• A New Economy (1986 - 2008)

    The 1980s brought a new era of business innovation, while the 1990s brought sweeping technological change. With unprecedented productivity came opportunities to prosper and build. CIT was there to help businesses and consumers make the most of them.

    Doing More With Less

    The new economy was global, service-oriented and demanding as computers, fax machines and cell phones helped establish a 24-7 business climate. Its capital was not bricks-and-mortar but talent and ideas. It rewarded leanness, "doing more with less." CIT did all of this, and more.

    After transferring its $1.35 billion consumer loan portfolio to Manufacturers Hanover Trust Corporation (MHC) in 1986, CIT focused exclusively on business clients. That year, the company's diversified operations helped it weather a collapse in energy - related sectors of the economy, but 1987 brought growing pains. After an earnings drop of $96.6 million the company sold its mobile home finance business in the Southwest and reduced its workforce by 10 percent. Under CEO Albert R. Gamper, Jr., CIT turned itself around, and in 1989 parent MHC sold a 60 percent majority interest in CIT to Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank, Limited of Japan (DKB), a move that reflected major shifts in the global economy.

    Around the World

    In 1991, CIT acquisition of Fidelcor Business Credit Corporation greatly increased CIT small business service capabilities. Next year, after six years away from the personal consumer market, CIT opened 15 new offices in seven states to provide home equity mortgages, and started a 10-year streak of record-high earnings.

    In 1997, CIT held an IPO, was re-listed on the NYSE and posted earnings past the $300 million mark for the first time in its history. The next year CIT achieved majority public control from DKB, and at the close of the decade its acquisition of Newcourt Credit Group extended its financing reach around the globe. In 1998 and 1999, CIT topped Information Week's list of leading technology innovators, and in 2000 it appeared on Fortune's list of "America's Most Admired Companies."

    In the new century, CIT survived a brief acquisition by the ill-fated Tyco Corporation and became 100 percent publicly owned in 2002. Following Al Gamper's retirement in 2004, new CEO Jeffrey M. Peek worked to maximize CIT cross-marketing potential while reorganizing along industry-focused, rather than product-focused, lines. That September, CIT purchase of CitiCapital's vendor financing business in Germany was the company's first European acquisition. Its subsequent acquisition of the UK and German vendor financing businesses of Barclay's Bank greatly increased its international capabilities, as did its purchase of two Chinese equipment leasing companies.

    Power of Imagination

    In 2006, CEO Peek and NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg officially open The CIT Building, a new, 28-story, glass-encased tower building at 505 Fifth Avenue, in which CIT now housed its headquarters. At the opening, Peek pledged $10 million dollars over the next four years to support New York charitable and cultural activities.

    At home, CIT financing of a sports arena in New Jersey and a 15-film arrangement with Dark Castle Entertainment expressed the company's new range and flexibility. CIT emphasis on such assets as talent, creativity and service capability to 1 million clients across 30 industries globally gave further evidence of the company's highly tuned resonance with the new economy.