, as it looks to develop into a leading global business serving airlines in all major global markets, said the China Development Bank-owned lessor's CEO Peter Chang last week. The experienced management team will be charged with executing the new strategy and will focus on product innovation, strengthening the companys aircraft portfolio, expanding its market reach beyond China and shifting the company’s current approach to a more western, customer-centric focus serving all global markets, he said.
“We are very pleased to have the caliber of dynamic leaders joining our company,” said CDBALF President & Chief Executive Officer Peter Chang. “Rob, Pat and John’s contributions - both individually and as a team - will enable us to build a global leadership team with the most capable professionals and deliver on our strategy to reinvent our approach with a more western, customer-centric focus, offering airline customers in all markets the comprehensive leasing services they need to meet the increasing demand for air travel. The addition of these leaders will soon be complemented by more top-tier talent as we focus on meeting the needs of our customers.”
Rob Murphy will join CDBALF as General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, the leading international law firm, where he led the global aviation and asset finance team and the global aviation sector group focused on aviation clients. Murphy has led a number of significant projects at Freshfields, including advising: on the formation of Avolon and advising Avolon on a variety of strategic projects including on the acquisition of the aircraft leasing business of CIT Group; AerCap on the $8 billion acquisition of International Lease Finance Corporation from American International Group; BOC Aviation on its IPO/Hong Kong listing; EQT VI Limited, a fund held by private equity firm EQT, on the acquisition of a majority stake in Nordic Aviation Capital; and Monarch Holdings Limited on the completion of its strategic review and restructuring program and its acquisition by Greybull Capital LLP. Mr. Murphy earned his Bachelor’s in Law degree from Trinity College Dublin and will join CDBALF in the spring.
Pat Hannigan will join CDBALF as Chief Commercial Officer. Hannigan is an experienced executive having worked for three decades in finance, marketing, sales, and P&L oversight. Prior to CDBALF, he was Head of EMEA for Avolon, where he led the EMEA origination team, coordinating placement and remarketing of aircraft within the region. He also was a founding shareholder of Avolon in 2010 and served as CEO of Avolon’s leasing joint venture with Wells Fargo. Previously, Hannigan served as Senior Vice President, Marketing, for RBS Aviation Capital (now SMBC), where he was responsible for managing airline relationships within the EMEA region and OEM manufacturer relationships. He also held the role of Vice President Marketing at GE Capital Aviation Services, where he managed the pricing and marketing support function, as well as led the development of the company’s operations in the Middle East and Africa. During his career, Hannigan also held executive positions in business development, audit and corporate finance with Diageo and Deloitte and Touche. He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ireland.
John Cunningham will join CDBALF as Senior Vice President Asia Pacific. Mr. Cunningham is an experienced executive with a track record of business leadership, commercial success and financial expertise in aviation finance. Most recently, he was Chief Investment Officer Designate of a Private Aviation Investment Fund. Previously, Cunningham spent more than 20 years with GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), where he served as Chief Executive Officer of Aircraft Capital Trust of Management Pte. Ltd., a standalone aircraft lessor structured as a Singapore Business Trust, as well as Managing Director of Shannon Engine Support Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of CFM International, a joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines. In addition, Cunningham held other executive positions at GECAS including SVP Sales and Marketing Europe, and the roles of Vice President in Sales and Marketing, Structured Finance, and Portfolio Management. Cunningham started his aviation finance career with Guinness Peat Aviation and KPMG Ireland. He is a Chartered Accountant and Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ireland. He earned his Bachelor’s in Business Studies degree from Trinity College Dubliin.