Professor Peter Thomas, formerly COO of the Leasing Foundation, has been named as its new executive director.
He will work in the newly-created role with its board of directors to develop the Foundation’s strategic projects in education, diversity and innovation.
The board is made up of chairman Carl D’Ammassa, who took up the role last year, and fellow board directors Carol Roberts, Mike Randall, John Hooper, Jonathan Andrew and Andrew Denton.
Thomas was one of the founders of the Leasing Foundation and has acted as COO since its establishment, seeing it grow to around 200 Fellows.
He was formerly CTO of Serco’s e-business arm, executive director of the Interactive Information Institute in Melbourne, Australia and a senior academic at institutions in Australia and the UK.
He retains visiting academic positions at Falmouth University, where he is professor of financial innovation, the University of Newcastle where he is visiting professor of practice, Brunel University, where he is professor of information systems and business and Beijing Normal University, China, where he is dean for international projects at the International Institute for Big Data in Finance.
The new title for Thomas is intended to more closely align with the work of the foundation, with a less corporate structure to reflect its role in the industry as a modern, flexible and forward-looking organisation.
Thomas said: “I am delighted to continue the work of the Leasing Foundation and to build on the leadership of Andrew Denton.
“I am excited by the opportunity to lead the expansion of our education initiatives – our Future Leaders programme and our MA degree in Leasing and Asset Finance – and to work with our almost 200 Fellows to help build a sustainable industry that demonstrates the value of identifying, encouraging and investing in professional and personal development.”
One of Thomas’s priorities is to work closely with other industry associations to align projects and activities to maximise the benefit to the industry and avoid any duplication of efforts.
In addition, the foundation is expecting to increase its invitation-only membership, which currently represents more than 100 organisations of all sizes.
During 2017, the Foundation will also create a professional accreditation programme and continue its ongoing support of charitable donations, which have exceeded £100,000 since its inception.
The board’s chairman Carl D’Ammassa said: “The Board are delighted that Peter has agreed to take on this new position at the Foundation as we look to better organise ourselves around our key imperatives of inclusion and diversity and education and development, working more closely with other industry bodies to deliver greater cohesion in thinking.
“Peter’s wider experience and commitment to the Foundation’s values and imperatives make him the ideal role holder.”