Chris Stalley has been appointed as the chief executive officer of BNP Paribas 3 Step IT, a major new circular economy joint venture between BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions and 3stepIT. As Miles Rogerson reports, a recruitment drive is just one part of his plans for pan-European growth.
As announced recently in Asset Finance International (AFI), BNP Paribas has partnered with 3stepIT to launch a joint venture that specialises in providing technology lifecycle management solutions.
A principle goal of the joint venture - named BNP Paribas 3 Step IT - is to operate using circular economy principles that aim to reduce waste by extending the life of assets, enabling the reuse of returned equipment and maximising recycling of end-of-life items.
As the new chief executive officer of BNP Paribas 3 Step IT, Chris Stalley (pictured) has an ambitious plan for growth - the new company aims to fund €1 billion of assets by 2025.
But it’s what happens to assets at different stages in their operational life that underpins the success of the venture, which was a key attraction for partner BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions.
Stalley said: “I think one of the major attractions for them was seeing an effective and sustainable IT lifecycle management firm that took the challenge seriously, already had a strong base in the Nordic countries, and was eagerly looking to expand operations throughout Europe.
“I remember taking BNP Paribas out to a plant of ours over in Helsinki - which is logistically very impressive and currently processes around 1,000 machines a day – and I think this was a key factor during talks that persuaded them to partner with us.”
One of the principle aims of BNP Paribas 3 Step IT is promoting sustainability; partner 3stepIT currently refurbishes 97% of returned devices for re-use, with less than 3% being recycled.
This approach helps to combat the growing global mountain of electronic waste, which currently accounts for 70% of toxic waste going to landfill.
BNP Paribas 3 Step IT predominantly deals with smartphones, tablets, laptops, and PCs, and puts security at the heart of the recycling process to ensure data on devices is destroyed before being approved for reuse. It is trusted by customers in very data-sensitive environments, including sectors such as health, government and the military.
Stalley added: “When tech enters our plants, it is completely wiped of all data. For most companies we go through this process once, which is certified secure, and enough for most clients. We will wipe the data up to seven consecutive times if the customer requires it, when they have ultra-secure requirements.
“However, if for whatever reason we are unable to wipe the tech, we use an industrial shredder to destroy the hardware. This process makes up part of the 3% of devices that are recycled.
“Some 97% of assets returned to us are sold - but not currently leased - back into the market through a carefully cultivated network of European traders. Poland is currently our largest single resale destination.”
As an industry veteran with an extensive background in leasing, Stalley’s experience includes senior roles at GE Capital and, prior to joining 3stepIT, Siemens Financial Services.
At Siemens Financial Services he rose to become executive director – Europe, Middle East, Africa & Asia Pacific.
He joined 3stepIT in 2016 as vice-president of business development, tasked with extending the global reach of the company, accelerating growth, and identifying new routes to market.
As the new chief executive officer of BNP Paribas 3 Step IT, he will focus on growing the enterprise into a pan-European organisation.
There are currently six routes to market for the new business:
- The bank channel and its subsidiaries;
- Existing vendor partnership;
- Prospect vendor partnerships;
- The direct channel;
- International customers operating on a cross-border basis;
- Telecom providers.
The company will provide a ‘Product-as-a-Service’ technology solution that can oversee assets from order through in-life management to end-of-life processing.
Stalley added: “A principle challenge of mine is to recruit staff to service green-field sites in the new markets in Europe. Finding quality employees at the correct place, and at the correct time is both crucial and very challenging.”
The joint venture organisation currently has an executive team in place, with employees including chief commercial officer Renaud Warluzel, and chief operations officer Kari Mäkelä.
According to Stalley “the plan is to keep the staff base relatively lean”.
They are particularly seeking experienced leasing sales professionals in Austria, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.
He added: “It took a long time to establish commonality between 3stepIT and BNP Paribas, so another of my biggest challenges has been bringing together the three existing cultures from our two companies: British, Nordic, and French. While the bank already has a fantastic reputation for sustainability – allocating a substantial proportion of its funding towards it – they were very keen to develop it further.”
BNP Paribas allocated €9.3 billion in funding to the renewable energy sector in 2016 and aims to increase its investment to €15 billion by 2020.
In addition, the bank says the fight against climate change is its top environmental priority and it will target investment towards low-carbon development.
BNP Paribas supports 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, outlining three prominent areas that remain relevant to its activity, and where it hopes to make maximum impact:
- Limiting environmental impact – offering finance on a wider range of equipment that includes clean energy tech and financing specialised equipment that supports energy transition;
- Promoting a circular economy – developing solutions for better life-cycle management of equipment, supporting its clients in reducing waste and conserving natural resources;
- Tracking its environmental footprint – closely tracking and monitoring the impact of its business activities on the environment.
The partnership with 3stepIT marks a significant move towards its sustainability goals, particularly as is says the carbon footprint from a company’s IT devices could be reduced by 36% using the BNP Paribas 3 Step IT service.
BNP Paribas 3 Step IT is currently live in France and Italy - under country heads Audrey Joulia and Carlo Grossi respectively - with plans to expand to 11 countries shortly.
Under Stalley’s supervision, the joint venture will rapidly open branches in Austria, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK by mid-2020.
The alliance also has a presence in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden, where 3stepIT currently operates.
3stepIT currently helps more than 4,000 companies to manage nearly 2 million IT devices through their lifecycle.
Its IT asset management portal shows what software is installed, where devices are and who devices are allocated to.
Its services include 3FindIT, which helps the IT team manage devices, and discovers and records information about PCs, laptops, printers and software, while they are in use, in addition to providing detailed management reports.
According to a 3stepIT international market survey of 1,000 organisations carried out earlier this year, 15% of organisations say sustainability is a current consideration, but 67% of companies intend to integrate sustainability into their IT plans within the next two years.