Obituary An announcement from the Commercial Finance Association regarding Leonard Machlis


It is with great sadness that we share the passing of the CFA’s former executive director, Leonard Machlis. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Len’s family, including his wife Harriet, his sons Steven, Brian and Roger, and his daughters-in-law and grandchildren.

Len joined the CFA in 1955, after serving in the US army during the Korean War. He was the executive director for 38 years, retiring in 2002. After retiring, Len and Harriet moved from New Jersey to New York City and enjoyed all of the cultural events NYC has to offer, especially the theatre.

If one person can make a difference, Len made that difference. Under his leadership and vision the CFA grew from a small regional finance association into an international trade association representing the full gamut of financial institutions.

He lived and breathed the CFA during his career, and he travelled the country unceasingly in furtherance of the CFA’s goals. Along the way he touched the lives of so many of our members and staff. Len was one of a kind, and will be greatly missed. 

Business Money group editor Robert Lefroy said: “The pre-2008 banking crisis days saw many more Brits crossing the pond to attend CFA Annual Conventions and Len Machlis typified the warm hand of friendship that was extended to us all.

“I recall one year when my wife was the only visitor from England on the spouse programme. The Machlis family took Iris under their wing and cared for her as one of their own.

“Truly it may be said that Len leaves a sound legacy in the CFA we see today, and I know that many in the UK will join me in offering our sympathy to the Machlis family on their loss.”