Stephen Lyons has over 30 years’ experience of aviation finance and investment banking with a successful track record of closing large and complex aircraft financing and leasing transactions. He has covered aviation finance from many positions including aircraft leasing, asset-based finance, structured finance as well as fixed income capital markets and airline equity investments. He has acted as a principal and as an advisor to airlines and other stakeholders.
Stephen started his aviation finance career working for large international banks including Barclays Bank, Industrial Bank of Japan (now Mizuho Financial Group) and Mitsubishi Bank (now BTMU) before joining Spectrum Capital, a boutique aviation investment and advisory firm where he was involved in airline consulting, structuring and arranging aircraft financings, private placements and syndication of debt, tax lease equity investments and other financial products to banks, leasing companies and insurance companies.
He left Spectrum to join ORIX, the Japanese/Irish aircraft lessor where he was Head of its European Investment Banking operations, responsible for developing new business streams and new product development including structured finance, distressed debt, third party aircraft asset management, corporate acquisitions and joint ventures. He left ORIX and move to the USA where he worked for Libertas Partners, a fixed income broker/dealer, trading distressed and high yield capital markets products including Aircraft and Asset Backed Securities and aircraft leases.
On his return to the UK, Stephen established SkySolutions, an aviation consultancy company, which he founded in conjunction with partners in the USA. SkySolutions was involved in numerous projects including procurement and sales of aircraft on behalf of clients, arranging aircraft finance and leasing and assisting clients to develop business plans to raise investment capital. He also provided expert witness testimony in a complex aviation litigation case.
He later joined easyGroup, the family office of Stelios Haji Ioannou, the founder of easyJet and a major investor in airlines and the travel and leisure sector. He worked directly with Stelios and was instrumental in the foundation of Fastjet, the low-cost carrier based in Africa.
Stephen formed SilverNote a multi-disciplined boutique Shariah aviation investment and advisory firm, together with Fahad AlSemari, a prominent Saudi Banker in early 2018. SilverNote is in the process of establishing Saif Fund, a Shariah Aircraft Investment Fund with investors in the Middle East. They also provide advisory services to airlines and investors covering procurement and sale of aircraft, aircraft financing and leasing, general funding, technical services and strategy.
Stephen is a British National and Graduate of Bristol University. He is married with two grown-up children.