Interview with Non-Executive Director Stephen Bassett

Posted: Friday, 24 May 2019 @ 16:19

Having joined Rivers Leasing in January as a Non-Executive Director, Stephen Bassett’s background in senior management and directorship roles and organisations across the world of finance, including his last full time role as Managing Director of Arkle Finance, have given him a unique perspective on the industry.  Here we asked him to explain a little more about what he has learned across his 45 year career and what attracted him to Rivers Leasing…

What attracted you to working with Rivers Leasing?

In Rivers Leasing I see a company with real potential to do something better or different in the asset finance marketplace, but of course, in addition to that, it has a great team for me to enjoy working alongside.  

You have worked with some very large businesses to date, what do you perceive to be different working with a niche asset funder like Rivers Leasing?

I have worked with both very large and very small businesses over my career and there is little doubt that one can often get significant things done and more speedily in a smaller and more flexible business, especially one that really does want to make an impact.  

What are the similarities to working with a larger organisation?

Small companies still have objectives and targets that they need to meet, and the underlying administration is much the same as in larger companies, there is just less of it.  Rivers Leasing already has a large company ethos and the benefit of its existing set-up is that it’s readily scaleable to match increasing demand.  Rivers can hope and expect to grow significantly, without breaking itself in the process.

How has the industry changed throughout your career?

The sector has changed in many, many ways, but customer’s needs are still essentially much the same as when I started in this business 45 years ago.  One thing that really strikes me though, is the continually changing methods of communication.  When I first set out, the principle means of communication with customers was having salespeople on the ground - landlines, and a telex machine (if anyone remembers them?).

From there we progressed to fax machines and pagers, then car phones, then hand held mobile phones, and now smart phones and emails.  This aspect of our business never seems to stand still for long and those changes have also sped up the exchange of information, and in doing so have driven a change in the structure required of a funder.  In the old days, big companies would have a sales person on every street corner, with branch offices in any town of note and regional offices around the country.  To be customer facing you really had to be physically out there, but now everything is a lot more centralised and mainly because of the changing communication methods.  What next I wonder?

Do you think companies like Rivers leasing are important and why?

It is always important that market sectors have new blood coming in as they bring fresh approaches and innovation.  It keeps everyone on their toes and drives up customer service levels.


Rivers Leasing plc

Amba House, 15 College Road, Harrow, HAI IBA

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