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Walden to leave Lex

Date: 16 February 2009

"People are talking about extending lease contracts but not yet doing it. I thought it would have happened by now," says Jon Walden, Lex

Jon Walden, boss of the UK's biggest leasing firm Lex, is to leave the business at the end of March.

Walden (pictured), who has been in charge at Lex since 1999 and is number two in the BusinessCar Power List of the most influential people in fleet, leaves as part of the moves to bring the company under the control of the Lloyds TSB Autolease as part of the deal that has seen Lloyds TSB take over Lex parent HBOS.

The new superleasing company combining Lex and Lloyds TSB, the second biggest player in the market, will be run by current Autolease managing director Nigel Stead, who is also number three in the BusinessCar Power List. His new role takes effect in early March.

"Jon has decided to pursue work outside the financial services market and we offer him our best wishes as he prepares to leave the group," said David Oldfield, managing director for Lloyds Banking Group Asset Finance.

"Nigel Stead has been in the contract hire industry for many years and is well known and highly respected. We are already planning how to bring the Lex and Autolease businesses together to create a strong and innovative market leader offering the highest levels of service, buying power and industry expertise."

The move to integrate the two businesses ends speculation that Lex could be sold off.

The new leasing company will dominate the market and be responsible for more than 400,000 new cars. Second on the list by volume is Leaseplan with around 120,000.