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LEX AUTOLEASE: The jewel in the crown

Date: 17 December 2013

Jack Carfrae meets Tim Porter, the new chief executive of Lex Autolease, who explains why the biggest leasing company in the UK is back on form and in firm favour with its banking parent.
Tim Porter, the new chief executive of Lex Autolease

In an age where big leasing companies are sold off by their parents with what seems like alarming regularity, you could be forgiven for thinking that the game was up as far as the financiers were concerned.

Look at Lombard Vehicle Management and ING - the two big exits from the leasing market in the past couple of years, both decisions taken by equally sizeable banks - and listen to the spokespeople from each one, the expression 'non-core asset' being a popular line, and the assumption is that, one by one, the banks have steadily been turning up their noses at vehicle leasing.

It is a welcome surprise, then, to see the biggest leasing outfit of the lot embraced by its banking giant of an owner. According to new chief executive Tim Porter, it's a different story at Lex Autolease.

"Lex has been referred to as 'the jewel in the crown' - it's one of a small number of businesses that are owned by the [Lloyds Banking] group that are regarded to a sufficient extent that they are now in or part of an invest-to-grow strategy."

A long-serving management face at Lloyds, Porter took the reigns from former Lex boss Rick Francis in July this year. His previous role was commercial director of Lloyds' SME banking teams, which he held for around 13 years, and he believes there is a degree of crossover between that and the leasing industry.