Secured finance software provider, IDS, has announced the appointment of Brendan Gleeson (pictured above) as chief strategy officer. Gleeson’s primary responsibility in the newly-created position will be to drive innovation.
As the former group chief executive officer of White Clarke Group, Gleeson’s appointment marks the latest stage in IDS’ acquisition of the company. The merger of the two companies has formed a technology powerhouse that provides a range of software for the equipment, automotive and working capital finance sectors.
Effective from 1 June 2021, Gleeson will play a strategic role in driving the company’s overall innovation focus, including identifying industry and technology trends and translating them into strategic insights to expand value across the comprehensive solution portfolio.
Gleeson explained: "The technology landscape is rapidly evolving and requires a dedicated focus to be able to innovate at the speed and scale our customers demand. Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning coupled with changes in consumer behavior such as consumption-based subscriptions are reshaping market dynamics and creating new opportunities in secured finance. As these digital trends accelerate, financing firms will look to IDS to deliver innovative products to navigate the new normal with confidence."
A seasoned veteran
With nearly 30 years of industry experience Gleeson has a track record of developing and executing global strategies, international expansions, and technology product innovation.
He started his career in 1995 as the chief information officer at Bank of Ireland Finance in Dublin, Ireland. Over the next five years, Gleeson was responsible for the set up and insourcing of the finance company’s IT organization and infrastructure. His role grew to cover a range of topics from programme management, software development and overseeing the technical architecture to business change and managing day to day operations.
Alongside this, Gleeson advised the Bank of Ireland Group on how to develop and execute a technology led consumer finance proposition in the fast-changing internet era for the bank’s consumer finance division.
Then, in 2000, Gleeson took the decision to leave the Bank of Ireland and create a technology platform for the auto and asset finance industry. As chief executive officer of Global Asset Technologies, Gleeson brought together an emerging dotcom internet development company and an established industry solution provider to create a competitive proposition for the market.
However, just one year later, Gleeson decided to share this plan with White Clarke (which at the time was a UK-based auto and asset finance consultancy) in exchange for the opportunity to promote and execute his business vision and a significant shareholding.
Therefore, in 2001, he was appointed as managing director of White Clarke Ireland. According to Gleeson, the venture soon outgrew the capacity of the Irish market and subsequently, he moved to the White Clarke UK head office in Milton Keynes to develop a global strategy.
After nearly six years in this role, the company (now White Clarke Group) appointed Gleeson to global sales and marketing director. In this role, he was responsible for the development and execution of the group’s international expansion strategy, which proceeded to grow to every continent with client implementations in more than 30 countries worldwide.
Most recently, Gleeson was the group executive vice president of White Clarke Group having successfully developed the business into an international player. Since 2013, he oversaw a major strategic product R&D programme and the acquisition of several global client relationships to support its implementation.
Auto Finance Personality of the Year
During his time as group executive vice president, Gleeson was nominated, and won, the ‘Auto Finance Personality of the Year’ award at the International Auto Finance Network (IAFN) awards event.
The IAFN Awards dinner aims to celebrate excellence and innovation within the auto leasing and lending industries. More specifically, the ‘Auto Finance Personality of the Year’ is an award designed to recognize the individual who has made the most noteworthy contribution to the motor finance, fleet finance or retail auto finance industry.
The judges of the award said: “Brendan is a visionary for the motor finance industry. He has a clear understanding of what consumers, dealers and finance companies want and need when using finance to buy their vehicles, and has set out to create a company that provides products that support this vision. His leadership has proven to be a key factor in the overall growth of White Clarke Group.”
Speaking on Gleeson’s new appointment with IDS, David Hamilton (pictured above), chief executive officer of IDS, said: "Brendan’s innovation leadership and strategic direction at White Clarke Group led to the development of a world-class portfolio of solutions to meet the ever-changing needs of the automotive, wholesale and equipment finance marketplace. As part of the IDS executive team, he will continue to drive innovation by identifying mid- and long-term strategic needs of the broader secured finance industry and capitalize on technology trends with the goal of bringing to market forward-leaning solutions and innovative products for our customers.”