2023 Judges

The Asset Finance Connect Summer Awards are a peer judged awards, with some of the most prominent names within the industry sitting on the judging panel.

Asset Finance Community Head
Asset Finance Connect

Stephen has 47 years experience in the Asset Finance and Leasing sector across most disciplines, market sectors and equipment types.

He has held senior executive roles in a number of well-known and sizeable asset finance businesses and has recently retired as MD of Arkle Finance a subsidiary of Wetherbys Bank.

Leader – auto finance
Asset Finance Connect

David Betteley started his career in Financial Services as a graduate trainee with Lloyds and Scottish Finance (part of the Lloyds Bank Group) in Manchester in the late 70’s. In 1989 he joined the International Motors Group (IM) to set up their in-house Finance Company in the UK to support the Hyundai and Subaru brands. Staying with IM, he moved to Sweden in 1992 to run the vehicle distribution operations for IM in Scandinavia, Russia and the Baltic states.

In 1996 he moved back to the UK to become MD of Vauxhall Finance and successfully managed the transition from 7 branches to one central location. In 1998 he was recruited by Toyota to insource their Financial Services operations in the UK. He went on to become a Senior Vice President when he had the responsibility for overall operations, sales and marketing and the development of new markets for both Toyota and Lexus in the Europe and Africa region.

During this 12 year period at Toyota he also served as a Pension Trusteee which gives him good experience to serve in a similar capacity at JLR. In 2010 David joined Jaguar Land Rover as Global Financial Services Director, retiring in July 2017. David now works as an independent advisor to Genpact Ltd and other companies. His main non-executive role has been as Chairman of the Finance and Leasing Association in the UK during the period May 2007 to May 2010.

David holds an MBA from Aston Business School Outside work his time is mainly devoted to his family.

However he enjoys the occasional game of golf and still follows closely the fortunes of Manchester City.

CBC Resourcing Solutions

Graeme set up CBC Resourcing Solutions in 1992, with it then being known as CBC Associates. They are recruitment specialists in the fields of Asset, Motor, Invoice and Consumer Finance.

Graeme is also a Director at The Leasing Foundation.

Prior to starting CBC, Graeme worked at companies including Midland Bank and Hewitt Management Selection.

Head of Asset Finance
Cambridge & Counties Bank

I have been part of the asset finance industry for over 20 years, having enjoyed roles at some familiar names including Aldermore, Hitachi and most recently Shawbrook.

I joined Cambridge & Counties Bank in April 2022 to head up the asset finance team and build on its already strong foundation, and forge a path in the everchanging lending landscape.

Commercial, Close Brothers

Neil Davies has over 30 years’ experience in asset finance, both as a broker and lender.

He has held non-executive and executive roles in several companies specialising in a range of sectors, including seed capital, engineering, telecoms, and lending. Neil joined Close Brothers in 2008 and was responsible for establishing the Leasing division, which was the Bank’s first determined attempt to make an impact in the middle ticket leasing sector.

In 2017 he was promoted to the position of Close Brothers Asset Finance and Leasing before being further promoted to his current role of CEO of the Commercial division, which has 21 business areas and employs over 850 people based at multiple sites in the UK, Ireland, and Germany.

The division has a loan book of more than £4bn spread across a variety of specialist markets, including regulated and non-regulated lending, and in B2B and B2C markets.

Director of Asset Finance
Metro Bank

A highly experienced Sales and Operations Executive with in excess of 20 years practice across Operations, Sales, Project Management and Operational Risk.

Recognised as a reliable, conscientious individual with a ‘can-do’ attitude, who maintains excellent relationships with both internal and external customers.

Commercial Director
Propel Finance

20 years’ experience in the SME lending market across a range of commercial & leadership roles.

Holds a proven track record in scaling asset finance businesses through direct, intermediary and vendor channels; with a passion for delivering great results for customers through great people & with great technologies.

Head of Asset Finance,
United Trust Bank

Nathan joined UTB from Metro Bank where he has been Director of their Asset Finance division since 2015. Nathan is a successful Asset Finance professional with over 20 years’ experience in the industry.

After spending 15 years with Wesleyan Bank as Sales Director he moved to Metro Bank in 2015 to lead their asset finance business. Over 5 years he was instrumental in growing Metro Bank’s asset finance balances.

Nathan is also chair of The Leasing Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that supports the business finance sector through innovation; the development of young people; and diversity and inclusion.

co-founder & director
Compass Business Finance

Mark is a co-founder and director of Compass Business Finance, an independent company specialising in the provision of asset-based finance to niche industry sectors, such as, print, packaging, construction and engineering. Established in 2005, Mark and his brother Jamie have navigated the economic landscape and built a business that has achieved continual growth. In 2019, David Bunker joined the business as a third director helping to ignite an accelerated growth phase for the business which currently employs 21 team members. Compass holds both it’s own book, and acts as a broker, providing customers with a flexible and competitive approach to lending.

Key to the success of the business, is the depth of specialist knowledge possessed by the team, along with their agile, innovative and relational business style.

Director of Asset Finance
Time Finance

Meet Steve Nichols, Head of Asset Finance at Time Finance. With over 20 years of experience in Banking and Asset Finance.

Steve's expertise in Asset Finance has been honed through his work with some of the leading names. Before joining Time Finance, he held senior positions at Simply Asset Finance, Close Brothers and Santander.

As a natural people-person, Steve is known for his ability to build high performing teams. He acts a leader and mentor to others and has a natural talent for identifying potential in others and helping maximise their ability.

Steve is committed to staying at the forefront of the industry and is always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to drive the sector forward. He understands the challenges that businesses face in today's rapidly changing landscape and is dedicated to finding solutions that deliver real results.

With his experience, expertise, and passion for helping others, Steve Nichols is a key member of the Time Finance leadership team. His commitment to excellence, coupled with his natural leadership skills, make him a true standout in the Asset Finance industry.

Asset Finance Connect

Edward Peck is a life-long publisher. He co-founded Asset Finance International in 2009, and prior to that Commercial Payments International.

He acquired the publishing divisions of Lafferty Limited in 2004 – where he ran retail banking; commercial and consumer cards; accounting and wealth management newsletters reports and global conferences.

In 2004 he bought VRL Publishing, publishers of Leasing Life. Prior to that he was a Director at Huveaux PLC.

Former Managing Director of Dods Parliamentary Companion.

He sold the family business, Nursery World, a weekly childcare magazine, to News International in 1997.

Alexander Angel

Finance, SME and Commercial Management executive with over several years experience in leading organisations.

A track record of managing multiple businesses and complex relationships at board level. Passionate about creating commercial and organisational culture which delivers sustainable value for the business and its stakeholders.

Commercially focused with an ability to understand the long term impact of decision making on the success of the organisation and for the teams and individuals.

A high performance coach of managers and peers across a diverse range of business functions to build high performing teams


Mike Randall has over 30 years’ experience in the asset finance sector, having held many senior positions. In 2017 he founded Simply, with a vision to attract the best people and work as one team to help customers and brokers secure the funding they need. Believing there is an opportunity to challenge the current industry status quo, Mike is focused on recreating the customer experience by challenging current standards. He is also passionate about encouraging cross-sector collaboration which will help all small and medium enterprises across the UK grow and prosper. Mike is the chairperson of the Leasing Foundation, with a focus on innovation and actively developing young talent.

European Equipment Finance Community Leader
Asset Finance Connect

John Rees has worked in equipment finance for over 40 years, most recently with Societe Generale’s equipment finance subsidiary, where he focused on the UK, Australian, and Chinese markets before joining the bank’s headquarters in Paris with global responsibility for sales and marketing.

A chartered accountant, Christian has held senior corporate finance positions both on the client side with Macquarie Bank and in professional services at Grant Thornton, where he was involved in a series of noteworthy deals that have shaped today’s asset finance market.

Christian also brings international general management insights, having been Global Managing Director of Datatec Financial Services.

Special Advisor, CEO Office

During a 40-year banking and financial services career Andrew worked in risk management roles for Chemical Bank and Security Pacific EuroFinance, before joining GE Capital in 1993. He was involved in many of the acquisitions made by its European Equipment Finance business, before being appointed Risk Director of GE Commercial Financial Services Europe in 2001.

He left to join KeyBank’s European business as Credit & Risk Director in 2004, and then took up a similar position at Hitachi Capital UK in 2012. At Hitachi (now Mitsubishi HC Capital UK, trading as Novuna), Andrew oversaw a four-fold growth in its portfolio by 2020, covering consumer lending, asset finance, vehicle leasing, vendor finance and working capital solutions.

Since 2021 he has been Advisor to the CEO at Novuna; he is also a director of some private companies, chairs the Business Advisory Board of Credit Strategy, serves on the Risk Committee of a private debt fund, and undertakes other ad hoc advisory work.

In his spare time he enjoys country walks, cinema, cooking, Pilates, and playing with old cars.

Sales Director
Haydock Finance

Andy Taylor is Sales Director of Haydock Finance, a company that specialises in providing supportive business finance to a diverse range of SMEs. Andy, who hails from Widnes, joined Haydock in September 2019 following a career which spans over 20 years in asset based lending.

Andy’s career first began with NWS Bank Plc and includes stints with GE Capital Equipment Finance Ltd, over 13 years with market-leading ING Lease UK Ltd and more recently Hitachi Capital Business Finance where he was Head of Sales, responsible for Broker, Vendor, Block Discounting and Stock Finance. During his tenure at Hitachi, Andy was directly accountable for growing the Company’s own book from c£250m to well over £1bn.

At Haydock, Andy has taken responsibility for structuring the national sales strategy which has underpinned the company’s ambitious growth plans and contributed to a record loan book size of £600m. He has successfully implemented a strong nationwide team of relationship managers, a specialist agriculture offering, two defined channels for vendor and structured plus a stock finance offering now serving over 91 dealers.