David Bird has unrivalled experience in successful business development and growth within the automotive finance and fleet management sector. This includes 25 years of mergers and acquisitions experience in key roles.
Since being appointed as managing director of Leasedrive, David has driven through an extraordinary period of growth which has seen the company move from 25th in the contract hire market to 11th. This growth has come both organically and as a result of the company’s joint venture with Investec, which resulted in Leasedrive taking over the running of the business of its much larger competitor, Masterlease UK.
In his earlier position as chief operating officer at Leasedrive Group Limited, David Bird was responsible for introducing Drive:Manager, the industry-leading totally integrated online fleet management system which has set new benchmark standards for operational and customer service quality in the industry. He also spearheaded the acquisition of Velo and led its subsequent successful absorption into the Leasedrive business. He was one of the members of the original Leasedrive BIMBO transaction team in 2003.
Prior to his time at Leasedrive, David was chief operating officer at Shell Auto Finance (SAF), where he developed a state-of-the-art fleet management system. Although on target for a promising launch, Shell Capital decided, given the changing world economic environment at the time, to pursue a different strategic direction and closed down the business.
Before joining SAF, David was chief operating officer of the UK’s largest fleet management company, Arval PHH. He was responsible for steering the company through a period of dramatic growth, including a major acquisition, before playing a key role in the disposal of the business, first to Avis Rent-A-Car Inc. and then to BNP Paribas. Transaction values over a three-year period were close to $3bn.
David has also held senior positions as finance director with Automotive Leasing and financial controller with Leaseplan.
A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, David is also a member of the Association of Corporate Treasurers.