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Posted on Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 1:40 p.m.

Bank of Ann Arbor acquires local equipment leasing company

By Lizzy Alfs

In a move that diversifies Bank of Ann Arbor’s product offerings, the company announced Wednesday that it has acquired Ann Arbor-based equipment leasing company Ervin Leasing.

“We’re really excited with this opportunity,” said Bank of Ann Arbor CEO Tim Marshall.

“We see this could develop into a very important part of our loan portfolio and add some much needed diversification,” he continued.


Bank of Ann Arbor, pictured here in Pittsfield Township, has acquired Ervin Leasing, the companies announced this week.

File photo

A subsidiary of parent company Ervin Industries, Ervin Leasing handles the leasing of small-ticket equipment, from computers to construction and medical supplies in the $2,000 to $150,000 range. The company was founded in 1978 and has downsized from about 50 employees in 2009 to 15 employees this year after the financial crisis eliminated a source of the company’s funding.

“Half our job has been to be able to acquire money,” explained Ervin Leasing CEO Bruce Gaffney. “Now that we’re affiliated with the bank, I see ourselves concentrating on building the company again.”

Ervin Leasing is based at 3893 Research Park Drive in Ann Arbor, but the company is active across the country. Gaffney said the company name, office location and employees won’t change with the acquisition. The goal, he said, is to bring staffing levels to 50 employees in the next three years, including some immediate hires. (For inquiries, email the company.)

“Other than us growing the company significantly, everything pretty much remains the same,” he said.

Marshall added: “Bank of Ann Arbor has a substantial level of liquidity to fund the anticipated growth of the newly acquired leasing company.”

The financial details of the acquisition were not immediately available. Marshall said the deal was attractive because it expands Bank of Ann Arbor’s product lines for clients and potential clients.

“We saw a real benefit in that,” he said.

Since 2010, the Ann Arbor-based bank, the largest locally owned bank in Washtenaw County, has seen its total assets grow from $547 million to $802 million. Based on an FDIC report from June 30, it’s now the Ann Arbor region’s fifth largest bank, based on deposits in the market.

Marshall said the bank currently has 148 employees across its six branches. Bank of Ann Arbor is opening an office on Michigan Avenue in downtown Saline this year.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



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Fri, Jan 4, 2013 : 5:33 p.m.

I find this article interesting, because I wouldn't consider the purchasing of a non-financial business to be in the realm of a bank's best use of capital. Certainly a venture capital company might do this, but not so much a business that I'd think would be more conservative with it's capital? Help me out here, those that know more?


Sat, Jan 5, 2013 : 3:39 a.m.

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Sat, Jan 5, 2013 : 12:55 a.m.

Leasing is a Financial business. Banks are into lending money to consumers. Leasing is merely borrowing money by businesses to buy capital equipment. The leasing company has the equipment as collatoral and the business can deduct the lease payment as an operating expense rather than a capital investment they would not be able to fully depreciate in a timely manner. The business then has a purchase option at lease end that can be exercised. It's not geared to the consumer, but to businesses as a financial resource rather than depleting their crdit line with capital purchases.

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Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 8:52 p.m.

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