Jeffrey Werner, treasurer of GECC between 1988 and November 2001, was not one to mince his words. It was at a Euromoney conference in 1992 that the ex-Navy man and Harvard graduate laid down the law to investment bankers. "It is my job to fund our assets as cheaply as possible," he reminded his audience. "It is not my job to provide liquidity in markets. It is not my job to develop the market in Europe... And finally it is not my job to provide investment bankers with vacation villas and BMWs."
As treasurer of a triple-A rated borrower officially categorised as a corporate, Werner could afford to dictate terms, but although a demanding and uncompromising borrower, he was widely respected for being scrupulously fair.
He was also one of the most prolific and inventive users of the CP and MTN market in the 1980s and 1990s. Indeed, one banker was quoted in 1996 as describing GECC as "better than the World Bank" as a borrower. High praise indeed for an issuer that had sometimes looked parochial before Werner's arrival.