Maurice Salter is president and chief executive of MotoLease, a finance company that specializes in motorcycle leases.
Salter started MotoLease in 2010 after he and co-founder Emre Ucer, the chief operating officer at LoanAmerica, recognized that there was an opening in the powersports industry for full-spectrum motorcycle leasing.
Before joining the powersports industry, Salter was in the world of academia. He received his doctorate at University of California, Los Angeles, and worked at UC Irvine as director of grants and research. Additionally, he taught grantmaking at UCLA and the UC Irvine Graduate School of Administration at UC Irvine.
Salter gained experience in the business world by founding several companies, many of which specialized in student loans. These companies include Maurice M. Salter and Associates, which specialized in college advising for undergraduate, graduate, and professional school admission; XAP Company, which developed the first electronic college application; and School Loans Corporation Inc., which handled the development and management of the Bank of America private student loan program.
PSF recently talked with Salter about his company’s goals, the advice that helped him the most, and how he likes to spend his time outside of work. His edited responses follow.
Powersports Finance: What are your company’s goals in 10 words or less?
Maurice Salter: To provide innovative leadership in powersports finance and the industry.
PSF: What is the favorite piece of leadership advice you’ve received?
MS: If you make enough decisions, some of them are correct. I learned that phrase early. I found that in academe, people tend to become decision adverse. But I had a vice chancellor I reported to who was an innovator and just a wonderful guy. I always said, “What do you do here?” He said, “Make a decision.” I said, “What if it’s wrong?” And he answered, “Make enough of them, some of them will be correct.”
PSF: What do you think is the most underrated trend in lending practices?
MS: Data analytics. Because I believe that the financing of powersports vehicles, in fact, of any vehicles, will be more data-driven in the future than it is today.
PSF: What person has had the biggest influence on your career?
MS: Without any doubt, it was my UCLA doctoral dissertation advisor, Allan M. Cartter. I never had a mentor before, and he mentored me. He was very demanding but made me better for it. I learned how to do research, which I apply to everything I do. I learned how to approach people. He was an incredible human being. He had a big effect on me.
PSF: What’s your favorite hobby?
MS: I collect vintage cars. I wash all my own cars, wax them, drive them, enjoy them. I always look for new, different cars. I enjoy finding cars. As soon as I get one, I’m looking for the next one.
As of today, I have three. I just turned one in off a lease, but typically, I have four. I mostly lease cars, but I generally own Porsches because I don’t think Porsche leasing is attractive.
My favorite car was a 1965 Porsche 356SC Cabriolet. It was the last year they made what they call the bathtub model of Porsche. I restored it and got it pristine — show quality — and drove it for about 20 years before selling it.
I wish I still had it. I sold it because we went to a benefit at the Petersen Museum, the auto museum in Los Angeles. I drove it there and parked out front. After the event, I came back to the car, and somebody was waiting who made an offer for the car that I couldn’t turn down. Our daughter was getting married that year. The car actually helped pay for her wedding.