This year’s BusinessCar Power List – the ninth published by this magazine – illustrates a less tumultuous and a little more stable year than the previous couple have been, aping the industry itself as we move away from the tough recession years.

As per usual, it will be tin hats at the ready as this list gets its airing, but it is an objective interpretation of the industry as we see it, and courting a little controversy along the way isn’t something we’d worry too much about. Hopefully, it’s an interesting assessment of where we see the biggest decisions being made that are impacting on the short- and long-term operation of business car fleets. Feel free to let us know what you think, while keeping it polite, of course!

50 Mike Betts, Motability, Chief executive (Down one)

Betts is celebrating a decade at the head of what is effectively the UK’s largest leasing company. With more than 630,000 customers, Motability also provides 55,000 hire cars and 1000 taxi journeys for disabled drivers and their families every year.

49 Rob Morton Centrica/British Gas, Managing director, supply chain and procurement (New entry)

British Gas has recently committed to taking on 100 electric Nissan e-NV200s for its home service engineers, making Morton’s decision to do so a pioneering one that the rest of the industry will view with interest.

48 Mark Servodidio Avis-Budget UK, Managing director (New entry)

Having been with Avis-Budget since 2001, Servodidio stepped up to head the UK arm when predecessor Kaye Ceille moved within the organisation to become worldwide president of car-sharing brand Zipcar.

47 Jane Urquhart Nottingham City Council, Portfolio holder for transport and planning (No change)

Urquhart is the face of Nottingham’s controversial Workplace Parking Levy, which charges businesses with more than 10 parking spaces £362 per space per year – predicted to rise to £379 next April – to help pay for public transport improvements. She can be seen as a pioneer – even if no one else is yet following.

46 Lance Bradley Mitsubishi Motors UK, Managing director (New entry)

Until Mitsubishi got involved this year, applications for the Government’s £5000 ultra low-CO2 Plug-in Car Grant had been behind where many hoped they would be; last year, just 981 grants were handed out. This year, Bradley reckons his firm will shift 10,000 plug-in hybrid Outlanders, making it the no-contest leader in terms of plug-in volume. Around half of those will be in fleet, helped by 44g/km emissions and a price that, post-grant, matches a diesel Outlander.

45  Keith Allen ARI Fleet, Managing director (Down one)

Former ALD Automotive boss Allen heads up the UK arm of the world’s largest fleet vehicle management services company. The firm has big plans for growth over the next couple of years, and is looking for an increase on the one million vehicles worldwide it currently manages.

44  Connie Hedegaard European Commission, Commissioner for climate action (New entry)

The Danish Hedegaard is the EU’s first-ever climate action commissioner, and part of her role is ensuring manufacturers move towards agreed CO2 targets across cars, vans, buses and trucks.

43  Michael Hawes Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Chief executive (Up two)

Heading up the SMMT means campaigning on behalf of and representing the industry across a broad range of topics, including green, safety and legislative issues.

42  Dave Bowen BT Fleet managing director (Down eight)

A small drop in fleet size meant a fall down this year’s list. At the last count, BT Fleet had more than 28,000 vehicles, most of them vans, and sat just outside the top 10 chart of biggest leasing companies.

41  Michiel van Ratingen Euro NCAP, Secretary general (Down three)

The head of Europe’s crash-test organisation is leading a push towards even more stringent regulations and an increased focus on crash-avoidance safety systems in an attempt to push manufacturers into fitting these as standard on more cars.

40  Neil Broad Toyota and Lexus, General manager, fleet services (New entry)

Toyota and Lexus’s focus on hybrids rather than diesel engine tech could leave it in the box seat if the spotlight on local air pollutants – high for diesels but lower for petrol engines, and even more so with hybrids – continues to the point where there are tax implications. Currently, only CO2 is subject to tax, but with growing concern over air quality in major cities, there is a shift towards at least looking at how to encourage use of cars with lower NOx, hybrodcarbons and particulates.

39  Martin Wilson Hyundai fleet director (Up two)

The Korean brand is now firmly established inside the fleet registration top 10 under the stewardship of Wilson, who has headed the fleet team since January 2013 and been with the brand since 2007.

38  Jon Olsen BCA CEO (Up one)

It’s been another year of growth and innovation for the remarketing giant, which won a BusinessCar Techie Award for an update to the search facility on its website that has streamlined the time it takes to hunt for vehicles on offer at its various locations.

37  Bob Middleton Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, Managing director (Re-entry)

Despite Mercedes striking a deal with Leasedrive last year to manage the non-Mercedes-badged elements of the German prestige brand’s business, Merc’s leasing arm is still primed for growth as the firm looks to move up to the level of BMW and Audi in terms of volume and profitability.

36  Mike Williams HM Treasury, Director, business and international tax (Up one)

As the top of the chain in terms of business tax within the Treasury, Williams has a key role to play in the business and personal taxation cost of running vehicles.

35  Bob Contreras Northgate, Chief executive (Up one)

Another raft of new sites opening up, primarily in the South-East, have characterised the year for the UK’s dominant light commercial vehicle rental brand.

34  Peter Lambert Kwik-Fit, Fleet director (Down 2)

It’s down two places due to important moves elsewhere in this year’s Power List, but the country’s leading fast-fit firm has continued its refurbishment of facilities.

33  Phil Price International Decision Systems Topcalc, Residual values editor (New entry)

Price stepped into the shoes of the long-standing Chris Jolly at whole-life cost expert IDS when Jolly retired from full-time work at the beginning of this year.

32  Roddy Graham Institute of Car Fleet Management, Chairman (Down 5)

Never afraid to speak his mind and a vehement believer in the importance of training in fleet management, Graham’s future with the industry’s training body is uncertain since he left his role as Leasedrive commercial director in the wake of its takeover by Hg Capital.

31  Nick Andrews Mercedes-Benz, Head of fleet sales (No change)

Mercedes continues to grow its fleet share, climbing above Nissan to seventh place at the end of 2013 with more than 55,000 fleet registrations, although still 20,000 units shy of BMW and achieving its stated aim of being the top premium brand. The new C-class, launched early this summer, should help, and there’s the plug-in hybrid S-class coming imminently. A revised B-class and the GLA crossover launched this year are also giving Andrews plenty to talk about.

30  Ilaria del Beato GE Capital, Chief executive (New entry)

As chief executive of GE Capital, the Fleet Services division falls under the  stewardship of del Beato, who took on the role in spring 2013.

29  Simon Oliphant Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions, Chief executive (No change)

Hitachi nipped above GE Capital into eighth place among the UK’s top leasing companies last year, although only by a handful of units, and both are now under pressure from the merged figure of Zenith-Leasedrive. Oliphant will also become chairman of the BVRLA next summer.

28  Tim Buchan Zenith-Leasedrive, Managing director (Up 14)

Buchan effectively doubled the size of his portfolio overnight when Hg Capital acquired first Leasedrive then Zenith within a month. Having spent a reported £200m on Zenith, Hg Capital put Buchan in control of the combined outfit. Prior to acquisition, Zenith and Leasedrive ranked 13 and 15 respectively in the 2013 BC50 list of the largest leasing firms in the UK, and their combined volume puts them in the same area as Hitachi Capital and GE Capital, in around ninth spot.

27  Hugh Wallace Anold Clark MD (Down two)

Sitting around 3000 units clear of the three-way scrap to be part of the UK’s top eight leasing firms is the Glasgow-based operation that has been headed by Wallace for more than 30 years. Last year saw the finance arm of the dealer group giant pass the 50,000 funded-vehicle mark.

26  Barry Beeston Nissan, Corporate sales director (Up two)

It’s been a busy year for Beeston with the new Nissan Qashqai crossover, X-trail large 4×4, and the lower-medium Pulsar, which have been joined by the facelifted Juke, as well as the electric e-NV200 light commercial vehicle that British Gas has already placed a 100-vehicle order for following a successful trial last winter.

25  Oliver Morley Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, Chief executive (Up 10)

It’s an unprecedentedly busy time for the DVLA right now, with the imminent abolition of the tax disc from 1 October and ongoing work around the deletion of the paper counterpart element of the driving licence due in 2015.

24  Ken McCall Europcar, Managing director (Down two)

Nearing four years in charge of Europcar’s UK operation, McCall has overseen new initiatives, including an Express service being trialled for remote areas, where in the event of an issue, a replacement vehicle is brought to the customer.

23  Adrian Bowley Enterprise, Director of business rental (Down two)

The recent acquisition of light commercial vehicle rental expert Burnt Tree could open up new doors for Enterprise, which is looking to strengthen its van expertise. This year also saw Bristol City Council begin a nine-month pilot of Enterprise’s car-sharing scheme for its inner-city employees in an attempt to move away from mileage reimbursement.

22  Alastair Dougans HM Revenue & Customs, Policy advisor (New entry)

Long-term planning over the way HMRC taxes vehicles and, in particular, the ramping up of the benefit-in-kind on plug-in vehicles, is a real industry talking point, and Dougans is now first port of call for industry lobbying by the likes of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association and the Association of Car Fleet Operators.

21  Martin Gurney Peugeot, Director of fleet and used vehicle operations (New entry)

Gurney moved within Peugeot to replace the Paris-bound Phil Robson late last year, just in time to get on with the launch of the new 308 and, imminently, the revised 508. The French manufacturer claims to be cutting back on low-profit business in a quest to significantly improve residual values.

20  Peter Bridgen Fleetcor UK, Managing director, fuelcards (New entry)

Bridgen replaced Callum Gibson as boss of the UK arm of Fleetcor earlier this year, which means responsibility for the market-leading Allstar card in the UK, as well as Keyfuels and The Fuelcard Company. Having previously served as Keyfuels MD since 2000, Bridgen takes responsibility for Allstar at a time when it is recovering from a spate of bad publicity in the wake of introducing a transaction charge at the same time as it suffered system failures with its reports.

19  Graham Wheeler Volkswagen Financial Services, Managing director (No change)

 Wheeler has now passed the 10-year mark at the head of VWFS, which sits comfortably in the UK’s top six leasing firms thanks to healthy growth in 2013.

18  Boris Johnson London Mayor (Up 5)

After launching his bikes and new buses, Boris has turned his attention towards cars once more. As well as another congestion charge price hike to £11.50 per day, he is leading the air pollution-related battle against diesel cars by threatening to bill any diesel not meeting Euro6 emissions legislation a further £10 per day to enter the city.

17  James Douglas Audi, Fleet sales director (Up one)

It’s been a relatively quiet time for Audi – the new plug-in A3 E-tron is due by the end of the year, and next year should be a big one with the new A4 a little overdue – but despite that, Audi has closed the gap to BMW, with there now being a little over 5000 fleet registrations between them.

16  Patrick McLoughin Government, Transport secretary (Down one)

There hasn’t been too much from the Department for Transport this year, though it is pushing forward with plans for driverless cars. Early next year, three cities in the UK will be allowed to test autonomous cars with a longer-term view of establishing the technology.

15  Mel Dawson ALD Automotive, Managing director (Up one)

Dawson has overseen ALD Automotive’s move above Alphabet into the top five UK leasing firms thanks to a growth of nearly 6000 units in its funded fleet.

14  Benoit Dilly Arval, Chief executive (No change)

The leasing firm has made recent big strides in its digital offering, with the Arval Smart Experience set of tools including mobile-optimised website, an app aimed at improving driver behaviour, and a social media offering. Dilly has joined the BVRLA management committee, helping him stay just above Dawson in our rankings.

13  Matt Bristow BMW, General manager, corporate sales (New entry)

Bristow stepped up from his previous role as head of used cars and internal sales to replace Steve Chater late last year, and has overseen the fleet introduction of the electric i3 and i8 models, with the new 2-series range, X4, 4-series range and revised X3 all also keeping him busy.

12  Denis Keenan KeeResources, Managing director (Down one)

The driving force behind the KwikCarcost whole-life cost data used by BusinessCar among myriad other services, KeeResources continues to grow its influence in the industry, headed by the enthusiastic Keenan.

11  Michael O’Shea Volkswagen, Head of VW Fleet

O’Shea has this year had the e-Up and e-Golf electric pair to introduce to the market, and is now building up to the launch of the new Passat.


10  Ed Hummel Glass’s, Managing director (New entry)

 Former Honda fleet boss Hummel is about to step up and take over from Ian Tilbrook as the boss of the UK arm of EurotaxGlass’s. There’s a mood of resurgence at Glass’s, and it is increasing its profile, voice and product offering to the market, with GlassForecast a particular area of interest as the firm finally seeks to challenge Cap in the area of future value prediction.

9  Martin Ward Cap, Manufacturer relations manager (Down one)

Never shy of voicing an opinion, Cap’s Ward is the leading external authority consulted by manufacturers in terms of how vehicles should be specced and brought to market to achieve the healthiest residual value. It is this high profile that keeps him one spot above his Glass’s rival.

8  Gerry Keaney British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, Chief executive (Up four)

Keaney has ensured the BVRLA is increasingly vocal – both in public and in lobbying – on a whole range of issues affecting the industry, including the abolition of the driving licence counterpart and tax disc to the removal of toll booths from the Dartford crossing and low-emission car incentives.

7  John Pryor Association of Car Fleet Operators, Chairman (New entry)

 ACFO’s third chairman in 18 months, Pryor is in charge of all travel across clothing giant Arcadia Group, and has been an ACFO member for 18 years. A key focus of his tenure as chairman will be to push the point that even if fleet managers outsource, they still need to have knowledge of how their fleets operate within the firm.

6  James Taylor Vauxhall, Fleet sales director (No change)

A new and refined 1.6-litre diesel going across the range has been a boost for the UK’s number two fleet manufacturer this year, as has the revised Insignia’s class-leading emissions figure of 98g/km. Taylor stated last year that Vauxhall is still aiming to knock Ford off the top spot for retail and true fleet registrations.

5  Richard Schooling Alphabet GB, Chief executive (No change)

Lease firm Alphabet continues to grow, recording an increase of more than 12,000 units last year, and is also developing its industry-leading Alphaelectric EV and Alphacity car-sharing programmes, having appointed a new business development manager across both programmes and launching a free five-car trial on the latter.

4  Matt Dyer Leaseplan UK, Managing director (New entry)

Dyer stepped up from his previous role as commercial director earlier this year to replace the Nexus Vehicle Management-bound David Brennan. Dyer has a number of plans in the offing, including a big upgrade of Leaseplan’s digital offering, and more retail-driven leasing.

3  Phil Hollins Ford, Director, fleet operations (Up one)

It’s been a year of two halves for Hollins: the first half focused on the revamp of Ford’s LCV offering through the new Transit, Connect and Courier introductions, and the second half was the build-up to the new Mondeo and revised Focus, coming before the end of 2014. They will be followed next year by equivalent versions of the respective people carriers after the recent reveal of the facelifted C-max and new S-max as Ford seeks to maintain its leading position in car fleet and in LCV registrations in the UK.

2  Tim Porter Lex Autolease, Managing director (No change)

Lex Autolease now has more than 290,000 vehicles on its funded fleet, more than the next two – Leaseplan and Alphabet – put together. That figure includes growth of more than 10,000 units in the first half of this year, coming mainly from an increase in its commercial vehicle division, which the company is hoping to push further from its current 70,000 units into six figures. Porter has also joined the BVRLA’s management committee, increasing his industry influence.

1  George Osborne Government, Chancellor (No change)

The Treasury’s push to reclaim more revenue from company car drivers has kept George Osborne at the top of the BusinessCar Power List for 2014, although it might be his last appearance for a while, depending on the result of the General Election next year.

The chancellor’s move to sharply increase company car benefit-in-kind bands guarantees big hikes in tax for anyone driving a fleet car, regardless of how efficient it is, with Treasury figures predicting that the BIK band increases – which will put the minimum for conventional company cars at 19% – will rake in an additional £720m.

The good news at least is that the industry will get plenty of warning, with annual tax year rates confirmed all the way out to April 2019. Ultra low-emission vehicles will continue to receive incentives to help drive acceptance and uptake. With that General Election looming, it will be interesting to see whether Osborne tries to give anything back to business car drivers in his final Budget before the big day.

Gone from 2013’s big list

There are 14 names missing from the 2014 Power List that graced it last year. Three of the top 10 have changed: David Brennan left Leaseplan, Damian James stepped down as ACFO chairman, and Ed Hummel taking over as boss of Glass’s sees him enter the list at the expense of colleague Richard Parkin. The top 20 has two further departures, with Steve Chater moving up from his fleet role within BMW, and Allstar’s Callum Gibson moving on within parent firm Fleetcor.

Further down, Peugeot fleet boss Phil Robson was promoted to a new role at the firm’s Paris HQ, and HMRC’s Jamal Ali is no longer responsible for fleet-related policy. Outside the top 30, Chris Jolly of IDS Topcalc has taken semi-retirement, while David Bird leaves the list after Leasedrive’s acquisition by Hg Capital. Getting new jobs are Kaye Ceille, who previously headed up Avis-Budget UK but is now president of Zipcar’s worldwide business, while European Comissioner Antonio Tajani, who was responsible for climate change, has moved to become vice-president of the European Parliament.

Volvo’s safety expert Thomas Broberg, GM’s range-extender EV specialist Larry Nitz, and British Gas’s head of EV services Andreas Atkins missed the cut.


Name   Company Job title Movement
1. George Osborn Government Chancellor
2. Tim Porter Lex Autolease MD
3. Phil Hollins Ford Director, fleet operations +1
4. Matt Dyer Leaseplan UK MD NE
5. Richard Schooling Alphabet GB Chief Executive
6. James Taylor Vauxhall Fleet sales director
7. John Pryor ACFO Chairman NE
8. Gerry Keaney BVRLA Chief Executive   +4
9. Martin Ward Cap Manufacturer Relations Manager -1
10. Ed Hummel Glass’s Managing director NE
11. Michael O’Shea Volkswagen Head of VW Fleet   -1
12. Denis Keenan KeeResource managing director CEO                                                             -1
13. Matt Bristow BMW General manager, corporate sales NE
14. Benoit Dilly Arval CEO
15. Mel Dawson ALD Automotive MD +1
16. Patrick McLoughin Government Transport Secretary -1
17. James Douglas Audi Fleet sales director +1
18. Boris Johnson London Mayor +5
19. Graham Wheeler Volkswagen Financial Services Managing Director –
20. Peter Bridgen Fleetcor UK Managing director, fuelcards NE
21. Martin Gurney Peugeot Director of fleet and used vehicle operations NE
22. Alistair Dougans HMRC Policy advisor NE
23. Adrian Bowley Enterprise Director of business rental -2
24. Ken McCall Europcar Managing director -2
25. Oliver Morley DVLA Chief executive +10
26. Barry Beeston Nissan Corporate sales director +2
27. Hugh Wallace Arnold Clark Finance MD -2
28. Tim Buchan Zenith-Leasedrive Holdings Managing director +14
29. Simon Oliphant Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions Chief Executive
30. Llaria del Beato GE Capital CEO -4
31. Nick Andrews Mercedes-Benz Head of Fleet Sales
32. Roddy Graham ICFM Chairman -5
33. Phil Price IDS Topcalc Residual values editor NE
34. Peter Lambert Kwik-Fit Fleet director -2
35. Bob Contreras Northgate Chief Executive   +1
36. Mike Williams HM Treasury Director, Business and international tax +1
37. Bob Middleton DaimlerChrysler Financial Services RE
38. Jon Olsen BCA Chief Executive   +1
39. Martin Wilson Hyundai Fleet director +2
40. Neil Broad Toyota/Lexus General manager, fleet services NE
41. Michiel van Ratingen Euro NCAP Secretary general -3
42. Dave Bowen BT Fleet managing director -8
43. Michael Hawes SMMT Chief executive +2
44. Connie Hedegarrd European Commission Commissioner for climate change NE
45. Keith Allen ARI Managing director -1
46. Lance Bradley Mitsubishi Motors UK Managing director NE
47. Jane Urquhart Nottingham City Council Portfolio Holder for transport and planning
48. Mark Servodidio Avis-Budget UK Managing director NE
49. Rob Morton Centrica/British Gas MD supply chain and procurement NE
50. Mike Betts Motability Chief executive -1