The Automotive Compliance team
Our directors have over 30 years' experience within dealerships.
We also have in-house expertise that’s come straight from the FCA itself, giving you full peace of mind.
Paul Speakman started his career selling cars in a Vauxhall dealer in Cheltenham, 25 years saw him progressing up the
ladder into senior management. In 2004 he Joined Reynolds & Reynolds (Previously Half a Car) where Paul worked with
motor dealers throughout the UK and Northern America, training and consulting on Trade Cycle Management strategy.
In 2005, the FSA hit the industry with new regulations and Paul recognised a gap in the market so, along with fellow Reynolds & Reynolds colleague Paul Guy, Automotive Compliance Ltd (ACL) was born. In 2008 ACL became directly authorised as a Principal Firm by the FSA for general insurance permissions. Fast forward to 2014 where ACL became the first Principal Firm working specifically with the motor industry to gain dual authorisation for general insurance and consumer credit broking permissions by the FCA.
Perceived to be a confusing and burdensome task, reaching compliance without fully understanding it isn’t easy, but the risks of not being compliant in the regulatory world we have now become accustomed to can be devastating to motor dealers. With over 30 years’ experience in the motor dealer industry under his belt, Paul really understands the businesses he talks to and advises on a daily basis. He delivers the message of compliance in a clear and concise manner, ensuring dealers are able to understand and aren’t flooded with confusing compliance jargon. Paul’s aim is to reduce risk for all dealerships so that they are able to carry on with that they do best – selling vehicles!
Paul Guy started selling cars in his teens and enjoyed a 20-year career doing so in the retail motor industry.
Paul left his final role in the retail motor industry as dealer principal of a plc dealership to join Half a Car
(subsequently taken over by Reynolds and Reynolds), the renowned creator of the PCP (Ford Options) in the
millennium year. Paul trained and consulted with motor dealers throughout the UK, Europe and North America
in the art of Trade Cycle Management.
In 2006, Paul identified a need for Motor Industry translation of the recently imposed FSA regulations having worked on a similar roll out of The Patriot Act regulation in North American dealerships. Paul, along with fellow Reynolds and Reynolds colleague Paul Speakman, formed Automotive Compliance Ltd (ACL). ACL was accredited with the status of Principal Firm authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for General Insurance in 2008 and latterly Consumer Credit when the FCA encompassed the OFT in 2014, becoming the first Principal Firm working specifically within the Motor Industry to achieve dual authorisation from the regulator.
Compliance can be confusing but is a vital cog in a dealership’s business – without it dealers can’t sell vehicles using finance packages or any add-on general insurance products. Now with over 30 years of experience in the Motor Industry, Paul is incredibly passionate about compliance, whilst not forgetting his roots and is committed to delivering this vital service and message in a “Motortrade’ised” (Paul's favourite saying) way the industry can understand.
Independent Non Executive Director & Chairman
David Blake has been involved in the motor industry for 30 years and is a Fellow of the Institute of Risk Management.
He started out in sales as a teenager, when Volkswagen and Audi were joint franchises, and worked in various brands
progressing from sales to sales management and business manager roles through the 1990s.
David utilised his F&I sales successes and joined Blackhorse as F&I Development Manager, seconded to the HR Owen prestige brands where he undertook a training and development role for the sports cars and prestige divisions. He latterly progressed to manufacturer finance through Honda Finance as an Area Manager, then moving on to Compliance and Risk Management with the explosion of FSA and CCA regulatory change.
David has used his trusted industry knowledge and risk expertise to run an independent risk and compliance consultancy, working on many high profile remediation projects in the UK through the banking and insurance space and supporting Boards and audit firms in building best in the class Governance, Risk and Compliance.
David’s consulting extends to the Non-Executive Director role and he chairs ACL’s Board as an Independent member. In this Non-Executive role David acts as a sounding board for the Board members and provides expert external support.
Head of Business Development
Trevor Johnson brings over 32 years of automotive experience to ACL, ranging from Sales Executive
through to Dealer Principal. For the last 11 years Trevor has been dealing with the Automotive Industry's
single owner drivers to mid-to large sized groups promoting “ARs” (Appointed Representatives) with the FCA’s
extra remit to regulate Consumer Credit since March 2014.
Trevor demonstrates a mix of strategic vision and tactical sales & marketing expertise for dealers to drive revenue whilst making sure they adhere to all the FCA’s guidelines on Treating Customers Fairly (TCF).
He is effective at developing, implementing and managing the successful delivery of business improvement plans designed to overcome challenging compliance tasks in an ever changing FCA environment for dealership staff and management.
He implements best practice compliance management and operational practices that really work to drive rapid business growth, whilst achieving the highest levels of customer service excellence.
National Compliance Manager
Julian Lobb began his working life training to be an Accountant. After 8 years in the business,
he decided that he would prefer to work in an environment with more social interaction and in the late 1990s
began selling used cars, before moving into the franchised world. He progressed through the ranks from Sales Executive,
Business Manager, General Sales Manager and ultimately to Brand Manager level.
At the beginning of 2015, after Automotive Compliance received their Consumer Credit permissions from the FCA, Julian joined Automotive Compliance as one of the original Dealer Development Managers. Working with the network of Appointed Representatives, Julian developed the review process and the robust toolkits used today by the current team of Dealer Development Managers when risk assessing an AR.
In February 2016, in recognition of Julian’s ability and successes in improving his ARs' compliance, through his development of the Remedial Monitoring Programme, he was promoted to the role of National Compliance Manager, overseeing five DDMs and taking on the responsibility for the overall monitoring and oversight of the growing Automotive Compliance AR network.
In his spare time, he is an avid supporter of Blackburn Rovers and enjoys taking long walks with his family in the Lake District. He always remembers to pack extra socks when staying away from home.
National Training Manager
Tom Steenson first entered the motor industry back in 1985, after working previously for several
finance companies advising people on personal loans & mortgages. After a year of selling cars he was
promoted to Business Manager & relished the opportunity not only to increase profitability from F & I
but to help his Sales Manager manage the sales team. Tom did this until 1989 when he joined the Aon
Corporation and remained there until 1998 where he progressed to become National Training & Development
Manager, which involved the training & development of both internal and external clients.
In 1998 Tom moved on to join Polar Motor Group, initially as Warranty Development Manager responsible for overseeing the training and development of the sales of new and used car warranties, then becoming Regional F & I Manager for the 28 Dagenham Motors businesses in the south east of the UK and eventually progressing to Sales Trainer.
In 2007 Tom became self-employed and won a contract with QBE Insurance Group as a Training & Development Consultant where he travelled to places such as China and Taiwan, helping dealers improve their sales processes. Latterly he ran a team of five Development Managers in the Czech Republic until he returned to the UK.
Over the past 32 years Tom has had a passion for helping people develop their careers and recently joined Automotive Compliance as National Training Manager. He is looking forward to coaching and training not only the dealership staff but also his colleagues.
Senior Dealer Development Manager
Ian Jones joined the motor trade in the early 1990s following on from an earlier career in financial services.
Starting in the motor trade as a Business Manager, drawing on his previous experience, Ian initially worked for
a small family owned business.
Hungry to progress, Ian moved into a Sales Manager’s position in a PLC where experience was gained with budgeting, marketing and PLC regimes. Subsequently Ian worked for a family business which was eventually taken over by the manufacturer, again gaining further experience of procedures and processes.
During his career Ian has been involved in manufacturers' marketing committees and represented the area on the National Marketing Committee, helping to shape future marketing campaigns.
Ian joined ACL in 2016 and was the first Dealer Development Manager to have used the ACL process ‘at the coal face’. A committed motor trade professional Ian understands the nuances of the motor trade on many levels.
Senior Dealer Development Manager
Phil Aggus started to sell cars at a well-respected family run Toyota dealership in 2008.
Following a successful couple of years there, he took the opportunity to progress his career
further with a large PLC working under the Ford brand. Working his way from Sales Executive to
Business Manager gave him much more experience in the F&I world and also developed his understanding
of regulation and compliance. Phil’s last role in the car sales environment was as Business Manager
(and acting Sales Manager) at a local independent MINI dealership before deciding to leave after the
birth of his daughter.
Phil has always had a passion for the motor trade and didn’t want to leave the industry completely. In 2014 he started his career in FCA Compliance. Although Compliance can be confusing and difficult to explain to motor dealers his time with Automotive Compliance has been the most exciting period of Phil’s career to date. He enjoys working closely with all dealership staff, from Senior Managers to sales staff ensuring they understand what they can do to remain compliant. Drawing on his previous experience in car sales means that he understands what the dealers’ concerns are and can speak their language to help explain how they can reduce the risk to their business. Compliance is a necessity and without it dealerships cannot operate, therefore Phil is more than happy to help.
Dealer Development Manager
Sean Hartley first came into the Motor Trade in the early 2000s as a parts person in a Northern
Motorcycle dealership where he quickly moved up to become Business Manager after attending a course
with Black Horse Finance.
A few years later he moved to Colin Appleyard Motorcycles where he had his first introduction to Automotive Compliance as an Appointed Representative and gained an instant appreciation for the importance of compliance within the modern Motor trade. Moving up the ladder once again to become Sales Controller at one of their car dealerships, Sean took on the role of training new sales staff on compliance and how it can work within any sales process. This furthered his career to becoming Group F&I Manager, where he spent some of his time training new Business Managers and showing them how to make compliance work and add value in their daily role.
After his annual review with Automotive Compliance in late 2016, Sean decided he would like to pursue a career with the company and sent in his CV. The rest is history and Sean is now part of the ACL family.
Sean has always said that compliance isn’t something to fear and with a basic understanding can be embraced, not only will it reduce risk for your business but will boost revenue because a confident, informed customer can see the benefit to them.
Dealer Development Manager
Peter Harris, originally from a manufacturing background, started selling cars in the early 2000s.
Working in both used car supermarkets and franchised main dealers, Peter gained a wealth of knowledge
with regards to sales process and compliance. His ability and enthusiasm saw him quickly progressing
to the position of Business Manager within the first couple of years of working in the industry as his
motor retail career flourished into senior management positions.
Peter decided to leave the retail motor trade front line in 2017 after being given the opportunity to become a Dealer Development Manager with Automotive Compliance. Peter now shares his knowledge and passion of process and compliance with the Automotive Compliance network helping Motor Dealers to run in a more process driven and compliant manner.
Dealer Development Manager
Peter spent the formative years working in the motor finance industry. Helping dealers to grow and develop and
thereby increasing their profitability. He progressed to working in a joint venture with International Motors,
providing support and training to their network of Subaru, Isuzu and Daihatsu dealers. Then moved on the head up the
joint venture with Harley-Davidson Motorcycles and introduced a PCP offering to their dealers throughout the UK.
Following the banking crisis in 2008/9 he moved into the retail sector for the first time, working as a business manager for Honda in Gloucester and Bristol. During his time in Bristol he was not only a regular in the end of year top 20 performing dealers but managed to write over £1M of retail business in a month, on 4 separate occasions.
Having now gained knowledge and experience across the industry he is looking forward to making full use of it to help drive compliance and profitability for all our partners.
Complaints Handler & Financial Promotions Officer
Sarah Benson-Wilson has worked in the financial services industry since 2010. She has a broad range
of experience within the Banking sector, working as a Complaints Manager for four years for a top tier
bank and achieving the Chartered Banking Certificate in complaints handling.
Sarah moved careers after looking for a new challenge and broadening her experience within the financial services sector and she joined Automotive Compliance Limited in 2017.
Complaints can be challenging for customers and it is Sarah’s duty to ensure that our customers are dealt with in a fair and compliant manner. Sarah is also responsible for the Financial Promotions reviews for our Appointed Representatives’ websites and social media.
Jackie Meredith started work at 16 as an office junior in Banking, buying and selling shares.
She worked for a number of years within the world of Finance and within the framework of Financial
Regulation before moving from poacher to gamekeeper into compliance. Initially in ITC Compliance,
Jackie spent seven years working firstly as a Network Co-Ordinator and then New Business Co-ordinator,
dealing with new AR applications.
Changing her focus to solely the Motor Industry, Jackie joined Automotive Compliance in April 2015 where she holds the senior and responsible position of Administrations Manager. With now nearly 10 years of Appointed Representative networks experience Jackie says she loves her job, where her duties include the onboarding and due diligence checking of all new Appointed Representatives and overseeing the collating of the ARs' figures for submission to the FCA Gabriel Reporting.
Compliance & Administration Co-Ordinator
Michelle joined Automotive Compliance Limited in 2016 to support the Administration Manager,
with over 15 years of financial services experience within companies such as AXA,
Legal and General and Sunlife, giving advice on a portfolio of financial products
including mortgages. Prior to joining Automotive Compliance Limited Michelle spent the
previous six years with another Principal firm. Michelle states she likes working
within the Motor Industry as there are so many unique characters.
Michelle a social entrepreneur, was born in Nairobi but originates from the beautiful Seychelles. Michelle has made Bristol her home and works tirelessly within the local community, she can be often heard on local radio in her role as Community Engagement Officer for the CCBED a Bristol based social enterprise dedicated to training and development within the inner city communities.
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