Executive Profile: Steven Udvar-Hazy

Steven Udvar-Hazy Net Worth:

3.9 Billion USD

Steven Udvar-Hazy did not start out as a billionaire; it was something that he built up to over years of hard work and dedication. The Hungarian native got his start while attending the UCLA in California when he founded the Airlines Systems Research Consultants, and then just a few years later he started the International Lease Finance Corporation, or ILFC, leasing latest-technology jet aircraft to airline companies unable to afford the total cost to purchase the plane themselves. It turned out to be more than just a company; it became the future of the industry.

Udvar-Hazy started the company with two partners and a 1.7 million-dollar bank loan. Over thirty years later, it is now the largest customer of Boeing and Airbus, is owned by AIG, and generates millions of dollars in profits. Despite rumors of retirement, Udvar-Hazy has decided that he is still too restless, and founded a similar company last year, known as the Air Lease Corporation, or ALC.

Udvar-Hazy now makes the list as one of the top 400 richest Americans. How did he amass such a large fortune? Much of it was simply good business sense, in knowing how to run a business well. There are, however, other key factors involved, and by examining his choices it is possible to gain an understanding of how others might achieve the same success.

Seize the opportunity

Steve Udvar-Hazy saw the gap that was beginning to form in the industry due to the advancement of technology. The new jet-propelled planes were a costly upgrade from the former propeller aircraft, and airline companies could not afford the production costs. Udvar-Hazy cashed in on this, seeing it for the opportunity it was. The gap became the founding basis for the ILFC. Success is in seeing a problem, and rising to meet that need.

Keep your knowledge updated

Steve didn’t simply start the company and let it go. Throughout his career, he continually updated himself on the newest jets, even going so far as to training for a pilot’s license to be certified in the same airplanes which he leased. As technology continued to advance, he ensured that his company was kept level with the rising industry, being not only equipped but knowledgeable in the latest innovations. In this fast-paced world, it is vital to maintain a complete understanding

Taking Risks

Udvar-Hazy took a major leap when he founded the ALC in the middle of an economic crisis, but the action came as no surprise to those who knew his reputation. Steve was not afraid to take a risk and make a decision against the odds. This fearlessness has allowed him to seize an opportunity while others called it foolishness. The result? It is sufficient to say that he now has an estimated wealth of over 2 billion.


When he contemplated retirement, Udvar-Hazy knew that he would miss his work. It was this passion that has kept him on not only now, but through difficult times as well, such as in 2008, when the future was questioned.

Next, you should check out our latest post on how to become a billionaire.

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About the author

Brian Meiggs
Brian Meiggs
Brian is the chief editor of Finance Write and is a personal finance expert who has spent the last few years writing about how Millennials can make smarter money moves. He has been quoted in several online publications, including Yahoo! Finance, NASDAQ, MSN Money, AOL, Discover Bank, GOBankingRates, Student Loan Hero, Fit Small Business, Cheapism, SmartAsset, Bankrate, RISE Credit, AllBusiness, Cheddar, Commonbond, Niche, Rewire, Credit Donkey, Debt.com, and more. He uses the free Personal Capital app to manage his cash flow and net worth.


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