September 11, 2023

Lean on Mente Group

Lean on Mente Group

When Mente Group was formed in 2009, we recognized the need for an industry resource that would be “More Than Brokers” in the business jet market segment. We became acutely aware that an adequate end-to-end solution didn’t exist for planning, strategy, evaluation, negotiation, PPI oversight, and operational consulting – essentially from concept through eventual aircraft disposition years or decades later.  Mente Group changed all that, and along the way we added services like mentoring, safety, retention, best practices, and appraisals. Last year, with the creation of our sister company Four Corners Aviation, we added significant operational expertise with management, charter, charter arbitrage, and “Freedom”, our Corporate Jets as a Service (CJaaS) service offering.  We quickly became the powerful trusted advisor and solutions firm in the business aviation space, and a resource you can lean on for the entire life cycle of jet ownership and operation.

To emphasize this fact, we recently initiated “Lean on Mente” – a campaign designed to remind the industry that we’re much more than brokers. Have questions or hot buttons?  Here are just a few examples of the significant capabilities we can offer our clients:

Have a Property Tax Surprise?  We recently responded to a client who received a recurring annual property tax bill – this time based on a wildly over-inflated aircraft value. With minimum research and a comprehensive presentation created by Mente Group, the county quickly relented, reassessed the value, and reduced the bill by $30,000.  –Lean on Mente Group.

Worried about obsolescence in your cabin management equipment?  For some aircraft, it might be time to start thinking about what’s next. Baker, Audio International and older Honeywell systems face a looming sunset in support from manufacturers who may be long gone or absorbed by other firms. At some point a failed switch, button, or component will require hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair/replace.  Perhaps before that, the aircraft might even begin to experience the market effect of obsolescence in pricing. For buyers and sellers, we can square the values that owners see in the market or recover more value than the investment costs for upgrade.  –Lean on Mente Group.

Wondering how much longer the ProLine 4 or Primus screens will be supported?  None of us outside of Collins and Honeywell know for sure – but you can be assured that the music will stop. The same systems that ushered in the age of integrated avionics and powerful (then) Flight Management Systems are rapidly approaching end of economic and/or useful life. As with cabin management, market value of the aircraft will begin to see an effect. We can help head that off on either the buy side or sell side. –Lean on Mente Group.

Need to stay connected?  The Swift Broadband and Broadband Multilink systems that ushered-in Wi-Fi and worldwide connectivity in 2005 have now been replaced with far greater capability, speed, and coverage. ViaSat, Honeywell, SmartSky, and GoGo have created far more powerful systems that can and should be tailored to your aircraft and specific mission. Whether you’re trading up or improving what you have, we can help modernize, budget, plan, or add capability that didn’t exist just a few years ago. –Lean on Mente Group.

Considering interior refurb on a preowned aircraft?  The OEMs have been cranking-out airplanes at quite a pace for the past 20 years. This means a large percentage of the fleet’s interiors are two or three iterations behind in look, feel, contrast, and texture. In addition, changes in certification rules mean safety concerns might crop-up when either buying or selling your aircraft and those solutions can be costly. The entire industry seems like it’s working overtime to keep up with the demands to design, build and deliver the upgraded, updated interiors you need.  This takes careful planning and oversight – from concept to completion.  –Lean on Mente Group.

Acquiring a new aircraft?  Our long-time industry experts can help conceive, define, and oversee the completion of your new jet before the natural deadlines loom.  These days, OEMs are building furniture in disparate locations, which increases the need for oversight ahead of delivery even more. New $75M houses aren’t viewed and inspected on move-in day. Instead, being part of the design and build from the beginning ensures a successful delivery – and post-entry into service.  We’ll be there.  –Lean on Mente Group.

Is the phone ringing with “buyers” for your aircraft?  We all know the game: the caller announces they have a buyer (but they don’t), and then they’ll go try to find a buyer (that they can’t).  In the meantime, they have your airplane tied-up in an exclusive agreement when they start to underperform.  Instead, let Mente Group be the trusted resource you use for accurate, timely, updated values for your aircraft, and an overview of the aircraft against which yours would compete in the market.  When the phone rings, it’s a lot better to know if the caller really knows what your jet is worth.  -Lean on Mente Group.

Airplane too expensive?  Need to upgrade? Need to add capability? Need to move out of Fractional? Need depreciation?  One of the functions Mente Group brings to the industry is our considerable capabilities in Fleet Planning and Feasibility Studies.  Over a three-week timeframe, through an iterative process, we create a highly tailored, personalized, actionable plan that can be put into motion based on your needs and your data.  -Lean on Mente Group.

Buying or selling?  At Mente, our researchers sift through and verify incomprehensible amounts of market and industry data – all day, every day.  We know what’s active, we know the yield expected by the seller, and we know what’s not seriously for sale.  We know what’s pending and what’s sold.  We know the value drivers.  We know the broker.  We know the back story.  We know how to manage reputational risk and how to mitigate the threats.  We know what strategy will achieve the best results.  If you elect not to use a reputable broker/dealer, you’ll quickly feel as though you’re on one side of the table while the entire industry is on the other side kicking you in the shins.  Instead, partner with a broker who’s working for you for a fee, one who isn’t taking or paying money to undisclosed third parties, and one who is wired to return multiples of that fee back to you in the overall deal.  Otherwise, the broker is working for themselves, and you’ll pay more, or you’ll have a lower yield.  Obviously, all our dispositions are pre-owned aircraft – but last year half of our acquisitions were new aircraft from OEM backlog.  The toolkits we use for both are similar, but different.  –Lean on Mente Group.

What’s going on with your flight department?  At Mente Group, we’ve added the emerging, critical area of “retention” to our scan.  We know that if the four areas of importance to your crews are not acknowledged and addressed, you’ll lose them – often with staggering consequences on a continuum that goes from bad to worse.  Within a few minutes we can provide task-specific, regionalized compensation information as a start.  Or, within a few weeks, we can create a study that will help you retain the talent you need to operate safely.  –Lean on Mente Group.

Clearly, Mente Group is unique.  We’re broker/dealers -but- we are a lot more.  Lean on Mente Group for everything from concept to disposition.  We’re ready.


Jim Lewis

Senior Managing Director


503-291-1650 (Office)

503-550-5503 (Cell)

214-351-9595 (Dallas HQ)