15th June, 2023: LCI, a leading aviation company, has today announced the strengthening of its team with the appointment of Eric Kataoka as Chief Investment Officer (CIO), and the promotion of Nigel Leishman to Chief Commercial Officer (CCO). This follows the recent investment in LCI by Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Co., Ltd. (SMFL).

Kataoka was previously SMFL’s General Manager of Aviation Business Development. He has over 20 years’ experience in aviation, with major roles including Head of Aviation Business Development at Sumitomo Corporation. He will now be responsible for overseeing LCI’s investment activities, capital deployment and portfolio management.

Nigel Leishman was previously LCI’s Executive Vice President and Global Head of Marketing. Based in Singapore, he has been a part of the LCI team since 2008 and has more than 35 years’ experience in aviation. He will lead the company’s marketing and commercial teams, and develop a range of innovative leasing solutions designed for a new era of aviation.

Jaspal Jandu, CEO of LCI, said: “I am delighted with both of these announcements. Eric and Nigel bring extensive strength and depth to LCI’s senior executive team, and will play pivotal roles in the next chapter of our company’s development. I am confident that their proven leadership skills and respected industry relationships will add enormous value to our company, customers and partners.”

Eric Kataoka, CIO of LCI, said: “I look forward to working closely with the LCI team and our shareholders as we develop the business. My focus will be on developing an investment strategy and strengthening our processes, both of which will underpin innovative and sustainable growth.” 

Nigel Leishman, CCO of LCI, said: “We are entering a new era in aviation with rapid technological advances paving the way towards a more sustainable future. LCI has an integral role to play in this journey, and we will deliver the commercial and financial innovation to make this possible.”

SMFL and Libra Group plan to grow LCI’s business by US$1.5 billion over the coming years with significant capital investment by shareholders.

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About LCI

LCI is a leading aviation company that is uniquely positioned across the commercial fixed-wing, helicopter and advanced air mobility sectors. Since its inception in 2004, LCI has undertaken approximately US$10 billion of aviation transactions and provides leasing services to operators, Governments and end-users.

LCI is owned by Libra Group (, a privately-owned international business group whose subsidiaries own and operate assets in nearly 60 countries and Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Company, Limited (SMFL – For more information, visit

For more information, please contact: 

Charlie Hampton / Zahida Wiffen
Tel: +44 (0)7884 187297 

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