Former Lookers duo Andy Bruce and Nigel McMinn have joined board of the Fleet Alliance as the £1 billion business looks to accelerate its growth in leasing and personal mobility.
Bruce is appointed chief executive and McMinn chief operating officer, while managing director and shareholder Martin Brown becomes chair of the business, effective from today (August 9).
Bruce told AM that that he was looking forward to starting his new role in what he saw as “an area of automotive that’s got a lot of growth potential” as he was reunited with McMinn at the fleet funding and management business.
The pair left Lookers after agreeing to step-down from its board at the end of 2019, marking the start of a period of uncertainty and restructure for the AM100 PLC.
The Fleet Alliance described its new executive structure as the most significant change to the board since the inception of the company nearly 20 years ago.
Founded by shareholders Allen Flynn, Marjory Flynn and Martin Brown, the business now manages a fleet of more than 30,000 vehicles worth in excess of £1bn.
Commenting on his arrival at the business Bruce said: “I am excited to join the team at Fleet Alliance and help with the next chapter of the business. The leasing broker sector has grown to become an important part of the automotive landscape and I am convinced the company has many opportunities ahead of it.
“Not only can it continue to benefit from the growing popularity of leasing to both consumer and enterprise sectors, but it can broaden its capabilities to embrace the increasingly important mobility sector.”
McMinn said: “Fleet Alliance is the leading broker in the corporate and SME leasing market and the aim is to develop this side of the business as the market moves to EVs.
“The Intelligent Car Leasing personal leasing brand for consumers has shown significant growth in recent years and has the potential to accelerate further.
“It will be a key focus of mine to bring experience from the franchised retail world to maximise this opportunity.”
Brown said Bruce and McMinn's combined experience of creating growth, considerable manufacturer relationships, and extensive knowledge gained in the retail sector, would be “invaluable to the company as we position ourselves for the future”.
He said that the time was now right for the longer term development of Fleet Alliance and an injection of fresh new thinking as the leasing sector becomes more mainstream.
“In my new role as chair, I will continue to have a key input to the business and draw on almost 25 years of experience in the leasing market," said Brown.
“Although I will be stepping away from my day-to-day role, I will work with Andy and Nigel on strategy, while representing the interests of the shareholders.”
Bruce and McMinn join the current Fleet Alliance executive team of David Blackmore (commercial director), Angela Robertson (finance director), Grant Boardman (client services director) and Rob Wentworth-James (corporate sales director).
Lookers announced the departure of Bruce and McMinn from its board in November 2019 as it issued a profits warning a month after revealing that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had begun a formal investigation into its consumer credit regulation compliance.
No FCA enforcement action resulted from the investigation but Lookers stepped up its "portfolio consolidation" to improve its future financial performance with the inital closure of 15 dealerships.
Under the leadership of current CEO Mark Raban, Lookers has has domonstrated resurgent profitability in 2021.
A trading update published on July 29 revealed the group was on-track to positive swing in performance that will see 2020’s H1 loss of £50m converted into a £50m pre-tax profit in the first half of this year.