independent Leasing Broker Federation
Fleet Alliance MD Martin Brown shows his delight at winning LBF Broker of the Year, the trophy presented by Steve Cocks of Lex Autolease with judges chair Jo Elms

THE achievements of the UK’s leading and most innovative vehicle leasing brokers have been recognised by the Leasing Broker Federation with presentations for excellence to the 2017 Leasing Broker Awards Winners.

The Leasing Broker Awards run by the Leasing Broker Federation, an independent membership organisation that supports leasing brokers across the UK, are independently judged by experts in the leasing and broker fields.

More than 60 guests from across the industry, brokers and funders, gathered at RSA House in London for the Federation’s awards dinner and 2017 Leasing Broker Awards following the first Leasing Broker Federation Conference at the same venue.

The award judges

The awards were judged by an independent panel of eight experts from the leasing industry chaired by Jo Elms, of automotive and leasing consultancy ESE Consulting.

The other judges were:

  • Graham Conway, head of Partner at Alphabet
  • Todd Williams, head of broker at Arval
  • Steve Cocks, director of Lex Autolease Broker Division
  • Chris Swallow, national sales manager – associates at Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions
  • Paul Hollick, chair of the ICFM & managing director at TMC
  • Matt Bristow, manufacturer sales director, BCA

Glasgow-based Fleet Alliance won the title Broker of the Year, presented to managing director Martin Brown by Steve Cocks, director of broker division, Lex Autolease.

Fleet Alliance was selected from the category winners after victories in both the Best large leasing broker category and Best large leasing broker customer service.

“The submissions this year were very good,” said judge Paul Hollick, managing director of TMC and chairman of the Institute of Car Fleet Management (ICFM).

“There was a marked uplift in quality from last year with some categories having no clear winner.”

J​o Elms, chair of the judges, said: “The broker sector is bucking the market trend and has yet again has seen significant growth in volume and profitability this year.

“And reading through this year’s submissions it’s really easy to see why. Brokers are doing a great job for their customers. They offer great value for money, combined with exceptional customer service.

“That’s what makes customers keep coming back again and again; refer their friends and family. What customer doesn’t want to deal with businesses that offers such a great combination?”

The new Spirit of Leasing Broker award, nominated by the judges, went to one of the small broker category entrants, Cameron Clarke Leasing, with the presentation made by Steve Cocks, director of Lex Autolease’s broker division. It recognised the outstanding efforts and high levels of professionalism  in this small leasing broker sector

2017 Leasing Broker Awards Winners
Steve Clarke of Cameron Clarke receives the Spirit of Leasing Award from Steve Cocks of Lex Autolease, with Jo Elms

Kelly Kirkby of Cameron Clarke had summed up the company’s ethos by saying: “Price and competitiveness are a given these days so we specialise in providing the customer an enhanced bespoke experience.

“We do this by listening to their requirements and not only providing quotations on the cars they have shown interest in but exploring other makes and models to see if we are able to get the customer into a higher trim level or improved specification without any additional costs.

“There is no better feeling than when you recommend a vehicle to a customer and they call to say how much they love it when they take delivery!  That’s our aim, all the time, every time!”

The award was collected by Steve Clarke.

Master of ceremonies Ralph Morton, editor of Leasing Broker News, paid tribute to the broker industry saying: “Leasing brokers continue to offer impressive market growth, helping fuel the popularity of PCH, driving forward commercial vehicle sales, while providing consultative services under FCA guidance. Their professionalism and excellence never ceases to impress me.”

2017 Leasing Broker Awards – the Winners

Ralph Morton thanked the awards sponsors – BMW Group, Hyundai, Nissan, Lookers Sheffield and Carmmunity – for their support and the independent judges, overseen by chair Jo Elms, for their diligence.

Best small  leasing broker award – sponsored by Hyundai: Concept Vehicle Leasing 

2017 Leasing Broker Awards Winners
Paul Bulloch of Concept Vehicle Leasing receives the Best Small Broker award from Gareth Thomas of Hyundai with chair of judges Jo Elms

No fewer than six companies were shortlisted in this category.  but the stand-out for the judges was Concept Vehicle Leasing, with Gareth Thomas, Hyundai’s head of contract hire, making the presentation to Paul Bulloch.

Paul had said: “Working with a diverse client base is one of the things we truly love about doing what we do.  We take the time to get to know our customers, to listen and understand their needs. The satisfaction for us is in creating a bespoke solution which works for them.”

Also shortlisted were:

  • Academy Leasing
  • Cameron Clarke Leasing
  • Carlease UK
  • Greenfleets Ltd
  • Silverstone Fleet Management

Best medium leasing broker – sponsored by Hyundai: Synergy Automotive  

2017 Leasing Broker Awards Winners
Best Medium Broker Paul Parkinson of Synergy Automotive receives the award from Hyundai’s Gareth Thomas, with Jo Elms

Gareth Thomas, Hyundai’s head of contract hire, made the presentation.

Synergy’s Nicola Ech-Channa had said: “A champion of FCA compliance, Synergy’s ongoing commitment to the FCA’s 6 consumer outcomes is embedded in the culture of the company and the way that Synergy operates its business every day, ensuring that as the company continues to grow, customers remain at the heart of the business.

“This commitment is also demonstrated through the company’s own staff performance management system. Devised in 2017 and currently being rolled out, the system focuses not only on sales targets but ensuring that the employee acts in the way that the company culture expects to ensure that all customers are treated fairly.”

Also shortlisted was:

  • Complete Vehicle Management

Best large leasing broker – sponsored by Hyundai: Fleet Alliance 

2017 Leasing Broker Awards Winners
Best Large Broker Martin Brown of Fleet Alliance receives his award from Hyundai’s Gareth Thomas, with Jo Elms

Fleet Alliance kept the category title, with Gareth Thomas, Hyundai’s head of contract hire, making the presentation to MD Martin Brown.

Fleet Alliance’s Mairi McAslan had told the judges: “We currently manage over 25,000 vehicles with a combined value in excess of £692m. We deliver a complete fleet solution via our market leading Fleet 360 model which provides the best combination of advice, products, competitive pricing and outstanding service.

“We are one of the UK’s few remaining independent fleet management specialists, in a market characterised by large bank-owned contract hirers. This is how we differentiate ourselves from our main competitors as we have a panel of 8 finance providers to choose from rather than just one.”

Also shortlisted were:

  • Select Car Leasing
  • Nationwide Vehicle Contracts

Best marketing and innovation award – sponsored by Nissan: Nationwide Vehicle Contracts

2017 Leasing Broker Awards Winners
Keith Hawes of Nationwide Vehicle Contracts receives the Marketing and Innovation Award from Tim Dorrington of Nissan, with Jo Elms

Nationwide, the 2016 winner, kept its title despite extremely close competition, with Tim Dorrington, Nissan leasing fleet manager south, making the presentation.

Nationwide’s Donna Kelly had highlighted their latest initiative this year, saying: “In February 2017, Nationwide launched a new ‘VIP’ section within our online customer account area. As a thank you for their custom, existing Nationwide customers can now login to their online account to view exclusive lease deals available to existing Nationwide customers only.

“These special lease deals are not available via our website and offer access to reduced monthly rentals and special stock deals. Furthermore, customers can also take advantage of special discounts with our partner Kwik Fit to further reduce the running costs of their current lease including reduced cost servicing, MOT and tyre replacements.”

Also shortlisted were:

  • Complete Vehicle Management
  • Kew Vehicle Leasing
  • Select Car Leasing
  • Vansdirect

Best small leasing broker customer service award – sponsored by BMW/MINI: Concept Vehicle Leasing

 

2017 Leasing Broker Awards Winners
Josie Bulloch of Concept Vehicle Leasing receives the BMW Group Best Small Broker Customer Service Award from Richard Chadwick of Alphabet, with Jo Elms

A new category for smaller brokers with victory going to Concept Vehicle Leasing who last year jointly won the up to 4,000 category with Neva Consultants.

The reason for their victory lies in MD Paul Bulloch’s explanation of Concept’s philosophy: “It’s an amazing feeling – if you’ve ever been fortunate enough to take delivery of a brand new car, then you’ll know what we mean.  It’s special. At Concept Vehicle Leasing, our aim is to create this feeling every single day.

“Our first priority is to ensure we guide our customers to making the right vehicle choice.  This makes the call on ‘Delivery Day’ really easy.  But keeping that ‘special’ feeling for the next two or so years, well that’s the challenge – and that’s where Concept are different.

“Each year, over 70% of all our business is generated from returning customers and referrals.  We love analysing data like this, and challenging ourselves to do better – to create referrals, work a little harder and to never lose a single renewal!”

The award was presented by Richard Chadwick, national development manager (commercial), Alphabet

Also shortlisted were:

  • Cameron Clarke Leasing
  • Carlease UK

Best medium leasing broker customer service award – sponsored by BMW/MINI: Synergy Automotive 

2017 Leasing Broker Awards Winners
Paul Parkinson of Synergy receives the Best Medium Broker Customer Service Award from Simon Leake of Hitachi, with Jo Elms

The award in this new category was presented by Simon Leake, associates account manager – North, Hitachi.

In February 2017, Synergy achieved the coveted Gold Trusted Service Award from global independent feedback engine, Feefo, for the third consecutive year.

Continuously achieving a 5 Star rating (highest possible score), Synergy received over 2,800 client reviews for both customer experience and product across Oct 2014-2017. The quality of the entry and the quality of the customer service highlight Synergy’s outstanding expertise in this area.

Best large leasing broker customer service award – sponsored by Carmmunity: Fleet Alliance 

2017 Leasing Broker Awards Winners
Martin Brown of Fleet Alliance receives the Best Large Broker Customer Service Award from Lou Hughes of Carmmunity, with Jo Elms

Another award for the outstanding Fleet Alliance, presented to Martin Brown by Lou Hughes, minibus leasing specialist at Carmmunity.

The company had submitted: “We use two key services to allow us to capture and measure our customer service objectives, Opinurate and Experteye CSI. It is essential for us to have both of these in place as it allows us to capture feedback from two very different stakeholders, the drivers and the decision makers.”

It added: “Delivering customer service excellence is the direct result of a committed team. We operate on the firmly held belief that by looking after our people they will, in return, look after our clients with the same care and attention. Thus, we continually invest in our staff, treating them fairly and helping them develop their skills.”

Also shortlisted were:

  • Select Car Leasing

Best green leasing broker – sponsored by Nissan: Fleetdrive/Drive Electric

2017 Leasing Broker Awards Winners
Mike Potter & Adam Kemp of Fleetdrive receive the Best Green Leasing Broker Award from Nissan’s Tim Dorrington, with Jo Elms

Fleetdrive has made this award their own – no other broker has been named best green leasing broker since the awards began. But it doesn’t stand still, as Fleetdrive’s Suzi Kemp explained in the company’s awards submission.

“DriveElectric are constantly looking to educate business operators about the benefits of ultra-low carbon transport, and have created new service products and processes tailored for this specialist market including; ULEV Salary sacrifice, EV Flexi-Lease/try-before-you-buy service and a future-proof workplace charging solution.

“Working with EV infrastructure specialists from University of Reading, and other IT and energy management partners, DriveElectric have developed a new generation smart-charger system which utilises the latest vehicle to grid technology.

“In the near future it will enable users to choose to have their vehicles charged based on pricing signals from the energy market, which would reduce costs and help utilisation of renewable generation.”

Tim Dorrington, Nissan leasing fleet manager south, made the presentation to Mike Potter and Adam Kemp.

Also shortlisted were:

  • Fleet Alliance

Best van leasing broker – sponsored by Lookers Sheffield: Vansdirect

2017 Leasing Broker Awards Winners
Colin Parnell of Vansdirect receives the Best Van Broker award from Ian Vodden of Lookers Ford Sheffield, with Jo Elms

Last year’s winner VansDirect kept the title it won last year, with Ian Vodden, Lookers Ford Sheffield fleet account manager, making the presentation to Colin Parnell.

Colin submitted: “Vansdirect has completely upgraded the IT infrastructure, which has included a new cloud based, multi-server solution with integrated disaster recovery plan with remote access to all systems.  The upgrade has off-site storage, high security firewalls and spam filters to secure all business and customer data.

“In addition, the business has developed and launched two new fully responsive websites offering a host of new benefits to customers and prospects.”

He added: “Our dedicated procurement and stock team ensure that we always have a high level of stock to ensure we have the best delivery times available in our industry.  We are in a unique position, able to make purchase volume commitments to suppliers with our financial backing to ensure we can offer the best and most flexible deals to customers.  This purchasing power and scale hugely benefits our customers.”

Also shortlisted were:

  • Complete Vehicle Management

Congratulations to all our winners from a highly competitive set of shortlisted entrants.

The Leasing Broker Federation is supported by:

2017 Leasing Broker Awards Winners

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here