The Leasing Foundation appoints new chair

Ylva OertengrenChair of the Leasing Foundation

The Leasing Foundation today announced that it has appointed Ylva Oertengren, chief operating officer of Simply, as its new chair. The appointment was announced at the Foundation’s spring charity drinks last night, an industry-wide ticketed drinks event held at Hispania in London, which successfully raised £6,000 for its 2024 charity partner, Beyond.

Ylva’s appointment was widely anticipated by the asset finance industry. She has played an active role in the Foundation for some years, where she has supported all of the initiatives which this collaborative and active team have made their focus. The Foundation’s initiatives align with strongly held personal values. There is nothing token about her vocal support for diversity and inclusion initiatives; and the importance she gives to non-profit objectives (people, planet) for the industry. She also has a clear vision for how technology can add value to the industry and its customers.

Ylva, who takes over from Nathan Mollett, currently leads the Leasing Foundation’s Innovation Initiative. She co-founded Simply in 2017, which she describes as a relationship focussed business lender enabled by technology. Up to 2024 she was an AFC Technology Dragon helping to grill fintech companies who came to pitch their ideas to the Asset Finance Connect community at our UK events. She once told AFC she would like to run the UK’s first B-Corp asset finance company.

Ylva’s predecessor Nathan Mollett, who is the second chair in what AFC have come to think of as Leasing Foundation 2.0 has successfully built on Mike Randall’s relaunch. Under Nathan’s watch the Foundation have most notably strengthened the next gen community, a pioneering project which has supported young talent in the industry. The 30 under 30 awards which are announced each year at the AFC conferences, are another part of that initiative and one which Nathan pioneered.

Among the less obvious but nonetheless important other achievements have been a further strengthening of the board and management team; and a strengthening of important ties with both Asset Finance Connect and the FLA (which were officially announced as Nathan was appointed in 2022). Nathan, who has just completed a 250km endurance marathon across the Sahara will continue to play an active role in the Foundation.

What happens under Ylva’s watch will be interesting. I had lunch with Ylva a few weeks ago when I asked what the priorities might be if she got the role. She didn’t answer, but asked me instead what I felt were the core values that the Foundation delivers. I talked about the value of a community which brings together competitive businesses into a community where they can effectively collaborate (despite competition) to make changes that matter to an industry on which we all depend. I am not sure I added much to her thought process.

At the spring charity drinks last night she talked about the continued focus on its five key focus areas – including EDI, sustainability, giving, innovation and next gen. But she also talked about the introduction of new topics including circular economy, innovation culture, neurodivergence, AI, celebration of Pride and more social interaction for the next-gen group. I strongly suspect this is just a start.

Beyond, the Leasing Foundation’s charity partner for 2024, focuses on the escalating mental health crisis affecting young people in the UK. One in five young people suffer from a mental disorder. 60% of youth suicides have tried and failed to access support. Beyond helps provide more effective access to mental health interventions through schools and other educational access points. Beyond provides free mental health resources to over one million young people. You can read more about Beyond at