Barclays Corporate has signalled its confidence in the fleet sector by striking a deal with one of the FN50’s rising stars.
Zenith is set to benefit from an introducer agreement, which will see it provide access to vehicles and fleet management services to businesses that secure fleet funding through the bank.
Barclays Corporate would not be drawn on whether it had considered establishing its own contract hire or fleet management business, rather than developing this partnership approach. However, the move continues a trend where banks have been shifting away from non-core operations, such as contract hire and vehicle management.
Alex Brown, managing director and head of Asset Finance at Barclays Corporate, said: “We have always been a key supporter of contract hire sector – supporting around 60% of the independent market.
“Today’s announcement is an extension of this support in a move which enables us to offer access to contract hire and fleet management solutions to our corporate clients.”
Tim Buchan, chief executive officer at Zenith, said: “We are delighted to be appointed by Barclays to provide contract hire to its customers; it’s a real milestone for our business.”
The proposition allows Barclays Corporate to provide a key service to its corporate customers, who will be offered a full range of funding solutions including contract hire, contract purchase and sale and leaseback, as well as maintenance, accident management and daily rental solutions.
Zenith is looking to double its fleet from 32,000 to 64,000 over the next four or five years, purely through organic means.
Last year it signed a deal with Santander which saw the bank's corporate customers offered fleet funding through Santander with Zenith Provecta providing fleet management.
Zenith's target is the medium to large corporates, typically with 250-plus vehicles, and deals with the likes of Santander are helping to bring in some big contract wins.
Since the acquisition of Provecta Car Plan in May 2008, Zenith has already seen considerable growth and last year Morgan Stanley Private Equity acquired a 60% stake in the company.