Leasing Industry Giant Sonny Monosson Passes Away
“Boston Financial & Equity Corporation (BFEC) was established in 1968 by Adolf F. ‘Sonny’ Monosson. Its purpose was to lease high technology equipment to unconventional credits.
“Thirty years later, BFEC still focuses on leasing capital equipment to "non-traditional" credits. These are companies from development stage to large, well established companies that have sustained losses in the past. In some situations we have even leased to very large companies in Chapter 11.
“In 1986, Quantum Computer Services, now known as America Online (AOL), came to Boston Financial & Equity.
“Corporation for equipment leasing. At the time they were a small company. They had raised $1,000,000 in equity funding; however, it was needed for purposes other than equipment. Boston Financial & Equity Corporation gave them a $750,000 equipment lease line and helped solve their immediate cash flow problem.
‘The majority of our clients are in the seed or emerging growth stage, and while they may not be generating revenues, they do have access to cash! Sources of their cash may be venture capitalists, angel investors, private placements, IPOs or the principals themselves. Our clients' money is very expensive because they are giving up equity. It is usually put to work for research and development and marketing purposes. . . . . . not capital equipment.”
Boston Globe News Report
Adolf Monosson Passes Away; established a market for computer leasing
By Martha Bartle
Adolf "Sonny" Monosson, who established a market for leased computers in the
United States and was known for his signature red bow ties and forward
thinking, died Friday at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
He was 76 and was managing his businesses until his death.
(Actually his daughter Deborah was managing the business.
(In a September 3,2003 interview, she said, “ Kit asked me if I miss my Father....he hasn't left. He's in work before me! He comes to the office everyday; .although I did give him Fridays off this summer!”
(In an April 2002 “Women in Leasing” for the Monitor, she named her father
as her mentor: “ Not just because he is my father, but because he’s started several successful businesses. He was not afraid to take risk, something he is still trying to teach me. He3 also was, and still is, not afraid to make changes and adapt to whatever the environment dictates. At 75, he is still looking into delving into a new business strategy for one of his companies.”
(Equipment Leasing Association President Michael Fleming said, “Sonny was truly unique and gave his company distinction. His observations of the marketplace and knowledge of business were always first rate. He could both provoke and support - he
was a leader!”)
A Boston native, Mr. Monosson graduated from Brookline High School where he
excelled in the sciences. At age 16, he enrolled at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology. His studies were interrupted when he served in the
Navy for two years.
Mr. Monosson graduated from MIT in 1948 and earned an MBA from Harvard
Business School in 1950. The day after classes ended, he married Gloria
Haskins, the daughter of a Brookline doctor, whom he had earlier lost a
chance to ask out in a coin toss with a friend. He asked her out anyway.
In his 20s, Mr. Monosson founded American Used Computers, the first such
business in the country. The business leased high-tech computer equipment to
His first client was NASA, which leased a DEC computer that delivered the
first pictures of Mars and Venus from space.
Mr. Monosson was always noticed for his eccentricities and intelligence,
said his daughter, Susan Kooper of Somerville. At a 1970 National Computer
Conference in Atlantic City, Mr. Monosson took an alternative approach to
sales. When most people were inside the conference, he was strolling along
the boardwalk wearing a sandwich board advertising his computers.
"I used to tell people, `I've got a great used computer for you,' and they'd
say, `A used what?' " Mr. Monosson recalled in a 1984 interview with Inc.
"He was not a very ordinary man," said another daughter, Debbie of
Cambridge. "He was very quirky and spoke his own mind."
But he was a serious business man who ran a finance company, which eventually
y grew into Boston Financial & Equity Corp. ( He was President o American Computer Group, Boston Financial & Equity Corporation, Monosson
Zero Stage Capital, Monosson Technology Enterprises.) He wrote a column for Digital
Review for several years and published the newsletter Monosson on DEC,
becoming an authority on Digital Equipment Corp. Mr. Monosson enjoyed taking
his family skiing and hiking.
Kooper recalled a time the family had gone skiing and her aunt was
bewildered one morning to find the usually raucous children eating breakfast
in silence. She soon realized that Mr. Monosson had fed them chocolate cake,
ice cream, and ginger ale.
"He was a great father," Monosson said. "He was tough, but kind, and brought
us all up to think independently."
(Deborah Monosson said of her father, “He was a mentor to many people, his
current employees and was most proud to see former employees go on to excel
and flourish when they left his employ. He felt that he had accomplished
something when they left to move on. He never had a harsh word to say...but
he did speak his mind. If he believed in something, he had no trouble
Mr. Monosson was also devoted to his Japanese rock garden, converted from a
backyard swimming pool complete with steps and a waterfall. Several years
ago, he passed a few sickly cactus plants that garden store employees were
planning to throw out. Mr. Monosson offered to take the plants home and
nurse them back to health. The plants are now alive and well in Mr.
Monosson's home, Kooper said.
In addition to his wife and two daughters, he leaves two other daughters,
Judith Scherzer of Lexington and Emily of Montague; and four grandchildren.
A memorial service was held at Levine Chapels in Brookline..
Full Story on Sonny Monosson and How He Got Into Leasing