Power of Technology
Goshawk Aviation Limited
Trish Smith, Operations
Rapid expansion drives full suite of technology solutions at Goshawk
Headquartered in Dublin, Goshawk Aviation Limited (Goshawk) was established in November 2013 as an aircraft
leasing platform focused on building an asset portfolio of young, new technology aircraft with a large and diversified
asset-type and operator base. The company is owned by Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited and NWS Holdings
Limited and currently has a committed portfolio of 112 aircraft worth approximately US$5.7bn.
Goshawk was established by Investec Aviation Finance so the
company relied on Investec’s infrastructure (systems, teams,
processes) for the management of its portfolio initially. In the last
quarter of 2015, Goshawk began to engage in building its own
platform to support its growth into a global top-tier aircraft leasing
business, and the challenge was to create a platform that supported
treasury, accounting, banking and contract management activities.
The primary focus was on creating a solution that was flexible
Challenges arose from:
The scope of the project – sourcing and implementing four
systems, ensuring that they all delivered on time and interfaced
– brought challenges.
A timeline that all system vendors had flagged as very ambitious.
Limited resources – a small project team led the operations project.
Transitioning the information and support activities from Investec
to Goshawk required significant due diligence, planning
Ongoing business-as-usual, with the demands of a business in
growth mode in terms of additional aircraft and variety of
The volume and timing of account openings for 110 entities and
over 250 accounts (KYC and documentation requirements,
across a range of jurisdictions).
The importance of ensuring the company continued to deliver a
first-class service to their clients and to meet all their obligations
under all of their financings.
The technical solution comprises two complementary host-to-host
connections using SWIFT MT940 and XML camt.053 formats. They
now have real-time visibility to their accounts and on-boarded the
payroll processing from a local bank to Citi using a dedicated
host-to-host connection to ensure confidentiality and bulk debit
processing to mask transactions on the account statement.
They implemented an interface between Bloomberg and IT2 and
receive daily rates into their TMS, which are used to reset their loans
and interest rate swaps and feed into their projected interest
The interface between Leasepoint, the lease management system,
and SunSystems, facilitates a full file import directly into Sun, without
the need for any manual intervention.
Like the majority of aircraft leasing companies Goshawk is a
predominantly USD-based company, however they do have cross-
currency requirements. It had not been desirable to maintain multiple
local currency accounts for a small volume of transactions so they are
now leveraging Citi’s cross-currency solution which allows them to
process non-USD transactions via CitiDirect from their TMS via the
Best practice and innovation
They selected, developed, tested, populated, validated and
implemented an entirely new IT platform and integrated system
infrastructure in less than 12 months. Goshawk was also growing its
portfolio (by 60 aircraft over the last two years), and are now
operating at a level where incoming and outgoing cash flows total
more than US$45m per month.
Goshawk was also busy raising finance. In 2H16 alone, they closed a
US$345m unsecured revolving credit facility, debuted in the capital
markets with a US$231m US Private Placement and completed an
unsecured US$95m Schuldschein issuance; Goshawk is the first
aircraft leasing company and the first Irish company to access the
Trish Smith, Operations comments, “Not only did we implement a set
of systems that could service our existing business needs, we were
also adapting our systems simultaneously to our ever-changing
requirements as our underlying business evolved.”
Trish Smith, Kelli-Ann Sweeney, Edel Brennan, Miriam Brosnan and Elaine Ward-Bopp,
Goshawk Aviation Limited and David Nugent, CitiWinner video interview 16 | treasurytoday Adam Smith Awards © August 2017