Who we are

Executive Team

Robert Gordon
Robert Gordon
CEO Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC

Robert is a Chartered Accountant and an economics graduate, qualifying with Deloitte & Touche in Australia before moving to the United Kingdom in 1985.

With over 20 years’ experience in the finance industry, Robert joined Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC in 2006 as Managing Director of Business Finance, before joining the board as Group Finance Director in September of the same year; steering the direction, strategy and M&A activity of the Group. Robert was later appointed as Chief Operating Officer in June 2011.

Robert is also Chairman of the CSR Committee and is actively involved in leading various projects, including setting up an important initiative to support the farming community during the flooding in 2014. He has also recently undertaken the role of Business Advisor at Enactus, where he offers student-led teams a valuable source of knowledge and experience.

Robert is also a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Robert is married with two children, and enjoys playing tennis, golf, skiing and playing the piano.

 

Jon Lawes
Jon Lawes
Managing Director, Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions

Jon is Managing Director of Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions, and also serves on the Supervisory Board for Hitachi Capital Polska Sp.   z o.o. - the company’s Polish subsidiary.

Jon started his career back in 1993 at Wincanton Vehicle Rentals, and has since worked his way up to become a fellow member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. Prior to his current position at Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions, Jon held a variety of roles within the business, starting as Company Accountant and later moving on to the roles of Financial Controller, Financial Planning & Analysis Manager and General Manager, before securing the position of Divisional Managing Director of Hitachi Capital Commercial Vehicle Solutions.

To date, Jon considers the successful growth of Hitachi Capital Commercial Vehicle Solutions as one of his biggest achievements in business, growing the commercial fleet from 700 units in 2001 to more than 30,000 vehicles in 2015. Jon has also led a number of acquisitions, including Newtown Vehicle Rentals (NVR), as well as acquiring 9,000 vehicles from Lombard Vehicle Management.

With more than 20 years’ experience in the fleet and leasing industry, Jon still finds leasing an exciting industry and has worked across many sectors within the Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions group. He also currently represents part of the Executive Committee for Hitachi Capital (UK) Plc.

Additionally, as Chairperson for the BVRLA Commercial Vehicle Committee, Jon is responsible for raising awareness of the BVRLA code of conduct within this sector, ensuring an accurate representation of members' views and opinions can be presented to government on specific issues.

Outside of work responsibilities, Jon is married and has twin boys. Most of his spare time is spent with the family and walking the dog, although he does enjoy a game of five aside football!

Experts

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Mike Belcher
Head of Sales - Corporate

Mike has been in the leasing industry since 2002. Having returned to the UK from Cyprus in 1992, he initially took on a role as a packaging designer, where his claim to fame was that he had designed the original Motorola flip phone packaging box.

Mike subsequently moved into hospitality and held the enviable position (for some!) of Operations Manager at Chelsea FC.

Mike joined the Hitachi Capital team in 2008 as a Business Development Manager. He has since held key management roles within Service Delivery and Sales, becoming an expert on tax products such as Eco, Salary Sacrifice and Cash Allowance Schemes and using this knowledge to drive the business forward.

He moved on to his present role as Head of Corporate Sales in 2011, where he is responsible for Sales, Account Management and Reporting for all of our corporate customers.

In his spare time, Mike enjoys windsurfing (when practical!), watching films and reading. Mike is also trying to learn how to play squash, which is not an easy task!

Mike MacDougal
Mike MacDougall
Head of Sales - Specialist Assets

Having worked in the automotive industry for 39 years, Mike spent his first 10 years working in parts, starting in motor factors, and later securing his first management role after 6 years in the industry.

Mike became Sales Director at VIA GTI Group in 1994, venturing into the commercial vehicle contract hire business for the first time.

In 1998 he took on the role of Director Dealer Principal with the DTV Group. In 2004 he joined the Ford Motor Group as General Manager of their three commercial vehicle businesses in London & Chelmsford.

Mike joined Hitachi Capital Commercial Vehicle Solutions as Head of Sales in 2008, at a time when the UK economy was just moving into recession. Since then, and despite significant economic challenges, he has been responsible for the continued strategic expansion of the company’s commercial vehicle solutions business.

 

Terry Harvey
Terry Harvey
Head of Group Tax

Tax can sometimes be seen as a dry subject, but it has not stopped Terry from having fun in his 10 years as resident tax expert for Hitachi Capital (UK) Plc. With an indomitable spirit, he’s kept a sharp eye on all matters relating to VAT, Corporation Tax and Income Tax, helping the business to navigate all things HMRC.

 

Terry is not your stereotypical tax man and is well known in the office for his chatty, outgoing and engaging character.

 

A Chartered Accountant, Terry obtained a BSc in Maths and Physics and a MSc in 'Numerical Solution of Differential Equations / Computational Fluid Dynamics' from Reading University.

 

He has a broad background in manufacturing, distribution, retail and financial services, which makes him perfectly suited to deal with the complexity of issues raised by a diverse customer base.

 

Born in Belfast, Terry enjoys visiting National Trust properties and going for long walks with his springer spaniel, Barney and also has a keen interest in gardening. But perhaps he's best known for his baking triumphs! His willingness to share the fruits of his baking labour around the office is possibly key to his popularity.

 

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Lucy Hill
Head of Operations

Lucy has been in the leasing industry since 2003, spending the first 8 years of her career in various finance roles, from Financial Analyst to Commercial Manager, and is a CIMA qualified accountant.

In 2011, Lucy secured her first senior management position within Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions, as Head of Contract Management. She moved to her current role as Head of Operations in April 2012.

In her role, Lucy spends most of her time driving improved performance levels within multi-disciplined teams, whether that be customer KPIs or operational cost savings, and believes that developing people is central to her team’s success. Lucy recently launched a High Performing Team programme for Hitachi Capital and currently sponsors the company’s Apprenticeship Scheme. She is also an Employee Engagement Champion for Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions.

Lucy has a competitive nature and likes a challenge, so is always thinking about the next idea or problem to solve – but she has a great team that keeps her in check, ensuring she doesn’t get too carried away.

In her personal time Lucy enjoys playing netball, running, spending time with her dog, ‘Bear’ and holidaying with her better half, Andy.

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Damien Fortune
Head of Risk

Damien joined Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions as Head of Risk in March 2016, taking on responsibility for Credit Risk Underwriting, Asset Risk and Collections across all sales channels.

Damien previously held the role of Head of Risk at LeasePlan, where he started immediately after leaving university. He subsequently worked his way up through the ranks at Leaseplan, starting from the very bottom (on a 6 week temp contract) right up to a senior leadership role.

Graduating from the University of Hull with a degree in Mathematics, as well as being a ACCA qualified accountant, Damien brings a strong academic background and over 12 years of experience, working across numerous projects involving credit risk, taxation, collections, data structure, decision analytics and end user application development.

In his spare time Damien is a keen film-lover and concert-goer. He goes to the cinema almost every week with his wife. Damien is also a season ticket holder at his favourite football club, Chelsea FC.

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Elaine Mowbray
Head of Finance

Elaine joined Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions in March 2014 as Head of Finance and currently leads a robust, senior finance team for the company. Having gained invaluable industry experience over the years, and as a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants in England and Wales, she is expertly equipped to form a key role in the company’s growth strategy over the coming years – a prospect that she and her team relishes.

Prior to joining Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions, Elaine held the role of Head of Finance at Arval Ltd, where she gained extensive knowledge of the contract hire and leasing industry. She worked at Arval for several years, and amongst other things, was a key member of the project team responsible for the implementation of their new contract hire system.

Elaine also previously worked in telecommunications, holding a variety of roles with Vodafone Ltd. Her final role with Vodafone was Head of Financial Planning, on a two year secondment in Madrid. In her own words, this was "a wonderful personal experience" and offered the opportunity to learn Spanish.

As a result of her time in Madrid, Elaine now loves all things Spanish, especially Sangria and Tapas. She tries to visit Spain several times a year.

Elaine lives with her husband in Spencer’s Wood, near Reading, and in her spare time enjoys playing tennis - a good opportunity for her to unleash her competitive side!

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Nicky Brennan
Head of Change and Transformation

Nicky has been with Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions since August 2014 and brings with her over 17 years' experience in the leasing industry.  She started her career at Motability, quickly working her way through the ranks, holding roles in finance, pricing, operations and manufacturer relations and finally as a specialist in change management and project delivery.

She later moved to Arval as Head of Projects, where she built on her project management experience to lead a team delivering a wide range of business critical changes, including the implementation of a new contract hire system.  A two and a half year role at UCAS followed, where Nicky was Programme Director, leading the organisation's transformation programme.

Nicky considers her main professional strength to be her ability to bridge the gap between business teams and IT functions, bringing them together to prioritise needs effectively and drive tangible results.  The experience Nicky gained in operational roles at the start of her career means she has a solid understanding and appreciation of business and operational activities, and the critical nature of service delivery.

Outside of work, Nicky is a Governor at her local secondary school – a demanding role but one she enjoys as she can influence the strategic direction of the school for the benefit of all, including her two teenage children - both of whom are currently pupils there.  What spare time she has left is taken up with home baking (her cakes are legendary) along with plenty of swimming and running to cater for the calorie intake!

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Scott Holland
Head of Driver and Fleet Management Services

There’s not much that Scott has not seen in his 21 years in the contract hire and leasing industry - this makes him the go-to guy for views on anything new in the market.

A bit of a car enthusiast (to say the least), Scott’s knowledge of the automotive industry is second to none.

Prior to joining Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions in 2008, he held various supply and re-marketing roles for automotive companies, including that of Head of Re-Marketing at Arval.

Scott has more recently been appointed Head of Driver and Fleet Management Services at Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions, and is part of the Senior Leadership team.

In his spare time, Scott enjoys spending time with the family, which by his own admission usually involves coaching his two boys from the side-lines of a soggy football field, or ferrying them to and from horse riding lessons. In dryer moments, he likes to indulge his passion for motorsport.

Suzanne Phillips
Suzanne Phillips
National Fleet Consultant

Suzanne is a National Fleet Consultant at Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions, working as part of the team responsible for delivering value and innovation to its wide customer and prospect base.

As a qualified accountant with over 11 years’ fleet experience, she has been instrumental in developing areas such as re-shaping fleet policy in line with future mobility solutions, and implementing blended funding to minimise the impact on cash flow and treasury.

Her role includes portfolio evaluation, business strategy development, and consultancy in areas such as funding and taxation.

Suzanne is married with two children. She enjoys cycling, having completed the London to Brighton cycle ride.

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Jonathan Southall
Marketing Business Partner

Jonathan is the Marketing Business Partner for the Specialist Asset, Van, HGV and Plant channel within Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions.

Joining Hitachi Capital in early 2013, Jonathan was originally responsible for marketing commercial vehicle solutions to both SME and large corporate organisations.

With 20 years’ marketing experience working in large corporate organisations, marketing agencies and start-ups, Jonathan brings a wide range of skills and knowledge gained from time in the technology telecommunications and digital music industries. He has held UK and EMEA marketing positions in a number of companies, including 3Com, Ingram Micro, BT, 7digital and the Caudwell Group.

Prior to his Marketing career, Jonathan gained a degree in Applied Psychology and Computing from Bournemouth University.

He is married with three children, who take up most of his spare time outside of work.

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Guest Blogger
Various

At Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions we like to fill our site with interesting and informative articles. That’s why, from time to time, we like to feature original posts from guest bloggers.

We’re interested in the opinions of others - even if they don’t necessarily reflect our own views. Hopefully the insight and personal experiences they bring makes for a more interesting read.

Most of our guest bloggers have a journalistic background, working as writers, editors or broadcasters (or all three). But occasionally we invite comments from industry luminaries, experts in their field and the political elite. Sometimes the content is topical, sometimes it’s funny, but mostly it’s genuinely interesting and useful to our readers (we hope).

Ryan Dearing
Ryan Dearing
Business Intelligence Manager

Ryan is the manager of Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions’ Business Intelligence offering that provides smart, useful and consistent information to help fleets develop better efficiency, safety and cost strategies.

A qualified chartered accountant, Ryan joined Hitachi Capital in 2014 after more than a decade in the utilities industry. He is a telematics expert, with extensive experience of working with analytics and reporting software. He is also adept at visualising data and presenting insights in a compelling manner.

Ryan puts that expertise to use for Hitachi Capital’s customers, collating and analysing data on their fleets’ activities to identify trends and opportunities for change. He has a detailed understanding of the full range of Business Intelligence services on offer, and works closely with clients to build bespoke solutions that meet their organisation’s requirements.

Outside of work, Ryan is a keen golfer and enjoys motorsports, particularly of the two-wheeled variety.

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James Bligh
National Sales Manager

Coming from a farming background, James started his career in Good Year GB working in HGV and specialist plant and agriculture markets. Over the past 27 years, he has worked at Dawson Group, Via GTI and BNP Paribas Lease Group specialising in the HGV market.

James works in the Specialist Asset Solutions team at Hitachi Capital, leading a team of Business Development Managers focused on HGV and specialist plant leasing across a wide range of markets.

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Paulo Larkman
Fleet Consultant

Paulo has over two decades experience in the financial services sector with fifteen of those years working within vehicle fleet. He has worked for global businesses and has worked independently providing expertise to leasing companies, banks and other organisations. Having spent seven years as the Director of Fleet Consultancy Services at Lombard he is now helping Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions deliver value to its customers.

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