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CDB Aviation Details Executive Leadership Transition


Jie Chen Appointed as Lessor’s New Chief Executive Officer

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#CDBAviation–CDB Aviation, a wholly owned Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co., Limited (“CDB Leasing”), announced that the Board of Directors selected Jie Chen to become the company’s new Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”).

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Mr. Chen will take the helm in early January 2023, replacing Patrick Hannigan whose retirement caps six years of leading the evolution of CDB Aviation into a globally positioned top-tier lessor. The announcement is the culmination of a planned transition that will ensure a smooth leadership changeover and lay a re-energized foundation for the lessor’s next phase of growth.

“The Board and I are thrilled that Mr. Chen has elected to take on the important role of leading the exciting next stage of the platform’s development – this is an opportune moment for CDB Aviation to drive its growth momentum with the industry recovery in full swing,” commented Madam Hong Ma, Chairperson of CDB Leasing, the lessor’s shareholder. “We are highly confident that Mr. Chen will steer the organization successfully into the future, and we look forward to providing the support and resources that the talented leaders and colleagues of CDB Aviation will require to continue their efforts.”

Deploying more than three decades of exemplary aviation industry experience, Mr. Chen’s immediate focus will be on advancing collaboration with the lessor’s airline customers, shareholder, and other stakeholders to support the industry recovery while building on the team’s strong relationships and the strength of its full-service, global platform to capitalize on emergent market opportunities.

“I am honored to be given the opportunity to lead CDB Aviation and its remarkable team in advancing the company’s long-term vision, building on a strong track record of business performance and market success, while leveraging the unique capabilities and resources of our shareholder,” said CDB Aviation Chief Executive Officer Jie Chen. “With the industry’s rapidly evolving requirements, especially in the area of sustainability, our path forward will focus on delivering innovativeness and stewardship that meet the changing needs of the global airline sector and generate industry-leading shareholder value.”

Mr. Chen joins CDB Aviation from Air Lease Corporation (“ALC”), where he served as Executive Vice President, Managing Director of Asia and President of ALC Hong Kong, leading commercial and sales efforts in Asia, which included the execution of the company’s long-term strategy and the development of new and existing markets in the region. Prior to ALC, Mr. Chen worked at International Lease Finance Corporation (“ILFC”), serving most recently as Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Asia, leading ILFC’s sales and marketing activities across Asia Pacific. Mr. Chen started his aviation career as a project manager in the leasing division of China International Trust & Investment Corporation (“CITIC”). He holds a Master of Science degree in Management from the State University of New York.

“On behalf of the Board and the entire company, I’d also like to thank Pat for his immeasurable contributions over the past years,” added Madam Hong Ma. “Pat has proven to be a thoughtful and dedicated leader, whose unfettered determination and commitment to excellence will remain at the core of the business.”

Outgoing Chief Executive Officer Patrick Hannigan summed up his tenure with the company by expressing that “it has been a great pleasure to have worked with the industry’s best-in-class team in establishing CDB Aviation as a leading global lessor with an increasingly influential role in the marketplace. I am thankful for the opportunity and confidently leave the company in the capable hands of Mr. Chen and the execution-driven team to lead CDB Aviation into the future.”

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements, beliefs or opinions, including with respect to CDB Aviation’s business, financial condition, results of operations or plans. CDB Aviation cautions readers that no forward-looking statement is a guarantee of future performance and that actual results or other financial condition or performance measures could differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate only to historical or current facts. Forward-looking statements sometimes use words such as “may”, “will”, “seek”, “continue”, “aim”, “anticipate”, “target”, “projected”, “expect”, “estimate”, “intend”, “plan”, “goal”, “believe”, “achieve” or other terminology or words of similar or analogous meaning. These statements are based on the current beliefs and expectations of CDB Aviation’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Accordingly, you should not rely upon forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results and we do not assume any responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of any of these forward-looking statements. Except as required by applicable law, we do not undertake any obligation to, and will not, update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About CDB Aviation

CDB Aviation is a wholly owned Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co., Limited (“CDB Leasing”), a 37-year-old Chinese leasing company that is backed mainly by the China Development Bank. CDB Aviation is rated Investment Grade by Moody’s (A2), S&P Global (A), and Fitch (A+). China Development Bank is under the direct jurisdiction of the State Council of China and is the world’s largest development finance institution. It is also the largest Chinese bank for foreign investment and financing cooperation, long-term lending and bond issuance, enjoying Chinese sovereign credit rating.

CDB Leasing is the only leasing arm of the China Development Bank and a leading company in China’s leasing industry that has been engaged in aircraft, infrastructure, ship, commercial vehicle and construction machinery leasing and enjoys a Chinese sovereign credit rating. It took an important step in July 2016 to globalize and marketize its business – listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX STOCK CODE: 1606).


Paul Thibeau
+1 612 594 9844

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