Evolution Funding reveals 146% jump in leisure vehicle web finance leads

Leisure vehicle web finance leads are up by 146% and customers self-serving quotes via online calculators is up 48%, data from Evolution Funding (“Evolution”) has revealed.

The motor finance broker and technology provider has published three infographics looking at the Motorhome, Camper and Touring Caravan markets for 2020 and 2021 combined.

Analysing data from Evolution’s extensive customer database, the infographics give leisure dealers insight into their typical customer profile, their behaviours and average financials.

With the pandemic reinforcing the benefits of holidaying in caravans and motorhomes, sales have continued to rise. The National Caravan Council reported a 71% increase in new motorhome and campervan registrations in July 2020 compared to 2019, and they say the trend is yet to continue.

Evolution’s findings highlight the shifting focus of customers onto online channels, with customers appearing comfortable with obtaining quotes and submitting applications for leisure vehicle finance via online calculators.

Click to view and download the infographics.

Customer Demographics 2020/21
Campers

Customer Demographics 2020/21
Motorhomes

Customer Demographics 2020/21
Touring Caravans

Evolution Funding appoints Daniel Reeve as Chief Technology Officer

daniel reeve chief technology officer evolution funding

Evolution Funding (“Evolution”), the leading independent motor finance broker and technology provider, has appointed Daniel Reeve as its Chief Technology Officer (CTO). 

Reeve joins Evolution with over 20 years’ experience in technology and development, with focus on delivering high-performance technology platforms, software projects and digital solutions. 

Paul Saggar, Chief Innovation Officer at Evolution, said:

“We are delighted to further strengthen our technology offering with this exciting appointment. We are fully committed to delivering best-in-class digital finance journeys for our partners and their customers, and we continue to invest in order to support our growth plans. Dan’s significant experience will enable us to accelerate our plans, whilst taking us closer to our Vision to lead change and digital innovation in motor finance.”

Prior to joining Evolution, Reeve held a number of senior technology appointments, including CTO at one of UK’s leading car park management companies, CTO at Capita (Travel and Events), and Technical Director at Fraedom, part of Hogg Robinson Group plc. 

Reeve said:

“I am delighted to be joining Evolution Funding and I am looking forward to becoming part of a fantastic team within such a dynamic sector. My focus will be on driving forward the development of our market-leading digital finance solutions, whilst building out the Vision and strategy of the executive team. Evolution has already come such a long way and I’m looking forward to supporting the business to the next level of growth and success.”

FCA commission changes looking positive for dealers and customers

Finance broker Evolution Funding has revealed that the recent FCA changes to commission models for motor finance have landed positively for customers and dealers.

In a webinar hosted by the broker, panel discussion revolved around the impact on the customer experience and the effect on rates, finance penetration and commission earnings.

Fixed APR versus Credit Score-Based Pricing

Of the two prime pricing models discussed – Fixed APR and Credit Score-based Pricing (CSBP) – 60% of dealers have opted for Fixed and 40% for CSBP. Pre and post the changes, Fixed APR has seen insignificant change in average APR and customer credit score, and an increase of £17 per case in average commission.

In comparison CSBP has led to a drop of nearly 0.4% in average APR, a 16-point increase in credit score and an increase of £42 per case in average commission, which was in part helped by an increase in average advance. Lee Streets, Evolution CEO, said:

“Soft search is starting to gain traction in the prime market. It has to because credit score-based pricing models cannot function effectively without it.”

Dealer sentiment about the changes

During research into dealer sentiment, retailers cited that removing negotiation on rates has led to an easier and more transparent customer journey when taking out point of sale finance. In addition, earnings are supported through sales staff being unable to discount on rates.

Evolution divulged that despite significant changes to regulatory disclosures in their customer journey, the number of customers making commission disclosure requests was negligible. The panel expressed concerns over the size and variations of commission disclosure wording, questioning whether consumers might be disengaging due to information overload.

Positive message

Overall, the message was positive, with Lee Streets, Evolution CEO, saying:

“Secondary brokers being allowed to keep discretionary commission ‘windows’ was a positive decision by the FCA. This has allowed us to work with retailers and lenders to provide commission models which are flexible but managed, since we have the insight and data to put robust controls, oversight and reporting in place.

“I believe that this this is a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity for point of sale to become a transparent and dynamic offering, ultimately leading to increased finance penetrations. One of the key drivers has to be further innovation in commission models because ‘one rate fits all’ is not a long-term solution.”

Evolution Funding bolsters team with Barclays Partner Finance acquisitions

Evolution Funding has expanded its field sales team with the appointment of four key personnel from former Barclays Partner Finance (BPF).

The new arrivals follow hot on the heels of BPF’s national accounts director Keith Bell taking the role of sales director, with previous sales director, Chris Coverdale, becoming group sales director.

Neil Holland takes over the position of North East regional sales director. Holland brings with him 25 years of financial sector experience. During his seven years at BPF, he delivered double-digit year-on-year growth in his role as regional sales director (Motor & Leisure). Holland’s appointment marks the retirement of Huw Thomas after fourteen years of outstanding service.

Ingrida Cardosa joins as account manager for the North East region, focusing on larger used car operations. Cardosa was with BPF for a year, following a fourteen-year-long finance role at Car Giant.

Jonathan Turner joins as account manager for the North East region. Turner spent ten years at Barclays before joining Hitachi Capital and going on to head up a new automotive finance business venture on behalf of Creditas.

Mark O’Reilly joins as part of a newly formed Technical New Business Team. O’Reilly was with BPF team for over a decade, dealing with the Top 100 groups and specialising in emerging markets, online and other digital marketplace providers. His new role will focus on Evolution’s technical proposition to dealers and potential partners looking to digitise the motor finance customer journey.

Picture shows l to r: Neil Holland, Ingrida Cardoso, Jonathan Turner and Mark O’Reilly

Keith Bell, Sales Director, said:

“I am delighted to welcome my former colleagues to the Evolution team. I have had the privilege of working with all of them at some point and know the value that they will bring to the business.

Evolution is enjoying unrivalled growth and transformation, including a dedicated strategic focus on our unique technology offering. Acquiring experienced and time-served talent will allow us to leverage the significant opportunities available to us”.

The appointments follow a year of restructuring since a private equity investment deal with LDC in February 2019 saw the firm valued at £110 million.

Evolution Funding expands team with new CIO and Head of Operations

Adam Small Head of Operations and Paul Saggar CIO

Motor finance broker Evolution Funding has appointed Paul Saggar as its Chief Innovation Officer and Adam Small as its Head of Operations.

Saggar joins the business from Capita Travel and Events, part of Capita plc., where he was Chief Innovation Officer. He brings to the role over 20 years’ experience in software development, IT infrastructure, data science, and digital customer experience development.

Saggar will have board level oversight of Evolution’s development and IT teams, and will be responsible for developing the firm’s digital customer journeys, along with increasing insight into customer behaviour and building technology solutions that continue to lead the digitization of the motor finance market.

Small brings over 17 years’ experience to the role, joining the business from Capital One. He will oversee Dealer Services, Underwriting, Dealer Oversight, and the Complaints team, leading a program of process development, improvement and automation across Evolution’s B2B support functions.

Adam Small Head of Operations and Paul Saggar CIO
l to r: Adam Small, Head of Operations, and Paul Saggar, CIO

Lee Streets, CEO of Evolution Funding, commented:

“We are delighted to welcome Paul and Adam to the company. Both bring significant and relevant experience and insight to the team, along with track records of business transformation.

“The creation of these roles reflects the importance of digital innovation and continuous improvement in shaping the future success of Evolution, and these appointments will enable us to accelerate this further as we deliver on our ambitious growth plans.”

The appointments follow a number of additions to Evolution’s Board and Senior Management team in the wake of a private equity investment deal with LDC which saw the firm valued at £110M.

Evolution Funding to drive expansion with LDC investment deal

Evolution Funding has secured investment to support its expansion from mid-market private equity investor LDC. The transaction will see LDC take a significant minority stake in the business and has been backed by acquisition finance facilities from Santander and Aviva Investors.

The firm’s Evolve technology and digital customer journey is used at point of sale in dealerships, and also online during the process of researching or purchasing a used vehicle, to deliver brokered motor finance solutions from a panel of 34 funders. This helps dealers and customers secure vehicle finance with rapid online decisions and at competitive rates.

Evolution’s bespoke web-based B2B platform automates the traditional finance underwriting process. It pulls real-time credit and valuations data into Evolve’s algorithms, automatically assessing each search with the lenders on its panel, to streamline the decision-making process and deliver compliant financing to customers. Evolution’s systems and technology process are designed to create a positive customer experience and fair outcome for dealers’ customers.

The company has also developed a direct-to-consumer product, MyCarCredit, which provides direct access to Evolution’s brokered funding platform. Evolution’s B2C proposition has expanded rapidly through its successful, established relationships with leading finance aggregator and eligibility platforms and white label brand partners.

Evolution brokered loan advances of over £430m in 2018 and employs over 200 people both at its headquarters in Chesterfield and with account managers supporting dealerships across the UK. The business will continue to be led by co-founders Lee Streets and Jeremy Levine, Sales Director Chris Coverdale, with the team being joined by incoming Finance Director Kevin Kaye.

As part of the transaction, Steve Weller – former Chief Executive Officer of LDC-backed price comparison website uSwitch – will be appointed non-executive Chairman, while Tim Porter, former Managing Director of Lex Autolease, will be appointed non-executive Director. Lawrence Dean and Andy Lyndon from LDC will also join the board as non-executive Directors.

Left to right: Andy Lyndon, Lawrence Dean, Steve Weller, Lee Streets, Tim Porter, and Jeremy Levine.

The firm has been carved out of a holding company which included other motor services to focus on Evolution’s dealer finance offering, online services and market-leading technology.

Following the transaction Evolution plans to invest further in its technology, digital capabilities and to scale the presence of both its Dealer B2B and B2C propositions.

Lee Streets, CEO of Evolution, said:

“This is a big moment for the business. We’ve spent the last 15 years listening to customers and developing the best technology in the market for vehicle finance. Bringing a partner on board like LDC gives us not only the capital to accelerate our growth, but also the boardroom expertise to help us unlock the potential of our business.
“LDC understood our vision for the business from the off and shared the same ambition. This is a great outcome for our partners, customers and employees alike, and we’re hugely excited about our plans for growth.”

Lawrence Dean, Investment Director at LDC, said:

“Evolution Funding is a classic example of an entrepreneurial business that is disrupting a market with innovative technology to the benefit of its customers. Lee, Jeremy and the team have been forward-thinking, consistently growing the business since its inception, with a clear commitment to customer service and compliance. There’s a significant opportunity to scale further in the UK, working with new partners, and by investing in its market-leading Evolve platform and digital capabilities as well as its customer-facing product, MyCarCredit, which has significant potential.”

The transaction is subject to customary conditions including receipt of required regulatory approval.

Evolution Funding ranks in national profit track for second year running

Evolution Funding has made the latest Sunday Times BDO Profit Track 100 league table for a second consecutive year. The report, which is now in its 19th year, ranks Britain’s private companies with the fastest-growing profits over three years.

Evolution placed 98th with a growth in profit over three years of 55%, which the company attributes to its ongoing commitment to reinvesting into its digital infrastructure and in-house technology.

Jeremy Levine, CEO of Evolution Funding, said:

“Our strategy has always been to reinvest back into the business, allowing us to innovate and adapt our systems, processes and technologies to meet with evolving consumer needs. This, combined with the efforts of our committed and focused people, has allowed us to build a profitable business that delivers a second-to-none customer experience. It is fantastic that we have been recognised for the second year in a row by such a prestigious league table.”

In 2017, the company arranged 33,924 finance agreements and £346 million in new business advances through its motor finance brokerage, which continues to be the largest in the UK.

The league table and awards programme is sponsored by BDO and UBS Wealth Management, and is compiled by Fast Track, the Oxford-based research and networking events firm.

Terry Jones, partner and head of Yorkshire at BDO, the title sponsor of the league table, commented:

“These high-growth, high-energy and highly-entrepreneurial companies will be the difference between success and failure in our post-Brexit economic future. These businesses are playing their part by recording strong levels of revenue and profit growth and by creating jobs. We’d like to see the Government do more to help them by focusing on skills, infrastructure investment and tax simplification.”

Evolution was one of seven companies headquartered in the East Midlands which made the prestigious league table. Between them, their contribution to the local economy includes employing a total of 2,400 staff and achieving combined profits of £43m.

Picture shows (left to right): Ellie Hudson – Payout administrator; Jake Houghton – Specialist underwriter; Annie Cater – Underwriter; Imogen Else – Payout administrator; Carly Henman – Sales Support; Jeremy Levine – CEO; Brett Redfern – Payouts deputy team leader; Jonathan Thomas – IRS team leader; Beth Chester – Payout administrator.

Evolution Funding fast tracks into national performance table

Evolution Funding has been placed 78th in the 21st annual Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 league table, which ranks Britain’s private companies with the fastest-growing sales.

The motor finance intermediary has shown annual sales growth over three years of 53%, arranged more than 31,000 finance contracts in 2016 and employs 233 people. They were placed 22nd in the Sunday Times BDO Profit Track 100 earlier this year.

Lee Streets, Chief Operating Officer at Evolution said:

“We are delighted to be included in the 2017 Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track. The last three years have seen us grow rapidly across all parts of the company. To be placed 22nd in the Sunday Times profit track earlier in the year was great, now to be included in the top 100 fastest growing companies as well is just fantastic. It’s great recognition for all the hard work and innovation that our people contribute.”

Jeremy Levine, Chief Executive Officer at Evolution added:

“We’ve continued to drive forward during 2017 and our people are tireless in their commitment and focus. Ending the year featured in the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 is an exciting and fitting recognition of all the work that goes on behind the scenes.”

The Fast Track 100 is sponsored by Virgin, Barclays, BDO, BGF and Virgin Media Business, and is compiled by Fast Track, the Oxford-based research and networking events firm.

Sir Richard Branson of Virgin, the title sponsor for all 21 years, commented:

“Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the economy; driving innovation, creating jobs and challenging industry norms. The achievements of the companies on this year’s Fast Track 100 list are fantastic. It’s clear over the coming years UK business will have to adapt to different conditions and we must do all we can to support our entrepreneurs – who will be the engines of growth for Britain.”

Evolution Funding wins place on league table of Britain’s fastest-growing profit stars

Fast-Track

The 18th annual Sunday Times BDO Profit Track 100 league table ranks Britain’s private companies with the fastest-growing profits over three years. The full results will be published this Sunday 2nd April 2017.

Evolution Funding can reveal that they have been placed 22nd in the Fast Track league table. The company has demonstrated an impressive 94% annual profit growth over three years, financing more than 31,000 vehicle loans in 2016 and increasing its rental fleet to 1800.

Jeremy Levine, Chief Executive Officer at Evolution said:

“We have enjoyed tremendous success over the last three years by reinvesting profits in a drive for growth across the group.  This has been combined with additional investment in technology that has delivered operating efficiency and an improved customer journey. The net result has seen us offer great value to customers and dealers whilst delivering underlying profitability. We will continue to reinvest in growing our business partnerships.”

Lee Streets, Chief Operating Officer at Evolution, added:

“We are delighted to have been listed in this highly-regarded league table. It has always been something of a personal ambition for Evolution Funding to be recognised by the Sunday Times Profit Track 100 and the accolade is testament to the innovation and commitment of our people.”

The league table and awards programme is sponsored by BDO and UBS Wealth Management, and is compiled by Fast Track, the Oxford-based research and networking events firm.

Richard Rose, partner and head of the Midlands at BDO, the title sponsor of the league table, commented:

“High-growth, mid-sized businesses played a leading role in the UK economic recovery after the global financial crisis. With Brexit and more uncertainty looming, it is companies like these with their natural energy, ambition and entrepreneurial spirit that will help the UK economy thrive. By supporting their growth, government would also be helping to achieve a more regionally balanced economy that ‘works for all’.”

Evolution was one of four companies headquartered in the East Midlands who made the prestigious league table. Between them all they have made a strong contribution to the local economy, employing a total of 1,200 staff and achieving combined profits of £19m.

Evolution Funding joins London Stock Exchange Group ELITE programme

Evolution Funding, the UK’s leading motor funding intermediary, has today been welcomed to ELITE, the London Stock Exchange Group’s innovative support programme for inspiring growth businesses.

They join a record number of 46 companies accepted onto the fifth cohort of the UK programme, 16 of which are UK companies representing a diverse range of sectors. Today’s new cohorts bring the total number of businesses in the community to over 380, generating over £25 billion in combined revenues and accounting for over 130,000 jobs.

ELITE offers businesses a full programme to help them grow, including education, business support and direct contact with Europe’s financial and advisory community. In the UK, Imperial College Business School helps deliver the programme. Management teams are guided on how best to fast-track their development and capital raising processes, how to access the most suitable funding for their needs, whether private equity, venture capital or the bond or equity markets, and given advice on building their profile and reach.

ELITE also allows its vibrant international advisor and investor community the opportunity to engage with a pool of high quality, dynamic companies and entrepreneurs, all of whom are open to the advice, opportunities and connections that the programme offers.

Xavier Rolet, CEO, London Stock Exchange Group:

“As the European Commission’s pioneering Capital Markets Union work confirms, to truly unleash the potential of high growth firms, they need access to finance and financial knowledge, which LSEG is committed to delivering through ELITE.
“It is almost two years to the day since ELITE was launched in the UK, giving the brightest and fastest growing British businesses the opportunity to expand, innovate and create new jobs. I’m delighted to have charted the successes of the first group of UK companies, who this month also become the first to graduate from ELITE and warmly welcome today’s new companies at the start of their ELITE journeys.”

Jeremy Levine, Director, Evolution Funding:

“We are delighted to have been accepted onto the ELITE programme. We have extensive plans for growth and expansion and the support, advice and guidance we’ll receive through ELITE will ensure that we have all the right knowledge and foundations in place to support those plans. We are excited to see what we can achieve off the back of our involvement in ELITE.”