Like many in Close Brothers Asset Finance, Chris Bright has spent almost his entire working life with the company, and in that time he has seen the business go from strength to strength. In this quick fire Q&A we find out more about his experiences at the company.
Tell us about your role
I am Managing Director of Wimbledon Transport responsible for a team of 39. My primary responsibility is to ensure the smooth running of the business while making it a place people want to work and contribute to our success.
What is the Wimbledon team’s focus?
We offer finance solutions for SMEs to purchase assets to support their business. We specialise in transport, financing all types of commercial vehicles, from trucks, vans, trailers, specialist vehicles, bus & coach to taxis, cars and horse boxes. Our products include Finance Lease, Hire Purchase, Operating Lease and Refinance, along with a range of insurance options.
How did you become MD for Close Brothers?
I’ve been with Close Brothers Asset Finance for 17 years now. I started in Telesales in 1999, having previously gained finance experience in the retail and consumer sectors.
Over time I got to know the asset finance business in detail, learning about our products and the assets we finance, which I understood to be crucial to understanding our customers’ businesses and their requirements.
I was then promoted to Area Sales Manager before moving onto a Regional Sales Manager role. I became the Sales Director in 2010 and in February 2014 moved into my current role.
Describe a typical day in the life of an MD
Much of my day is spent supporting the team to ensure they have what they need to do an effective job. This can include liaising with other heads of department; cascading new developments; team management; sales meetings, and so on.
Do you have much interface with customers?
I do – I go to a large number of events and support my customer-facing teams by accompanying them to meetings so that I can get a good feel for the type of business they are and learn more about their ambitions and how we can support them.
What do we do that sets us apart?
We truly understand our customers and the challenges they face; we support them in trying to grow their business in their market place.
We are well known for supporting our customers during all economic cycles, which has allowed us to become many customers’ finance partner of choice.
What is it about the job you enjoy most and that gives you the most satisfaction?
I really enjoy interacting with colleagues and customers, and being part of a team that enables a customer to grow, develop and flourish with our support.
What do you do outside of work?
My family take up nearly all my spare time - I’m married with two young children. We enjoy holidays and spending time together.