New Head of Asset Finance at FLA while ABFA selects new Chief Executive

goldie simon

Simon Goldie has joined the UK Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) as Head of Asset Finance. He will take up the role on Tuesday 6 May.

Commenting on the appointment FLA Director General Stephen Sklaroff said: “I am really pleased to welcome Simon to the FLA at such an important time for the asset finance markets. His skills and experience will help us build on recent progress in raising the industry’s profile with our stakeholders and customers, and in persuading politicians and regulators to help us support economic recovery even more effectively.”

Goldie joins the FLA from the Chartered Institute of Taxation where he was Head of External Relations. Prior to that he worked at the Association of Consultancy and Engineering as its director of policy and external affairs.

While working on campaigns for tax simplification, a taxpayers’ charter and infrastructure investment, Goldie was named one of the top 100 lobbyists in the country. As well as working in the public policy arena, he led a thought leadership programme for LexisNexis while he was its head of PR in the UK.

Goldie added: “I’m delighted to be joining the Finance & Leasing Association at this very exciting time for the asset finance sector. The industry has made a real difference to the growth prospects of private and public businesses of all sizes and I look forward to helping it continue to do so.”

Goldie will find his desk busy when he assumes his position. At the end of March, the HM Treasury set up a month-long consultation to seeks views on whether it should legislate to help match SMEs that have been rejected for loans with challenger banks and alternative finance providers.

The FLA’s response supported a market-led solution rather than legislation.

Sklaroff stressed: “The success rate for SMEs applying for asset finance (including leasing and hire purchase) is high, and so it makes sense to try to improve the ways in which SMEs, turned down for other forms of finance, are referred to asset finance providers. Market solutions are always preferable to statutory regulation, but whichever route is taken, it is important that any new mechanism is properly targeted on real information barriers.”

At the same time, the UK Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA) has announced the appointment of Jeff Longhurst as its new Chief Executive – in replacement of Kate Sharp who stood down last month.

longhurst jeff

Longhurst is a well-known figure in the asset based finance sector. His career has included posts within Lloyds banking group, as Managing Director of Credit Agricole Commercial Finance and Chief Executive of Independent Growth Finance. He is currently a director of Gener8 Finance.

He has been closely involved with the Asset Based Finance Association for many years, being both head of education and chairman when it was previously the Factors and Discounters Association.

Commenting on his appointment, Longhurst said: “Coming back to head up the ABFA is a real honour and I can’t wait to get started. While the industry is currently growing strongly, providing over £18bn in funding to 43,000 British and Irish firms, we need to ensure this message is communicated as widely as can be. Equally we need to make sure that the industry’s standards are as high as possible and that we utilise the benefits of new products and technologies wherever we can. It’s an exciting time for the sector.”