Three words sum up the advantages KeyCorp has realized from one of its more recent acquisitions: location, location, location.
KeyCorp last week entered into a multinational joint venture with the leasing unit of Compaq Computer Corp., through which KeyCorp will offer financial products and services to Compaq customers.
Paul A. Larkins, president of KeyCorp's equipment finance group, said the deal was possible only because KeyCorp had bought an international high-tech leasing specialist last year.
"The word synergy really means something here," said Mr. Larkins.
Boulder, Colo.-based Leasetec Corp. International, which became part of Mr. Larkins' unit after KeyCorp bought it in July, specializes in global high-tech markets.
It has 40 offices in 25 countries and has been arranging financing and leasing packages for high-tech companies for 19 years.
At the time it was acquired, it was producing about $1 billion in financings a year.
"Leasetec benefits from Key's funding and systems support, and Key benefits from Leasetec's intimate knowledge of the high-tech vendor leasing arena," Mr. Larkins said.
Leasetec also has developed firsthand knowledge of local markets throughout North America, Europe, and the Pacific Rim.
Under the agreement with Compaq Capital Corp., a Woodbridge, N.J.-based subsidiary of the computer company, new European and Pacific Rim offices will be opened at first in existing Leasetec offices.
This will let the two new partnerships-Compaq Capital in Sydney, Australia, and Compaq Capital Europe in London-begin financing purchases of Compaq computers in those markets this month.
Equipment leasing is one of KeyCorp's fastest-growing businesses, according to executives at the Cleveland-based banking company.
The product line has grown about 20% annually for the last five years, said James Bingay, chairman and chief executive officer of Key Corporate Capital Inc., KeyCorp's investment banking unit.
KeyCorp, the 14th-largest U.S. banking company, with about $74 billion of assets, has been in the equipment leasing business since 1988.
The equipment finance group had aggregate financings for leasings last year that exceeded $2.4 billion.
Leasetec represents roughly 50% of KeyCorp's product leasing originations and about 25% of the equipment finance group's aggregate assets under management, KeyCorp said.