Jetrader - Spring 2017 - 10
Partner, HH Kapital BV
By Cody Smith
ISTAT has selected Klaus Heinemann, partner, HH Kapital BV, as the recipient of the 2017
ISTAT Award. The ISTAT Award is the most distinguished honor in the aviation industry,
and was created in 2001 to recognize individuals who have made lasting contributions to
the industry over a significant period of time. The award is bestowed annually at the ISTAT
America's President's Gala Dinner. Jetrader spoke with Heinemann about his history in the
industry and his views on the latest trends affecting aviation.
Jetrader: Congratulations for being honored with the ISTAT Award. You have a
rich history in the industry, including
positions as CEO of AerCap Holdings N.V.,
member of the Executive Board at DVB
Bank and more. How did you manage to
reap so much success in the industry,
and what draws you to the industry to
Klaus Heinemann: I have been blessed
with finding incredible colleagues during my
entire career; they would work with me in
various positions and challenges over the
years, and all of them have subsequently
made great careers in their own right in our
aviation world. What has always drawn me to
this industry are the amazing leaders that I
am so honored to have met who have pioneered our industry with equal portions of
soul, bravery and foresight. Many of them
have received this ISTAT Award before, and I
am truly blessed to join this award with them.
JT: You got your start working at Bank of
America in 1976 in the Aviation Finance
department in Europe. What influenced
your career trajectory to pursue more
concentrated aviation companies?
KH: Well, I did get started with Bank
of America, that is correct, but I started
as a simple post-graduate trainee in
San Francisco, then moved up to BofA head
office and later also trained in Germany
and London from 1976 to 1978. I first
got involved with aviation when BofA's
Los Angeles office asked me to assist
Lockheed Finance with the sales finance
of five Lockheed TriStars into LTU, which
merged much later with Air Berlin. I never
looked back, and in 1981 I established the
EMEA aviation finance division for BofA in
London, and in 1983 we arranged the firstever warehouse finance facility for Guinness
Peat Aviation in Shannon.
JT: Aircraft financing and leasing appears
to be your passion. When did you decide
that would define your career path?
KH: I suppose meeting GPA and their
incredible management team under the
late Tony Ryan's leadership, all of them
JT: You retired from AerCap in 2011 and
have since become a partner in private
investment and holding group HH Kapital
Group. What were your reasons for leaving AerCap and starting this group?
KH: I love building new businesses, but
once building a new business is done, I
sometimes get bored. Also, Gus Kelly, who
I promoted very early in his career, was ready
to take over, and I knew then that he would
be an incredible new leader for AerCap, as he
has proven many times over by now.
JT: You've been members of various
boards, including the Board of the ISTAT
Foundation and currently the Board of
Directors for Finnair. How does being
a board member operate similarly and
differently from your day job?
KH: First of all, it allows me to stay
within the aviation world, and second, it
allows me to do what I do best: refocusing
businesses and choosing the right people
to execute that change process.
Klaus Heinemann entered the aviation world when Bank of America's Los Angeles branch
requested his help to work with Lockheed Finance to finance the sale of five Lockheed
L-1011 TriStars, pictured above.
10 The official publication of the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading