Close Motor Finance has set up a
new division to focus on partnerships with larger dealer groups and
manufacturers, called Key Accounts (see Up close and
for more).

The lender has announced a raft of
new appointments to the Key Accounts team, which will be led by
Chris Reid,
as director. Reid formerly worked for NWS Bank, having started his
career at a building society.

Key Accounts key menOther appointments
to the team include: Richard
, who previously spent 16 years at Bank of
Scotland Dealer Finance as director of national accounts;
Gary Agar,
who joined Close in 2009, having spent the prior 12 years at
Capital Bank/Bank of Scotland, working in business development;
Mark Duncan,
who was an account manager and then an area sales manager at Black
Horse, who joined Close in November 2009; and Luke Curtis, who started
his career in motor finance working for Black Horse in New Zealand
on a gap year, before joining Black Horse in Cardiff in 2001 as an
accounts clerk and gaining promotion to dealer account manager.
Curtis then moved to Northridge Finance as a territory manager in
2006, thence to Barclays Commercial Bank where he was an asset
finance relationship manager with responsibility for fleet credit
lines; he joined Close in mid-2009 as a Key Account manager
(see picture, above right).


In order to grow its presence in
public sector fleet leasing, Lombard Vehicle Management has
recruited new faces to its public sector team, which will in future
be integrated within the strategic accounts division, launched last

Emma Darby will cover
the southern region for Lombard. She has worked in the public
sector team for two years, having spent a total of eight years at
the fleet provider. Rory
will be in charge of public sector fleets
in the north. He joined the lessor in 2003 on a fast-track
programme, and has worked in its customer services, consultancy and
finance departments.
They will both report into Peter Butler,
development director, who joined the Strategic Accounts team in
2009 and now takes up responsibility for the public sector team’s
operations. Butler has over 20 years’ experience at car
manufacturers, and oversaw business improvement programmes at
Volkswagen and Toyota.

In addition, Ian Banks has joined
the Strategic Accounts team as a relationship director. He
previously worked at Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank.


Leasedrive Velo has announced a
shakeup within its senior management team.
Roger Partridge, CEO since 2003, is to move away
from day-to-day executive involvement with the fleet management and
leasing company, while David Bird, formerly
Leasedrive Velo’s chief operating officer, will become managing
director. Partridge spent 24 years with the group, and new MD Bird
paid tribute to his tenure.

“Roger has successfully managed
the growth of the business for over 10 years and ensured that the
company has maintained its unbroken record of profitability. Under
his leadership, the Leasedrive Velo Group has become a major player
in the fleet management sector,” Bird said.
Meanwhile, the former finance and commercial director at BT Fleet
has joined Leasedrive Velo as its new financial director, the
company said. Robert Whitrow had been at BT Fleet
since 2002 and with BT since 1998; prior to that he was an
assistant director at KPMG Corporate Finance.


Fleet company Fleet Alliance has
launched a short-to-medium term leasing product, Flexi Hire, for
contracts of between one day and 30 months in total.

Martin Gray, who joins
from Mercedes-Benz dealer group John R Weir where he was corporate
sales manager, has joined Fleet Alliance to oversee the new
product, with the job title of fleet solutions manager.


Graeme Banister, former
head of Lombard Consumer Direct, has joined ex-fleet online
retailer as commercial director. While at Lombard, he
worked on the lender’s personal car leasing product, the online car
retailer said.

Meanwhile, Sir Trevor Chinn, who
has over 50 years’ history in the UK motor industry, has joined the
business as chairman. He has also invested in Sir
Trevor started his career at Lex Service plc, and is also currently
chairman of car club Streetcar, alongside other high-level board
appointments, and is a past chairman of Kwik-Fit Group and the


Remarketing company grs, part of
Greenhous Group, has announced that Theo Kortland has been
promoted to the role of managing director, while previous MD
, to whom Kortland will report, has been
appointed CEO of Greenhous Remarketing.


International vehicle remarketing
company Manheim has strengthened its Continental European senior
management team with two new appointments.

Jonathan Holland has
been appointed business development director for Continental Europe
and will oversee the company’s relationships with a number of major
European clients.

David Mercer, previously
at the helm of Manheim DeFleet Services in the UK, has now become
commercial director for Continental Europe.

Both posts have been created to
support the continued growth in the region, where Manheim’s team
currently exceeds 500 people across eight countries including
Germany, France and Italy.


As part of an effort to grow its
sales to business users, manufacturer Chevrolet has named
Keith Jones
as its national fleet sales manager.

Chevrolet has just set up a new
and independent fleet sales unit, which Jones – a fleet veteran,
who has spent 12 years within the General Motors group, latterly at
Saab where he was national fleet sales manager – will head up.


Mark Waite is the
newly-appointed international key account manager at Citroën, the
French carmaker said. He will work within its newly created Citroën
Business International division, which will aim to grow Citroën’s
share of the fleet market, and will report to the manufacturer’s
Paris HQ.
Waite has significant UK fleet market experience, having worked at
Toyota and Lexus as fleet business development manager, contract
hire leasing and rental manager and most recently cost of ownership


Daimler Financial Services has
appointed Klaus
as its new chairman.
Entenmann, who was president and CEO of Daimler FS Americas and has
more than 25 years’ experience in the financial services sector,
succeeds Juergen

Walker retires after 30 years
within the company, where he had been serving as chairman since
2004. Entenmann has been replaced in his role as CEO of Daimler FS
America by Franz Reiner, previously responsible for Mercedes-Benz
Financial in the US.

Reiner has become a member of the
management board and will head the Daimler Financial Services
companies in the US as well as Canada.

The captive arm of the German
vehicle manufacturer has also named Richard Howard as a new
member of the board of management. Howard, who will report to
Entenmann, will be responsible for the financial services business
in the region Africa, Asia-Pacific.


Interim CEO Ed Whitacre has taken up
the post of CEO at General Motors on a permanent basis, the US
manufacturer announced.


David Smith, chief
executive of Jaguar Land Rover, is to step down from his role, the
manufacturer confirmed.


The retiring CEO of Rolls-Royce,
Tom Purves,
who is stepping down after 25 years, will be replaced by
, the BMW-owned luxury carmaker announced.
Mueller has worked at BMW for over 20 years, and was responsible
for the successful relaunch of the Mini brand. Latterly he was head
of BMW’s global product development.


Louis Schweitzer, a
former president and chairman of carmaker Renault, has taken up the
post of interim chairman of the board of AB Volvo until the
manufacturer’s next AGM, following the resignation of previous
incumbent Finn Johnsson.


Peter McCullough has
been appointed to the newly-created post of head of OEM, fleet and
finance at data provider Glass’s. He joins from CAP Motor Research
where he was business development director, and was previously MD
of McCullough’s brief at Glass’s will be to
expand the business’s position in the fleet and finance sector.


The former head of AA Risk
Management Solutions, Paul
, has been named the new director of AA
DriveTech’s FleetSafe division, which is the unit responsible for
“all fleet-related training activities”, the AA said.


Robert Cockerton and
have joined data company CAP as sales
representatives. They will represent CAP at auctions in the
Midlands, offering buyers the company’s range of electronic
valuation products and printed price guide books.


Michel Taride has been
promoted from the role of executive vice-president to president of
Hertz International. He was previously president of Hertz Europe,
with additional responsibility for Hertz’s rental and leasing
operations in EMEA and Asia-Pacific. Taride has been with Hertz for
30 years, the company said.


Ed Chambers has joined
fleet software company epyx as account manager. Prior to his new
role, Chambers was an account manager at the AA for five years in
its business services department.


Business insurer QBE has said that
Steve Dickie
has been appointed motor fleet portfolio manager.

He has 30 years’ experience in
motor insurance, having previously held senior positions at
Dominion Insurance Company and Lloyd’s broker RL Davison. His last
role was at HSBC Insurance (UK Ltd) where he was Motor Fleet