PCH and small business vehicle leasing broker Intelligent Car Leasing (ICL) has recruited Chris Smith as its new commercial director.

ICL is owned by the same shareholders responsible for Fleet Alliance, which has over 18,500 vehicles under management, although it is operated completely separately.

Smith has worked in the leasing and finance sector for 37 years, most recently as operations director at Manchester-based Leasing Options.

In his role at ICL, Smith will be responsible for growing both the SME and the personal leasing parts of the business.

Smith said: "The broker channel is now very mature and it has become a legitimate volume channel for the vehicle manufacturers and funders, having seen rapid growth in recent years.

"As a sector, it has become increasingly professional, innovative and dynamic, and we have witnessed a dramatic increase in personal contract hire. This has now become a major product which people use to acquire new cars and the broker sector has seen massive growth from private individuals as a result.

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"I think this trend will continue , not only as more people move out of company cars and acquire their own cars through personal leasing contracts, but also as consumers increasingly use this method for their new vehicle requirements."