Fleet News

Fleet 'names' launch contract hire firm

A NEW contract hire and vehicle management company has been launched by well-known industry figure Nick Brown. Harrogate-based Black i will start trading at the end of January with Brown pledging that the new company will provide 'big company benefits while ensuring small company personal service'.

Brown, a former vice-chairman of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association and currently a member of its board of management, has raised 'significant' private capital to launch the new venture. Presently based at premises privately owned by Brown he expects the business - staff for which are being recruited - will move to Harrogate later this month.

Brown, who has almost 30 years' experience in the leasing industry, has previously developed and launched leasing companies for Trimoco, Hartwell and latterly the Lloyds TSB Group. Joining Brown in the venture is John Halstead as financial director. He has held various posts in the automotive and contract hire, leasing and vehicle management industries with various subsidiaries of Lex Service and the Appleyard Group. Latterly he was financial director of Appleyard Vehicle Contracts.

Black i's non-executive chairman is Lord Bellwin, who includes among a wide portfolio of interests being a former non-executive director of motor group Trimoco. And non-executive director is Ian Mosley, who was managing director of Swan National Leasing from 1976-90 then chief executive of Swan National/ EuroDollar Holdings.

In 1993 Swan National Leasing was sold to Midland Bank and Mosley led a management buyout team in the purchase from the TSB Group of its car rental operations and then oversaw the public flotation of EuroDollar in 1994 before negotiating the sale of the company to US-based Republic Industries in 1997 and subsequently leaving the company.

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