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Executive Spotlight: Alex Kerschen
Chief Executive Officer, SLI


Alex Kerschen is a seasoned business leader with a distinguished career that spans more than three decades in the financial and investment sectors. 
As the CEO of Space Leasing International (SLI), Kerschen brings a wealth of expertise and insights to the company, driving its success in the space asset value chain. 
Previously, Kerschen held leadership roles at many global financial companies and most recently, was a managing partner at Atlantic Alliance Ltd. Kerschen has also worked for SEI Investments, BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Citibank.
He holds an MS in Finance from the London Business School and a degree in Economics from Universidad Catolica Argentina.

Mr. Kerschen, would you please expand on SLI’s mission and the company’s purchase and leasing solutions?

Alex Kerschen
SLI is an aerospace subsidiary of Libra Group, a global business group with 30 operating entities that involves 20 businesses that is focused on various sectors, such as aerospace, renewable energy, maritime, real estate, hospitality, and diversified investments.

SLI, specifically, owns and leases assets that are critical to the space industry. Through our refreshed approach to buying and leasing these extremely capital-intensive space assets, we aim to provide an alternative to ownership, to operators of space related assets; and to assist manufacturers to reach a broader spectrum of clients. Ultimately, we are dedicated to our vision of accelerating the space industry, bringing our forward-thinking and expert-driven insights to innovate in a perpetually changing industry.

The structure of our business model is rooted in purchasing space assets in the ground segment, on-orbit and in the launch sector and leasing those assets to operators. We also focus on sale and lease back as a way for our clients to release capital.

Breaking into the frontier of space bolsters the economy beyond the stratosphere as well as enables everyday Earthly activities to carry on smoothly. We pride ourselves in being an essential part of the value chain that grants different parties within this complex buying and leasing process with what they need to thrive in an industry that often is preventative due to cost and access. 

Through every step of this process, we are prioritizing consumers’ unique needs by effectively scaling and innovating traditional leasing solutions, so those with ambitions to make a true impact in the evolving space industry can do so with ease. 

You mentioned that SLI is a subsidiary of Libra Group. Considering Libra Group’s long track record, why is there now a need for SLI’s solutions?  

Alex Kerschen
As a part of Libra Group, we have the opportunity to bring Libra’s strong history of success in leasing aircraft, marine craft and renewable energy assets to space. We understand leasing, inside and out. Over the years, we have also developed an international framework that extends its reach throughout 60 different countries. With this widespread influence, we have the ability to create a positive impact on the world and are able to reimagine the future of the space economy.

Embracing our reputation in the industry, we saw a need within the space economy for further advancements in leasing models. We believe we may be the first to offer a truly, viable solution.

A New Frontier

Space is a new frontier where we can continue to refresh our assets — our offerings and capabilities reflect the assets of the future. Libra Group has executed a similar model with helicopter leasing for the company’s aviation subsidiary, LCI. Now, we own the largest, privately

We are committed to excellence, and space is no exception. When assessing the current state of the space industry, my colleagues and I could not ignore the fact that the rapidly growing demand for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites and Geosynchronous Equatorial Orbit (GEO) satellites was met with a stark absence of more flexible satellite models for reasonable prices. Transferring our strengths into space leasing is the next step in our work that constantly adapts and advances such a dynamic and exhilarating industry.

What other gaps or obstacles do you currently see in the space economy? 

Alex Kerschen
As I previously stated, satellites and other space technologies are expensive to own and operate, especially for smaller organizations or startups that are attempting to break into the industry for the first time. While less prominent companies are vying for a seat at the table, major players in the commercial space industry have the capital to stake their claims on business opportunities more easily.

We believe that companies of all sizes deserve a chance at achieving success in space; therefore, a leasing company such as SLI offers payment options and terms that spread the cost out over time, avoid large upfront expenses and place the power back in the consumer’s hands. 

What impact will SLI have on industry-wide collaboration? 

Alex Kerschen
Collaboration is foundation of how SLI functions. At the core of our mission, we work to break down barriers to entry and unlock new opportunities for growth and development. Our global corporation is comprised of passionate and highly distinguished individuals who all value the importance of innovating for the next generation. This forward-looking approach to space leasing requires forging new connections and partnerships to strengthen the space economy together.

SLI’s position on a value chain is between the manufacturer and operator of space assets, so we are often invisible to the ultimate end user. Since our customer base is threefold, we are connecting businesses from various areas within the space economy. Whether it’s the manufacturer, or operator, we play a key part in connecting these parties to innovate. Our solutions are aimed at creating a strong ecosystem of companies that create products needed to reach the vast potential of the global space economy.

How do you measure the success of your innovations? 

Alex Kerschen
In order to push the limits of what is possible, we hold ourselves to a high standard when it comes to achieving success. Of course, one can measure success by dollar amounts, but our mission is more than that; we strive to operate our business with integrity by being responsible stewards of innovation.

As the world’s first dedicated, space leasing company, we bear the responsibility of setting the bar for excellence in space. We are innovators at our core and maintaining the image requires relentless passion and dedication to advancing cross-sector efforts for human advancement. The space industry is burgeoning, so we owe our customers and collaborators, current and future, to continue to innovate our capabilities. 

What should be kept in mind as more businesses venture into the space economy?

Alex Kerschen
As the space economy is ever-evolving, predicting exactly what the future holds for such a fruitful market is difficult. Staying competitive and taking your business to the next level means thinking about how to optimize assets and adapt to change with resilience and vigor.