Eva Jirankova, Founding Member of Société Générale Equipment Finance in the Czech Republic

Eva Jirankova  belongs to the founding members of Société Générale Equipment Finance in the Czech Republic, where she was involved in the segment of financing of transport technology and production technologies for the food-processing industry in 1995. From smaller transport equipment she advanced to larger units and in 2005 she managed the expansion of the company to the aviation equipment financing segment. She has extended the international know-how of the Société Générale Group, which has belonged to the key financial partners in this area for fifty years, with the knowledge of the local legislation and specifics and with her team she implemented the first financing of a private jet. Since then, SGEF has been one of the leading companies in the sector of aviation equipment financing in the Czech market. At present, Eva is leading a team that is, besides the aviation equipment, also responsible for financing of high-tech technologies in cooperation with international manufacturers and distributors and the railway equipment segment. She is also responsible for cooperation with Komerční banka in the sector of large corporations and key business transactions.


What greatest changes have happened since you have been present in the aviation segment?

Since we started to finance private jets the market has undergone a financial crisis, which unfortunately had a big impact on this segment as well. The operation of business jets did not represent the key activity for many companies and they often decided to give them up. The aviation equipment market registered an excess of supply over demand and financing ceased to be perceived as based on the asset value.

Can you see any significant gaps concerning the aviation situation in the Central and Easter Europe, compared e.g. to the situation in the U.S. market?

I do not want to evaluate the aviation area as such. I can only express my opinion about the interest of local prospective clients in investing in the purchase of their own jet. Business jets as a tool of a more efficient use of travelling time are becoming more and more topical on the local level; however, purchasing an aircraft is still the matter of certain luxury and privilege.

 Has there been any event in the business aviation field that was unexpected and surprising for you?

Given the crisis and turnover in the market of secondary aviation equipment, the offer of aircraft has significantly increased and exceeded the demand since 2005 when we started financing aircraft. The days when trading in this commodity was profitable are gone. Now, based on the market growth, we are convinced that the demand for aviation equipment will rise again.

How do you see the situation in the business aviation field in the Czech Republic and in Slovakia around 2025?

What is entirely necessary in the aviation segment is the knowledge of the related issues, which is still being built in our market. We believe that in 2025 there will be more professional players in the market and all companies in this segment will increase their level of professionalism. Concerning the

development in our company, cooperation with real experts allows us to pass know-how on to our clients, protecting not only them, but also our invested capital.

How did you get to aviation? Who or what was the primary impulse?

Thanks to the very innovative and flexibly responding group I am working for I got the opportunity to develop financing of private aviation in the Czech market. It was a tempting challenge and I accepted it with great enthusiasm. However, this segment is so specific that I had to learn almost everything from the beginning and step by step. I am very happy that SGEF is holding the leading position in the segment of private flights and helicopters (and not only there) today.

 Is aviation important for you in your private dimension, too? Does it play an important role in your non-professional life?

Since in my personal life I often use the services of commercial airlines I must admit that I appreciate the benefits and luxury that the use of private jets brings. I do not only mean the comfort in the sky and perfect catering, but mainly plenty of saved time.

What do you consider to be your greatest success so far?

The greatest success is the satisfied client that returns to us. Though we cannot comply with the wishes of every customer, we are trying to adapt our financing to their ideas as much as possible.

To what extent do business jets influence the lives of people who use them?

With some exaggeration I would say that clients that use our financing to buy a business jet get enriched by cooperation with our professional team (laughing). To put it seriously, for them and for their partners it means the luxury of travelling without stress, unnecessary downtime and unwanted encounters.

Eva Jirankova’s chamber of secrets: What aspects of aviation make you most happy and bring you the feeling of satisfaction?

Financing tailored for the owners or top management of major international companies has allowed me to meet interesting people, brilliant entrepreneurs that we all can learn from. I always hope that I capture their energy well and turn their expectations into reality.

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