Record audience of industry leaders at International Asset Finance Network conference


More than 400 delegates gathered for the International Asset Finance Network conference yesterday (September 13) to look at how technology is transforming auto, fleet and equipment finance.

Delegates heard presentations from some of the most influential leaders and influencers in the industry during the event at the Park Plaza Riverbank, London, one of the biggest conferences of its kind in Europe.

It included exclusive research into digitalisation across the auto, fleet and equipment finance sectors carried out on behalf of Alfa by research partner Clarity, including in-depth interviews by David Betteley, director of Marknad and former global financial services director at Jaguar Land Rover.

Among the leaders giving their view on the future was fleet keynote speaker Miguel Cabaca, managing director of Arval UK.

He revealed how an increasing focus on consumer finance presents new challenges and opportunities to leasing companies but warned that they couldn’t risk forgetting their traditional markets.

Jonathan Andrew, global chief executive, commercial finance, at Siemens Financial Services, revealed how innovation was the best weapon to maintain market growth in a competitive sector.

Delegates also received a live demonstration from Dealflo of how modern smartphones could be used to take selfies that enable automated identity verification during credit applications.

There were three specialist streams during the day covering the three key industry sectors, with auto finance looking at areas including how blockchain will reinvent mobility and address business shifts. The session included presentations by Chris Ballinger, chief executive officer of MOBI, and Chris Kirby, co-founder and chief executive officer of Tomorrow’s Journey.

Auto finance delegates also heard from Giacomo Carelli, chief executive officer and general manager of FCA Bank, about dealing with the transition from offline to online.

The fleet stream included in-depth guidance on how the sector is responding to legislative disarray, with speakers Tim Porter, managing director of the country’s largest leasing company Lex Autolease, Jay Parmar, director of policy and membership at the BVRLA and Ian Featherstone, fleet advice manager for the Energy Saving Trust.

The equipment finance stream included a panel discussion on the future of the sector, with Siemens’ Jonathan Andrews, Patrick Jelly commercial director at Aldermore Bank, Jon Maycock, managing director, asset finance for Hampshire Trust Bank, Nathan Mollett, director, asset finance for Metro Bank and Gavin Wraith-Carter, managing director of Hitachi Capital UK.

Equipment finance delegates also looked at new finance models for better business processes, with Carmen Ene, chief executive officer of 3 Step IT, while Christoph Rieche, chief executive officer and founder of iwoca, assessed how fintech is enabling faster and better services for SMEs.

Among the other speakers during the day were Tony Douglas, head of brand, marketing and communications at BMW Group Mobility Services and Peter Thomas, executive director and co-founder of The Leasing Foundation, who revealed a proposed framework for a new Certified Business Finance Professional qualification.

Edward Peck, co-founder of the International Asset Finance Network, said: “In addition to our usual fleet and retail auto attendees we were delighted to welcome equipment finance into our conference streams, and we are grateful for the support we have received from the Leasing Foundation for helping us to achieve this.

“I would also like to thank our sponsors for their support of this year’s event.”

The headline conference and awards sponsor was Alfa, platinum sponsor was White Clarke Group and NETSOL was gold sponsor. Bynx sponsored registration and refreshments, while FICO was sponsor for the networking lunch.

Session sponsors included Locke Lord and McLagan (Aon). Other sponsors included Copernicus, Dealflo, Drive Software Solutions, Sword Apak, Tieto and Cloud Lending Solutions. With IAFN Awards table hosts Aldermore, Close Brothers, Lex Autolease and Simply Asset Finance.