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Harnessing the

Power of Technology

Goshawk Aviation Limited

Dublin, Ireland

Trish Smith, Operations

Rapid expansion drives full suite of technology solutions at Goshawk

Company profile

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.

The challenge

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

and scalable.

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

and coordination.

Ongoing business-as-usual, with the demands of a business in

growth mode in terms of additional aircraft and variety of

financing sources.

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 solution

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

rate curve.

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

host-to-host connection.

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

Schuldschein market.

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, Citi

Winner video interview 16 | treasurytoday Adam Smith Awards © August 2017