New faces part of growth plan aiming to place company
among top 5 fleet operators by 2015.
The UK arm of fleet leasing company Alphabet has changed its
board, including the creation of a chief executive position.
Richard Schooling has filled the
CEO role, replacing out going director Mark Sinclair, and has
appointed a new chief financial officer (CFO), chief operations
officer (COO) and sales and marketing manager to his board.
The restructuring will make
Alphabet, which has several bases across Europe, operationally
independent from its BMW Group-owner in core markets such as the UK
and therefore in a better position to grow by developing additional
products for those markets, the company said.
It is part of a growth strategy
that aims to take the company to the top five fleet operators in
the UK by 2015, a target which requires fleet expansion of around
10,000 vehicles, said Schooling.
“[Our aim is] on the one hand, in
an insular way, to deliver on our own goals and on the other, in a
more collective way, to share best practice with other [European]
markets,” he said.
Schooling said growth for Alphabet
in the UK would come from developing additional products such as
daily rental options, accident management and consultancy services
to help drive sales.
Schooling said Alphabet was already
in good shape and is confident about the coming year’s
He added: “My remit at the moment
is to pull the company together and have a single focus and also to
deliver better value from all of the products and services we have
at our disposal.
“[Additional products] can broaden
our attraction to customers in terms of our entry point with them
and then we can subsequently look to secure funding business.”
Entry into the public sector
Alphabet will also move into the
public sector having recently been accepted onto the Buying
Solutions procurement panel. The company also hopes for growth in
its core areas of corporate and SME vehicle leasing, said
The appointments, which Schooling
described as the most significant in the 15-year history of
Alphabet, are designed to help achieve this growth.
Schooling moves from BMW Group
Financial Services, where he was COO from 2007. He joined BMW FS in
1996 as part of the start up team for Alphabet in the UK.
Albert Vissers joins Alphabet as
CFO from the Dutch arm of BMW Financial Services where he held
financial and operational roles. Schooling said this broad
experience was Vissers’ most attractive attribute.
The CEO said: “He [Vissers] brings
a different perspective. What we need going into this period of
growth is a CFO who can understand the business but not be thinking
‘we always do it this way’; someone who understands the concepts
but is able to challenge.”
Schooling said all the board
appointees share a breadth of experience.
New COO Matt Sutherland has worked
in operational and account management roles with Alphabet and BMW
New sales and marketing director
Paul Hollick was general manager of sales development with Alphabet
as well as being a trained accountant.
“Looking ahead, I won’t say it will be a record year but it will
be a strong year and we should exceed all of our shareholder
objectives,” Schooling said.