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The Boss’s CV – Willie Paterson | Feature

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WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST EVER JOB?

On leaving school I worked for a local haulage business for four months as stores clerk, before joining the Clydesdale Bank within branch retail for five years.

HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE COMMERCIAL VEHICLE BUSINESS?

My first commercial vehicle role was with Scottish Discount Company – an independent business in Glasgow specialising in asset finance for cars, buses and commercial vehicles. However, my uncle had a large haulage business so from the age of 14 I spent most of my summer holidays and free time in and around that.

WHAT DOES YOUR JOB ENTAIL?

My role involves developing and delivering the strategy across the entire Asset Alliance Group, and I work closely with a very strong senior management team. We have been on a high growth trajectory for several years which has involved five specific acquisitions and I tend to lead the project teams. I also still have a few customers that I like to maintain direct contact with to ensure I keep in touch with the industry.

HOW WILL YOUR JOB/BUSINESS CHANGE OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS?

We have recently invested over £1m in a bespoke software platform for our business that will be able to deliver our entire product range, give us complete visibility of our processes, enhance our fleet management capability and improve our customer portal. It will also help us move our assets seamlessly through our services from contract hire, leasing, rental, hire purchase and sales and will underline our unique market proposition. It’s really exciting for us all, and I believe the opportunities it presents are endless. We are also looking at how we can improve the data and information flow from the truck, driver and fleet management portals to continuously improve levels of efficiency for our customers.

WHAT OTHER JOBS HAVE YOU DONE?

I worked at HSBC within their asset finance business Forward Trust, before returning to Clydesdale Bank operating across NAB’s European Asset Finance brands. I joined Alliance & Leicester PLC in 2002 where I was given the opportunity of restructuring the finance offering to create Alliance & Leicester Commercial Finance. I then headed up all commercial finance businesses within Alliance & Leicester, and later Santander.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG PEOPLE JOINING THE INDUSTRY?

There is so much opportunity for any young person to aspire to and I always tell our younger staff: ‘Don’t be in a rush to find the ideal role, just work hard and the opportunities will open up for you.’ It’s really important to challenge yourself and for your employer to stretch your boundaries.

HOW DO YOU RELAX?

In my free time I play some golf and I have recently started car rallying again after a 20-year break. I try and spend time with my family and love being out in the fresh air as much as possible.

FAVOURITE HOLIDAY DESTINATION?

I love exploring parts of Scotland I haven’t yet seen but usually the weather and midges restrict that. My wife is a sun worshipper, so we usually try and get to Majorca for a short break every year.

FAVOURITE BOOK/FILM?

I love watching movies. My favourite films are Snatch and Kill Bill.

FAVOURITE MUSIC?

I worked as DJ for many of my younger years so I have a very eclectic taste. I guess my playlists tend to feature Simple Minds, U2 and other 80s rock bands.

FIRST CAR AND COST?

A 1975 Hillman Hunter GT which I bought in 1983 for £200.

DREAM CAR?

I have a real soft spot for Aston Martin and would love a DBS. I also still yearn for an original Audi Quattro 20v.