Be Inspired Series
Northern Ireland Branch Manager
Close Motor Finance Limited
What do you do?
I head up the Close Motor Finance team in Northern Ireland. I manage a team of eight people based in Lisburn, with a client list that spans Northern Ireland.
What does your job entail?
I am responsible for delivering the targets set by Close Motor Finance for the branch in Northern Ireland. This covers areas such as new business, Funding, underwriting, collections and staff. I see my role akin to that of a franchisee who operates with a certain degree of flexibility and autonomy whilst always mindful of the company procedures. We work hard to provide tailored finance solutions to car, motorcycle and LCV dealers throughout the UK.
Is it 9-5.30?
No – in this industry you must always be available to ‘do the deal’.
How did you get your current post?
I have worked in the industry for 31 years and when Close Motor Finance decided to open a branch in Northern Ireland, I jumped at the chance to run it for them.
Outline your career to date
I trained in accountancy before moving into field. I then took over a sales team before moving employers to gain my own branch and people to manage.
Tell us about your qualifications/training
I have an ONC in business studies and foundation exams in accountancy.
I have undergone numerous training courses throughout my career from management development at Irish Management Institute to the 360 degree feedback course that I am currently undertaking.
Are there any projects you have been involved in which you are particularly proud of?
I am very proud of my current position; having set up shop from a standing start in Northern Ireland in late 2010, we now have eight staff and almost 5,500 customers. I also managed First National Motor Finance - UK Branch of the Year in 2002/3.
What qualifications are required for your job – personal and professional?
My experience and interpersonal skills are vital for my current professional position. My patience, understanding and support come to the fore as a husband of 31 years and father of four children.
What do you do in your spare time?
My spare time revolves around my family and I try to spend as much time together as possible. I like all types of sport although I prefer the role of spectator to that of player these days!
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.
I learned to sail single-handled at the age of 11 and was a Northern Ireland champion at 16
Who has inspired you most in your life?
My family continues to inspire me on a daily basis.