By Michael Rothe

On September 18 and 19, 2019, the Canadian Finance & Leasing Association (CFLA) will hold our 46th Annual Conference at the Westin Bayshore Hotel in Vancouver, B.C.. As with past conferences, this year’s CFLA Annual Conference will provide delegates with economic, technological and operational trends, data and analysis from leading industry experts and insiders. And it also remains Canada’s premier networking event for executives within the asset-based finance and leasing industry.

For these reasons the CFLA Annual Conference is Canada’s largest and most important annual gathering of industry leaders. When you attend you are investing in the success of your business, staff, industry and your career. Indeed, given today’s turbulent markets and economy, this year’s CFLA Annual Conference is sure to be a not-to-be-missed event.

Economic & Political Updates
Traditionally, the Conference is kicked off with the annual Economic Update, given by a leading Canadian economist. This year is no different. Craig Wright, senior vice president and chief economist at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), will be returning to provide the Economic Update. He will opine on the issues facing the Canadian economy, incorporating the outlook for the U.S., Europe, Asia and the rest of the world.

The other annual highlight is the Political Update. Typically given by a notable local, national-level reporter, this year CFLA is tweaking tradition and has invited former B.C. premier Christy Clark (who has also been a radio show host) to give the Update. As Canada heads into a fall election, this year’s Political Update is not only timely, but will provide you with important insights into the what to expect from the coming election and a better understanding of the key issues which will face the candidates and ultimately the new Canadian government.

Fireside Chat with Jim Pattison
However, the highlight of the Conference is sure to be the Fireside Chat with Jim Pattison. Mr. Pattison, a Canadian business magnate, investor, philanthropist and owner of Jim Pattison Lease (a CFLA member), will be interviewed by retired CBC correspondent Robert Fisher.

You will hear about Mr. Pattison’s rise from humble beginnings in Saskatchewan to the founding of Jim Pattison Group and his current position as one of Canada’s most successful businesspersons. You will be certain to come away with some valuable insights and ideas which you can apply to your own business and career.

Networking opportunities
Yet what is a conference without ample opportunity to network and make some important business deals? Whether in between sessions, during the two-hour luncheon or the spectacular evening events there will be plenty of time to make those valuable connections.

Partake of a cocktail at the Conference Welcome Reception on the first evening, as you take in the spectacular Vancouver vistas from a private charter cruise. Or enjoy the wine, food and camaraderie at the Chairman’s Reception and Banquet on the final night of the Conference where CFLA’s Member of the Year will be announced.

This year will also feature the ever-popular exhibitors hall. There you can meet industry vendors, explore new business solutions and/or catch up with trusted partners.

CFLA’s 46th Annual Conference is sure to be the event of the year with plenty to inform, entertain and enrich all those who attend. Conference registration opens at the end of June and special hotel rates are available: but don’t delay as the hotel sold out, in a record two weeks, at last year’s Annual Conference featuring Brian Mulroney.

We hope to see you this September in Vancouver!

Michael Rothe is president and CEO, Canadian Finance & Leasing Association (CFLA). The CFLA ( represents the asset-based financing, equipment and vehicle leasing industry in Canada. The largest provider of debt financing in this country after the traditional lenders (banks and credit unions), the CFLA’s more than 200 company members range from large multinationals to national and smaller regional domestic companies. They cross the financial services spectrum from manufacturers’ finance companies and independent leasing companies, to banks, insurance companies and suppliers to the industry. The industry’s customers include Canadian small, medium and large businesses as well as consumers.

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