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November 25, 2010updated 12 Apr 2017 4:18pm

Lex Autolease boss to step down

Nigel Stead, the man who oversaw the creation of the UKs biggest fleet business, is to step down from his role at the head of Lex Autolease next June He will be succeeded by operations director Rick Francis, who had been commercial director of Lex Vehicle Leasing before the merger of its parent bank HBOS with Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) at the start of 2009.

By Fred Crawley

Nigel Stead, the man who oversaw the creation of the UK’s biggest fleet business, is to step down from his role at the head of Lex Autolease next June.

He will be succeeded by operations director Rick Francis, who had been commercial director of Lex Vehicle Leasing before the merger of its parent bank HBOS with Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) at the start of 2009.

Stead, currently LBG’s director of contract hire, has led the bank’s car leasing arm through several acquisitions since he joined it as Black Horse Vehicle Management in 2000.

His first M&A milestones were the integrations of ACL Autolease and First National Vehicle Holdings, moves which led to the creation of Lloyds TSB Autolease.

Then, 2009 brought the forced absorption of Lex Vehicle Leasing, a task that brought together the two biggest fleet companies in the market to create a giant with more than 330,000 vehicles on its book.

Although the merging of the two companies is almost complete, its last stage – mainly the transferral of customers between CRM systems – will be completed as responsibility for the business is transferred between Stead and Francis at the end of this year. 

David Oldfield, LBG’s wholesale division COO and managing director for asset finance, commented: “Nigel has done a terrific job leading our contract hire businesses in its various guises over many years, including the tremendous task of leading the integration of Lex Autolease.

“I wish him all the very best for the future, but we are also delighted to have Rick taking over as managing director. We have every confidence that he will continue the good work Nigel has started in driving Lex Autolease forward and helping the business flourish.”

Stead says: “Next year will sadly be my last, but this is an entirely personal decision, made after much thought and soul searching. It’s gratifying to leave the business in the hands of a talented, devoted and highly experienced team, led by a very worthy successor in Rick.”

Fred Crawley

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