Five years of fond memories
As part of our #NextGear5 celebrations, we chat with some of the team members who’ve been with us since day one about their roles, their most memorable moments, and more.
Office manager Katie Wilson still fondly remembers the day NextGear Capital began trading. She says: "We had the local mayor together with special guests from NextGear Capital’s US operation and Cox Automotive to ensure the company launched with a bang. It was a great day and marked the start of something special."
Margaret Andrews, who has migrated from business development to account support via customer service during her time with the business, also recalls that first day but also the tour of Manheim sites she embarked on to promote the new brand in the following weeks, talking to dealers and landing her first new business wins. Reflecting on what’s made NextGear Capital go on to flourish she says: "Teamwork across the business is fantastic, everyone working together with the same goal – and we have a great product that really works for dealers."
Someone else who clearly remembers his first day is financial controller Ian Dunne. He laughs: “I joined the day the business went live and arrived to an audience with a number of VIPs. At first, I thought they were there to welcome me and was quite overwhelmed, but quickly realized that wasn’t the case! What it did highlight through was the type of company I’d joined and the hunger for success everyone shared. We still have that today.”
Left to right: Margaret Andrews, Janet Hardcastle, Ian Dunne, Ashleigh Donlan, Paul Midgley and Katie Wilson.
Ashleigh Donlan started her NextGear Capital career as part of the customer service team and is now a risk analyst. She welcomes the opportunities the business has given her over the past five years. “It is fantastic to work in a company that’s willing to help train and develop its people and give them the opportunity for growth. My promotion was into a new role I’d not done before and was an exciting challenge.”
Ashleigh also cites teamwork as being the key ingredient to NextGear Capital’s success: “Each person plays such an important part within the team and I strongly believe that’s why we’ve been able to grow so strongly.”
Accounts assistant Janet Hardcastle agrees. “It makes me smile that I can finish a day with the knowledge we have done everything to the best of our ability. The camaraderie and support here is a big thing."
Paul Midgley is another original recruit to the risk team and is today NextGear Capital’s senior risk account manager. He reflects on some of the more challenging aspects of his role and how this theme of teamwork and respect has helped him mitigate risk within the dealer network.
“I like it when working within the dealer network when I am able to rectify a default situation, be it repairing a business relationship or having the eyeball conversation with a dealer around NextGear Capital’s expectations and re-establishing a business relationship that may have gone a little sour. The mutual respect gained after the event between the dealer and NextGear Capital can’t be bought.”
Outside the office
NextGear Capital has two other team members who have been with us from the start; Gareth Walker and Sarah James. They share their stories on what it’s been like working within the team for the last 5 years.
Gareth Regional Sales Manager for the South of the UK details his favourite part about his job, “Spending time with the guys and girls of the sales team is great. The most satisfaction I get is still from the buzz of closing the sale with a dealer, by showing them the proposition and seeing them realise just what a difference NextGear Capital will make to their dealership”.
He also lists the exciting possibilities in NextGear Capital’s future. “My prediction is that we will continue to grow in the next 5 years becoming a natural part of how dealers operate”.
Sarah is one of our fantastic Account Managers, part of a team who work out in the field, connecting NextGear Capital with dealers to help them grow. She credits both the sales and head office based teams in assisting her to do her role to the best of her ability, “The best memories are when we are all together sharing best practice ideas and just being a great team.”
Her vision is similar to Gareth’s and many others within the business, she believes we will continue to grow with our dealers by supporting them with their ambitions and goals.
Sarah also shared with us an opinion many of our employee’s hold, “It’s definitely the people that work here, everyone is committed to NextGear Capital and how we all strive to make it the best place it can be. We work together using our own strengths.”
Liam Quegan, NextGear Capital managing director and the team celebrating at our head office in Chester!
This spirit of teamwork is a theme running throughout the feedback received from the ‘team of 2014’. As Ian Dunne says: “We’re a small, close-knit team and constantly draw on the expertise we have across all functions to ensure we’re able to deliver the best possible results and service for our dealers. Everyone, whether here in the office or out on the road, is always willing to go the extra mile to help one another out. I think it’s this collaborative and respectful culture we’ve built over the last five years that allows us to thrive.”
Looking ahead to the next five years for NextGear Capital, all agree the future is bright. Katie Wilson perhaps sums it up best: “We will continue to grow and diversify as part of the Cox Automotive family. Our product will no doubt change as dealers needs and expectations change too, but we’ll remain flexible and be willing to evolve with them.”
We’ll let Ian Dunne have the final word: “I think that we’ll continue to grow our dealer base with our existing products whilst looking to develop new products – but all the while continuing to grow wisely. It’s likely we’ll see some more competition in the market and possibly even a slow-down in the economy, but with the people and processes that we now have, we’re in great shape to meet all challenges that come our way.”
Congratulations – and thank you – to every who’s played a role in NextGear Capital’s first five years. Here’s to the next chapter!