Leaseurope Future Group – nurturing talent in the auto and equipment finance sectors

boobyer chris Future Group

Leaseurope and Invigors EMEA are passionate about establishing the most favourable environment to attract, retain and stimulate the millennial generation to apply their collective intellectual capabilities and energy to the European asset and motor finance industry.

Since 2013, Invigors has guided the pan-European Future Group, comprised of talented individuals identified by their respective CEOs as potential leaders.

The Future Group was established by the Leaseurope CEO Business Council, which is comprised of the leading chief executives of European asset finance and automotive leasing companies.

At the inaugural 2013 council, the need for innovation and the ability to attract and retain the right people to work within the leasing industry were the main themes discussed.

The idea was to create a pan-European group of young, talented individuals from all sectors of the industry to examine the strategic and tactical issues confronting the industry and address them through the lens of innovation in products, services and processes.

The Future Groups from 2013 – 2016 were focussed purely on the theme of innovation, with the result that more than 60 new ideas were originated and discussed within the respective groups during that time, of which 12 were presented to the various Leaseurope conventions.

Last year’s Leaseurope Convention in Malta celebrated the fifth anniversary of the programme, which now has an alumnus of 75 individuals who, having worked together during their respective groups, have started to create the all-important bonds and networks to enhance and sustain their leasing experiences within their respective countries and organisations.

Future Group 2017

The ‘Class of 2017’ (pictured) was tasked with devising and creating practical solutions to some of the more challenging strategic and tactical issues facing the industry, as identified by the 2017 CEO Business Council.

These included its low adoption of new technologies; thinking how non-financial institutions may gain a competitive edge if they enter the market; and devising social media strategies to attract different customer segments to the industry.

Each of the topics required the creation of specific strategies to address these issues as well as the ability to construct effective and persuasive presentations to explain their thinking.

How the programme works

Having been nominated by their CEO, the participants meet for the first time during late April/early May with an initial welcome to the group, where they are introduced to their new colleagues, given an update on the European asset and motor finance market’s current and past performance, then provided with a detailed briefing about their tasks.

The individual members then select a topic to address and start work on their idea and presentation.

The second meeting takes place over two days in June , when early ideas are presented by the individuals to the rest of the group.

There is then a peer group voting process which selects the top three ideas and presentations that will form the basis of the Leaseurope Convention session.

The three concepts selected by this process are then worked on by the remainder of the participants, who are allocated to one of three teams under the leadership of the respective authors of the winning concepts.

This teamwork takes place over the summer, with the participants gathering for a final meeting in Brussels during September to share their final ideas and presentations.

This is the opportunity to refine and finalise presentations and for the team leaders to practise their presentation in front of the group before the Leaseurope conference.

A rewarding experience

Every member of the Future Group is invited to the Leaseurope Annual Convention, where their introduction to the more strategic dynamic of the industry is enhanced by attendance at the various programme elements, and by meeting and discussing different aspects with their more senior colleagues and other delegates.

For me and my colleague Richard Ryan, our Future Group experiences over the years could be described as “challenging, informative, creative, pressurised, rewarding and one of the best things we do”.

Taking a group of sometimes raw industry talent and helping them to understand some of the critical dynamics of our industry, alongside correlations with the wider economy, is a tremendous experience.

We see people who are obviously really good at their ‘day jobs’ develop and grow as they start to consider wider industry issues and consider new concepts and potential innovations.

Richard adds that, for him, it is very rewarding to see the interaction between the delegates and their realisation that it is possible to be the best of competitors and the best of friends as well.

He said: “Many hard-working people just don’t get the opportunity to meet their industry peers, so to have created this concept and to see the fantastic results of their work on stage at the convention over the past five years has been amazing.”

The programme has many related benefits. The participants are tutored in the ‘big picture’ of leasing and the macroeconomy; they enhance their public speaking skills by addressing large audiences (up to 450 senior executives will be listening to their presentations).

Furthermore, they gain practical experience of team building and distance management, as during the summer each group must work cohesively as a team and deliver results.

They also learn how to structure, edit and condense complex concepts into easily understandable ideas and how to prepare coherent and feasible business cases to underline the sustainability of their ideas.

We also believe that from the depth of talent we have seen and worked closely with during the past five years of the Future Group programme, the industry is in very safe and capable hands to address the many challenges it will face in the future.

The parameters and structure of the 2018 Future Group programme will be announced during the early part of this year by Leaseurope.

 Chris Boobyer is a senior partner with Invigors EMEA