The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) has appointed Neil Cunningham as its new vice-chairman. Cunningham has been general manager at Hertz UK since 1998. He has over 25 years of experience in the vehicle rental industry, and was responsible for Hertz’s entry into the car sharing market in 2008.
The association has also appointed four new vice-chairmen to its member committees.
Elliot Lennick, CEO of MAN Financial Services, is the new vice-chairman of the BVRLA Commercial Vehicle Committee. Martin Brown, MD of Fleet Alliance, is the new vice-chairman for the BVRLA Leasing Broker Committee. Simon Oliphant, CEO of Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions, will cover the same role for the Leasing and Fleet Management Committee, and Alison Chadwick, director of regional operations for Thrifty Car and Van Rental, will be the BVRLA’s new vice-chairman for the Rental Committee.
Global SME financier CIT has appointed Robert Rowe as its new credit chief officer. His responsibilities will include setting credit policy and overseeing CIT’s workout and special assets function. Prior to joining CIT, he was senior credit officer for commercial banking at FirstMerit Bank and before that he was chief credit officer of National City Bank.
UK test equipment leasing company Microlease has appointed David Whitfield as its new head of sales. Whitfield joins from leadership consultancy Outsoar, where he has been a director since 2003. Prior to that, he worked as an electronics engineer with Rohde & Schwarz, working in the UK as well as Germany. Microlease MD Nigel Brown said that Whitfield is “the perfect candidate to take Microlease up to the next level”. The lessor, which is the preferred rental partner of Agilent, is now organised into three business divisions: rental, under Paul McCloskey; asset management, under Bill Coley; and equipment sales under Whitfield.
Fineline Media Finance
Fineline Media Finance, part of the Five Arrows Leasing Group, has expanded its team with three new hires as it plans further expansion in the media industry finance sector. Sam Baker becomes Fineline’s new sales executive. Her experience includes nine years with reseller Top-Teks Ltd as well as a role at Siemens Financial Services.
Garry Pearce is Fineline’s new credit manager. Prior to joining Fineline, he worked with Deutsche Leasing, and before that, he worked for BMW Financial Services. Donna Sharpe will oversee the back-office requirements of Fineline’s captive supplier finance programmes. She previously worked as credit analyst with SGB Services Ltd.
Bibby Financial Services
Cash-flow funding specialist Bibby Financial Services has strengthened its focus on the Asia-Pacific region with the appointment of Ian Watson as CEO for the region. Watson’s focus will be to “capitalise on potential opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses presented by the weak pound and increase trade flows across the world”, the company said in a statement.
ING Car Lease France
Olivier Monot has been appointed as the new general director of ING Car Lease France. Monot, who previously was general director at DCS Fleet, a subsidiary of Daimler-Chrysler Financial Services, replaces Marion Van de Guchte. Prior to heading DCS Fleet in 2006, he worked for Mercedes-Benz Charter Way. He joined DaimlerChrysler France in 2001 as credit manager for the company’s financial services division.
HPI Finance Gateway
HPI Finance Gateway has appointed Michelle Morgan as its support team manager. Morgan has over 10 years of experience in the financial services sector, and in her new role she will be responsible for increasing acceptance rates and paid out deals.
The HPI Finance Gateway team – which has recently gained Specialist Automotive Finance (SAF) approved status with the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) – now includes James Edwards as sales operations manager, Darren Greenyer as operations manager, as well as Morgan and the account managers
LCV rental specialist Northgate has appointed finance director Bob Contreras as its new CEO with immediate effect. Contreras has been working at Northgate since June 2008, and made a “significant contribution to the Group’s debt refinancing and Placing and Rights Issue in 2009”, the company said in a statement. He will now focus on “implementing a fundamental reorganisation of the UK business”. The company’s deputy CEO Paul Tallentire is leaving with immediate effect.
Northgate chairman Bob Mackenzie said: “I am delighted that Bob has accepted the role of CEO following his excellent work as group finance director over the last two years. I wish to thank Paul on behalf of the Board for his contribution to the Group since November 2008.” An announcement in relation to the appointment of a new finance director will be made in due course, the company added.
Manheim Auctions has strengthened its management team with the appointment of new auction managers for its Birmingham, Bruntingthorpe and Glasgow outlets. Steve Hanna, who has worked for Manheim for six years, including as auction centre manager at Coventry, is due to move to Birmingham. Zaiga Jinkinson, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the vehicle auction industry, will head up the team at Bruntingthorpe. Pat McInally, who joins from Central Car Auctions, will run the Manheim business in Glasgow.
GE Capital has appointed Alan Austin as regional director, covering London and the South. He will be based in London and will be responsible for growing the asset based lending business. His previous experiences include positions with KBC Business Capital, Landsbanki, Enterprise Finance Europe and Lloyds TSB. He will report to Jon Hughes, GE Capital’s business development director for London and the South East.
Société Générale subsidiary ECS UK has hired a new risk administrator.
Danielle Gonsalves joins the technology lessor from Aldermore Bank, where she was a financial executive.
ECS UK also recently took up provision of maintenance and other services to its customers, in line with a trend mirrored across Europe among IT lessors aiming to provide ‘solution’-based finance models. As of April this year, almost a third of the company’s 12,000 business clients had taken up maintenance inclusive contracts. (see Green light for growth for an update on IT leasing.)
Cardiff-based car and van finance company Carlyle Finance has appointed Dan Cholewinski as its national account manager. He takes up the new role after three years in the Carlyle business. The appointment follows Carlyle’s sales growth last year – and is part of an increased national sales team.
He said: “I am sure that with our unique products and service proposition we will succeed in winning more dealer relationships and supporting profitable growth.”
British Car Auctions
Steve Paine has returned to British Car Auctions (BCA) Blackbushe centre to resume his position as sales manager, after a secondment to BCA’s Birmingham centre.
Paine’s returning role includes responsibility for further developing LCV sales at Blackbushe, which has a dedicated van sale every week. BCA’s commercial sales general manager Duncan Ward said: “We are delighted to have Steve back at Blackbushe and fully committed to developing our LCV sales programme. His experience and market knowledge will be vital as we grow the commercial sales portfolio at Blackbushe.”
Yorkshire-based lessor Bluestone Leasing has taken on Mark Johnston as regional development manager.
Johnston leaves his previous position as regional sales director at broker VRS Equipment Leasing.
Bluestone sales director Steve Russell said: “I think the background to Mark’s appointment is that, unusually in the sector, we are bullish about our business, prospective opportunities and indeed, the broader market.
“We feel we have consolidated and got through the recession in a healthy position.
“We wanted really to take some of the optimism forward and go ahead with recruitment plans.”
Johnston, he added, offered a “good combination of experience in the market and geographical expertise”.
His role will be in the North West of England, where he will deal with Bluestone’s reprographic, security and vendor` partners.
Russell added: “Importantly for us, he fits the ethos and culture of the business. We have a fairly dynamic approach to how we do business and Mark ticked all the boxes.”
His appointment represents one ‘tranche’ of Bluestone’s wider recruitment drive across the UK.
“We have open arms to people with talent in the industry, looking to join one of the most successful, progressive intermediaries in the market,” Russell said.
Rania Pugh has left German lessor Grenke Leasing for a position at Xerox Finance.
She will take on the role of operations manager and will be responsible for managing the development of the ‘leasing operations strategy’.