The fifth edition of the Leasing Life Power 50 sees the industry vote for whom it believes are the greatest influencers and industry pioneers over the past year
This year 692 people cast between five and 10 votes for nearly 150 candidates across a 15-day voting period, resulting in a minimum of 3,460 votes cast.
The 50 people who gathered the most votes made the list, with the vast majority working for lessors. The second-largest category was advisers, including lawyers, consultants and accountancy firms.
Other entries consisted of brokers, trade association members and technology providers. Leasing Life would like to thank everyone who participated. All entries are listed alphabetically and not in ranking order.
Group deputy chief executive, ALD Automotive
Tim Albertsen has been deputy CEO of ALD Automotive since 2011. He has been active with the group since 1997, the year he joined Hertz Lease, which was acquired by the group in 2003. He was CEO from 2008 until 2011, and group senior vice-president from 2005 until 2008.
Prior to that, he was regional director for the group in the Nordic and Baltic Countries and general manager at Hertz Lease Denmark from 1997 until 2003. Previously he was general manager at Avis Leasing from 1995 until 1997 and operations manager at Avis Rent a Car from 1992 until 1995.
Managing director, LDF
Peter Alderson joined LDF as main 2012, while under Investec ownership. He has since overseen its rapid refocus and growth from a broker to a hybrid lender/broker, originating over £500m in 2017.
Alderson has 30 years’ experience in leasing and lending with Kleinwort Benson, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, alleasing and Investec, and has worked in the US, French and Australian markets.
He is a great advocate for change through technology in leasing, and has committed significant resources in LDF to develop customer solutions appropriate for today’s market.
Managing director – Asset finance, Santander UK
George Ashworth began his career with Barclays, before establishing IVM Finance in 1989. He then held roles at De Lage Landen, Lombard and Fortis, and returned to the UK in 2009 to establish Aldermore Bank’s asset finance operations.
Ashworth became MD of ABN Amro Lease UK in 2013, successfully reintroducing the Dutch franchise into the UK. He left to establish the commercial asset financing operations of Virgin Money. He is currently MD of Santander Asset Finance.
James Baird joined Gateley Plc as a partner in November 2007. Since then Gateley has converted from a limited legal partnership into a private limited company, in 2015.
James regularly advises at board level on large sensitive cases involving fraud or regulatory issues and provides clear and concise advice which is commercially and legally astute.
He has a reputation for straight talking and getting to the central issues of a case quickly, and providing strategies to achieve commercial outcomes in often the most complex of cases.
Chairman and chief executive officer, Arval
Philippe Bismut began his leasing career in 2002 as chief executive of Arval UK and then deputy MD of Arval. In October 2006, he was appointed CEO and chair of BNP Paribas Lease Group – today BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions. In January 2011, Bismut was appointed CEO of Arval, then also chair in June 2013.
His earlier career began in 1980 in the French civil service, and senior positions at Sagem, EDS, Logica Group and Canal+.
Chief executive officer, BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK
Jean-Michel Boyer succeeded Tristan Watkins as BNP’s UK leasing head after Watkins was promoted into the lessor’s US expansion programme.
Boyer has worked with the BNP Paribas group for over 30 years, starting in 1986 at UFB Locabail.
Boyer has held senior managerial, sales and business development positions. He joined the French division of BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions in 2009, before becoming general manager of BNP Paribas Rental Solutions Trucks in 2013.
Partner and head of Asset Finance, Shoosmiths
Melanie Chell has more than 16 years’ experience, with expertise in dealing with fraud and injunctive relief in relation to motor vehicles and other high-value assets, to include cross-border and out-of-jurisdiction recoveries.
Chell also specialises in title disputes, innocent-purchaser claims, satisfactory-quality disputes, liens, consumer credit issues and guarantee claims.
Managing director, Liberty Leasing
Allan Clegg joined Liberty Leasing in 2004, bringing with him 11 years experience within the Asset Finance industry. Allan is one of the original first four employees to start at Liberty and played an integral role within the growth of the business. By 2009 Allan was promoted to managing director and is responsible for the running of the business and its 50 employees.
Group director, business finance, Aldermore
A regular contributor to Leasing Life, Carl D’Ammassa joined UK challenger bank Aldermore in 2013. He made a significant contribution to the rapid growth of the bank’s asset finance division portfolio, which now stands in excess of £1bn. He is also responsible for invoice finance.
Prior to joining Aldermore, D’Ammassa held senior roles in Hitachi Capital and GE Capital. In June 2016, he was appointed chair of the board of directors at the Leasing Foundation.
Partner, head of asset, leasing and consumer finance, Locke Lord
Since joining Locke Lord LLP as partner and head of the firm’s asset, leasing and consumer finance division in the UK from DWF at the start of 2016, Joanne Davis has been a strong presence at asset finance events and conferences, as well as developing new clients in the FCA-regulated space. She assists clients and advises on matters such as asset and motor finance asset recoveries, finance litigation and dispute resolution.
Chief executive, Close Brothers Asset Finance and Leasing
With over 27 years’ sector experience Neil Davies joined Close Brothers in 2007 to establish its leasing business, and has overseen significant growth in its various divisions, including setting up Close Brothers’ technology services business and launching its German team.
Davies’s experience includes lease finance – both as intermediary and lessor – primarily in middle- and large-tickets transactions. He has also undertaken non-executive and executive roles in a number of companies, including a seed capital business.
Richard de Keijzer
UK managing director, ABN Amro Commercial Finance
Richard de Keijzer arrived in the UK in 2015 to grow the lease business for ABN Amro as part of the bank’s international growth strategy.
The team has since grown from 11 to 31 and the portfolio from £200m to over £700m.
De Keijzer was promoted to MD for commercial finance in 2017, and will be leading this in combination with lease in ABN Amro’s asset-based finance business in the UK.
Chief executive officer, BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions
Charlotte Dennery joined BNP Paribas Group in 2001. In 2004, she became head of finance and strategy at BNP Paribas Insurance Cardif, before joining BNP Paribas Investment Partners in 2009.
In October 2015, Dennery was appointed CEO of BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions, European leader in equipment finance with €28.8bn in assets under management and 3,000 employees operating in 22 countries.
Chief executive officer, Alfa
Andrew Denton is Alfa’s chief executive officer and leads the group. Denton joined the company in 1995 and became a member of the board in 2003 as sales and marketing director. He was made COO in 2014 and became CEO in September 2016.
Denton is also director and joint founder of the Leasing Foundation, an organisation that supports the leasing and asset finance industry through charitable activities, research and development.
President, D&D Leasing; Managing director, D&D Leasing UK
Dost started in asset finance over 20 years ago working for Fidelity Leasing. He founded D&D Leasing in Canada in 2000, to service entrepreneurial SMEs and expanded into the UK in 2009 when he opened D&D Leasing UK.
He has served on a number of boards, including as chair of the Asset Finance Professionals Association and President of the Toronto Chapter of the Entrepreneurs Organization, and was also appointed to the Canadian Regional Council and Global Governance Committee.
He is a board member of the Leasing Foundation, director for the FLA and member of the Global Membership Committee for the Entrepreneurs Organization. He is currently part of the audit committee for the FLA and the board for the Canadian Finance and Lease Association.
Marie-Christine Ducholet graduated from HEC and joined Société Générale in 1985. She held commercial functions before assuming leading positions in the bank’s corporate and investment banking division. In 2008, Ducholet was appointed co-head of strategic and acquisition finance worldwide. From 2011 to 2017 she was CEO of Société Générale Equipment Finance, and from 2012 a member of its group management committee.
Chief executive officer, 3 Step It
Carmen Ene was appointed CEO of 3 Step IT in 2015. Previously, Ene had a 20-year career at IBM where she set up and managed startup financing operations in South Africa, and in Central and Eastern Europe.
She has twice been nominated in the business category for the European Women of Achievement awards. Both inside and outside 3 Step IT she works to advance the cause of women and cultural diversity in industry.
Head of asset finance, FLA
Simon Goldie joined the Finance & Leasing Association as head of asset finance in May 2014. He is responsible for developing the division’s public policy work, including dealing with regulation, legislation and government initiatives. He has a particular interest in SME funding. Goldie has a public policy and communications background, having worked for bodies including the Chartered Institute of Taxation and the Association of Consultancy and Engineering.
Chief executive officer, Hitachi Capital
With over 30 years’ experience within the finance industry, Robert Gordon was appointed CEO for Hitachi Capital (UK) in April 2015, bringing with him an established record of leadership, profit growth and progression.
Since joining Hitachi as business finance MD in 2006, becoming group finance director in September 2006 and COO in June 2011, Gordon has steered the group’s direction with his expertise and commitment to the business.
Board chair, Grenke Leasing
Wolfgang Grenke founded independent lessor Grenke Leasing in 1978. He led the company in its international expansion – which now extends beyond Europe – and portfolio development. In 2009, Grenke acquired the Hamburger Privatbank Hesse Newman & Co., and continues to operate it as Grenke Bank, with Wolfgang Grenke on its supervisory board.
CEO and chair, Leaseplan
Tex Gunning became Leaseplan chief executive and chair in 2016. He began his career at Unilever, ending a 25-year stint there as business group president in Asia.
He was chief executive of Vedior, overseeing the acquisition of Randstad, and then MD at AkzoNobel between 2008 and 2013.
Prior to Leaseplan, Gunning was chief executive of TNT Express until 2016, having previously been on its supervisory board.
Head of Investec Asset Finance
Prior to joining Investec in April 2016, Andy Hart held a number of senior positions in the asset and consumer finance markets.
He has over 20 years’ experience and a proven track record of implementing market-leading technologies.
Previous roles include CEO, financial services at Shop Direct, one of the UK’s largest privately owned non-bank lenders, and MD of Lombard North Central, the UK’s largest asset finance company.
Managing director, Praetura Asset Finance
Mike Hartley has worked in financial services for over three decades, spending the last 20 years within the asset finance sector.
Hartley’s experience includes working as an underwriter, sales director and MD, building lending portfolios in excess of £60m for banks and finance houses in his last three roles.
Managing director, Tower Leasing
Howells joined the new business department of Tower Leasing straight after university. In November 2006, she was appointed commercial director and became MD in October 2012. Since Acuity Investment acquired the business in 2015, Howells has continued to grow the business and strengthened relationships with existing and potential clients.
Managing director, Virtual Lease Services
Louise Ikonomides is a founder of Virtual Lease Services, a servicing firm that helps new startups and leading financial institutions to combine the delivery of new lending products with effective and secure management of operational and portfolio risk.
Her clients include Tier 1 financial institutions, private equity houses and new entrants to the B2B and B2C lending spaces. After spending nearly two decades in asset finance and leasing, with additional specialist focus on consumer retail point-of-sale finance, Ikonomides is driven to bring innovation to the markets she serves.
Managing director, Lombard
Ian Isaac is MD at Lombard, where he has been responsible for the lessor’s sales and customer service for nearly three years.
Isaac has been involved with Lombard and RBS since 2005. He has held various senior roles including director of strategy for Lombard, head of strategy, marketing and communications, business and commercial banking, and then head of cash, cards and liquidity, transaction services at RBS.
Commercial director, Aldermore
Patrick Jelly joined Aldermore Bank in January 2017 as commercial director, asset finance, where he is responsible for the broker and vendor business.
He joined from Pitney Bowes Global Financial Services where he worked for 15 years, latterly as group MD, global financial services.
Jelly’s 30-year career also includes positions at CIT Europe, AT&T/Newcourt, GE Capital, Royal Bank Leasing and Lloyds Bowmaker.
Head of asset finance, Henry Howard Finance
Matt Jones began his asset finance career in 1997 at Lombard North Central, where he was appointed as the firm’s director of asset finance, and led a successful sales team for seven years. Jones went on to join Henry Howard Finance in 2014, and has since played an integral role in the business’s growth.
Managing director, JCB Finance UK
Having joined JCB Finance UK in 1979, Paul Jennings held a number of roles before being appointed MD in 2011.
Under his management, JCB Finance has launched a number of products including JCB FlexiLease and a point-of-sales app called JCB sales master.
Managing director, ABN Amro Lease
Simon Lefevre ABN Amro in 2016, originally as sales director, and has extensive experience in asset-based finance within the UK market. Lefevre previously headed the UK leasing business for Bank of London and The Middle East, and held various positions at both ING Lease and Lombard.
ABN Amro Lease is a subsidiary of ABN Amro Bank and focuses on providing middle- and larger-ticket asset finance facilities to UK corporates, delivering solutions through long-term partnerships with introducers and clients.
Managing director, Paragon Bank Asset Finance
Gary Leitch joined Paragon Bank in 2016 to grow the bank’s asset finance business. Before joining, Leitch worked for Lombard, the UK’s largest asset finance business, where he gained nearly 30 years’ experience in SME, corporate, retail and leveraged finance markets.
At Lombard, Leitch held senior roles with responsibility for business development, operations and risk management, and ultimately with board responsibility for corporate sales.
Partner, Stephenson Harwood
Lisa specialises in asset finance with a particular focus on general leasing and rail finance. She has over 25 years of experience in the leasing sector and regularly advises a variety of banks and financial institutions in relation to all types of structures. These include finance and operating leases as well as asset-backed lending, receivables financing both from lease and service contracts and debt deals with security over key assets often with a cross-border aspect.
Partner, Addleshaw Goddard
Andrew Maskill specialises in asset finance and leasing advice. He advises on matters including operating and finance leasing, receivables finance, vendor finance, buying and selling lease books, structuring and tax.
Maskill also handles general equipment finance matters for a strong lender client base, acting for lessors and lessees including Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Close Brothers, CIT, Hitachi Capital, Investec Asset Finance, Lombard, HSBC, Société Générale Equipment Finance and Sumitomo Bank.
Managing director, asset finance, Hampshire Trust Bank
Jon Maycock joined Hampshire Trust Bank in January 2017, prior to which he was commercial director at Aldermore and spent 10 years with GE Capital.
A graduate in Economics from Exeter University, he leads a team of asset finance professionals, building the bank’s proposition in the broker and block discounting markets and developing new strategic opportunities.
Partner, Grant Thornton
Tarun Mistry leads Grant Thornton’s financial services corporate finance practice, focusing on alternative and specialty lending. Mistry has advised on the most recent M&A transactions in the leasing sector.
He was a founding director of the Leasing Foundation, is currently a patron of the Asset Finance Professionals Association, and is a member of the Financial Services Faculty board of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
Director of asset finance, Metro Bank
Nathan Mollett joined Metro Bank in April 2015 as director of asset finance, responsible for managing the bank’s rapidly growing asset finance business.
He focuses on growing lending volumes through the development of partnerships with professional intermediaries and by working directly with the bank’s business customers and commercial lending teams. Prior to Metro Bank, he spent 17 years at Syscap, managing its vendor finance business.
Managing director, Academy Leasing
Mike Nolan has managed Wigan-based Academy Leasing for over 30 years, during which time it expanded its product range and developed its own-book of lending. Nolan oversaw the change from a pure brokerage to a ‘hybrid’ funder, using block financing to grow its book.
In August 2015 Academy joined the 1pm Group in a deal worth up to £12m, wherein Nolan joined the board of directors with 1pm chief executive Ian Smith.
Managing director, Lex Autolease
Tim Porter was appointed MD of Lex Autolease, the fleet arm of Lloyds Bank, in 2013. Under his management, the company continued its growth trajectory and remained the UK’s leading fleet lessor.
Lex Autolease’s current fleet size exceeds 380,000 vehicles. Prior to joining Lex, Porter was MD of the small and medium enterprise banking teams at Lloyds Bank.
Chief executive officer, Simply Asset Finance
Mike Randall has more than 30 years’ industry experience, starting at North West Securities and being its youngest MD, and then 23 years at Close Brothers Asset Finance.
He was made CEO of Close in 2012, successfully growing the business to become one of the UK’s most respected asset finance companies.
In April 2017 he became CEO of Simply Asset Finance, which combines the latest technology with experience to serve the UK SME sector.
Managing director, Bibby Leasing
Carol Roberts joined Bibby Leasing in January 2004, and has over 50 years’ experience in the asset finance sector.
A frequent speaker at industry events, Roberts is a governor and director of the Leasing Foundation, an organisation that supports the leasing and asset finance industry in Europe, Asia and Africa.
Prior to joining Bibby, Roberts was MD at GE Capital’s asset finance division, and now heads up a team of 32 people in Bibby Leasing’s offices in Leeds and Warrington.
In addition to promoting gender diversity, Roberts is passionate about mentoring and developing talented individuals in the asset finance sector.
Director, consultancy, Asset Finance Policy
Apart from providing advice to key industry players, Julian Rose is known in the industry for his role as head of asset finance at the FLA from 2008 to 2014.
In 2014, he decided to establish his own regulatory affairs consultancy, Asset Finance Policy.
He previously worked in regulation for five years with the Competition Commission and the Financial Reporting Council. He has also been a management consultant with KPMG and PwC, and has worked in industry with NCR and United Parcel Service.
Allan Ross has been in the financial services industry for almost 40 years, holding senior positions at RBS, Nationwide and Barclays Mercantile.
He has specialist experience in the direct SME, vendor and agricultural markets, which he used to form First Independent Finance in 1999. He became an LDF director when it was acquired by LDF Group in 2015.
Chief executive officer, Maxxia UK
Roger Skinner has more than 35 years’ experience in the asset finance and leasing industries, both in the UK and Internationally. Skinner has held a number of executive positions within global financial institutions where he has successfully developed and executed strategies for growth in corporate finance, asset finance and leasing.
He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, and was voted European CEO of the Year in 2016 by members of the Leasing Foundation.
Director general, FLA
Having graduated in 1980 and finishing his PhD in 1984, Stephen Sklaroff worked in several government departments before spending three years in the British Embassy in Washington.
He was head of communications for three successive Secretaries of State, before becoming deputy director general of the Association of British Insurers in 2000. Sklaroff became director general of the FLA, which represents the UK’s specialist lending companies, in 2007.
Director/founder, IAA-advisory, AFPA
Derek Soper has been in the industry since 1960. Having completed an “apprenticeship” with Mercantile Leasing, he then created a number of leasing companies around the world. In 1981 Soper joined Kleinwort Benson’s board, and after 10 years as a “quasi-banker” he started AT&T Capital in Europe and Asia. Despite retiring in 1997, he moved on to create International Advisory Associates.
Chief executive officer, Star Asset Finance
Steve Swift was appointed CEO of Star Asset Finance in April 2016. As MD of SAFL’s wholly owned subsidiary, Kennet Equipment Leasing, and having worked with Star since 2014, he was best placed to lead the delivery of the group strategy, working with teams at Kennet, Ignition Credit, First Capital Finance and Credo Asset Finance.
Swift initially took over Kennet in 1991; under his leadership, Kennet originated in excess of £40m in annual lease volumes when the business was acquired by Star Asset Finance in July 2014.
Chief executive, chairman, IAA-advisory
Over 40 years Lindsay Town has dealt with asset types ranging from aerospace and marine to IT and auto. He has worked both in the UK and US, holding senior roles at Barclays, Lloyds and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Town led one of the largest UK asset finance businesses at HBOS before joining IAA-Advisory to focus on strategic and M&A work, funding and capital markets options.
Commercial director, Wesleyan Bank
Philip White has been part of Syscap, the UK’s leading IT finance provider, for more than two decades progressing from sales director to MD.
More recently, he assumed a dual role as commercial director of Wesleyan Bank after Syscap was acquired by specialist mutual financial services provider Wesleyan in 2015. Since 2009, White has been vice-chair of the FLA’s technology division.
Managing director manager, Hitachi Capital Business Finance
Gavin Wraith-Carter was a part of the early team that formed First National Asset Finance in 2001, a business that went on to become the backbone of the £3bn UK ING Lease UK.
He joined Hitachi Capital (UK) in February 2013, quickly becoming a key member of the senior management team – doubling the business finance portfolio in his first 12 months. Appointed general manager in September 2014, Wraith-Carter continues to raise the Hitachi brand in business finance.
Director and head, corporate banking, BLME
Fred Yue has spent over 30 years in leasing. He joined ING Farm Finance in 1991, later becoming finance director, and in 1999 became executive director of ING Lease UK.
In 2005 Yue joined CIT Vendor Finance as European CFO based in Dublin. On his return to London he took up a senior position in finance at Lloyds Corporate Banking, before joining Syscap as CFO in 2009. Yue joined BLME in 2012.