February 12, 2009

In a candid conflab with Post Magazine’s estimable Mairi MacDonald, new Helphire chief exec Mark Adams revealed his hopes and dreams for the economically challenged credit hire organisation (CHO). In startling contravention of the received male wisdom that being married to a model is a good thing, he was quick to stress that Helphire “is not married to the credit hire model.”

Asked whether the rise of bilateral agreements marked the beginning of the end for CHOs, he expressed confidence in Hellfire’s plans to diversify and find new ways, as the Post article described it, “to employ Helphire’s fleet of 18,000 vehicles to ensure they do not sit in a car park losing profit.” Adams is clearly not a man whose thinking takes place inside boxes: “I had no preconceived ideas about Helphire; credit hire wasn’t an industry I was familiar with,” he said going on to describe his role as “driving Helphire into its third stage of development.”

Being careful to avoid overt criticism of his predecessor, former CEO Mark Jackson (no relation to the more famous Michael), Mark II said Mark I had “been instrumental in the growth of the business in recent years and recognised that his skill set probably wasn’t appropriate for the next stage of the plan.” In a statement issued in December the company accepted that it has “an infrastructure designed for higher levels than we are now anticipating” and announced plans to cut costs and drive through efficiencies.

Declining to rule out redundancies among the firm’s 3000 staff, Adams now says: “We always knew the growth levels we were achieving were unsustainable – any business that grows at 40% recognises at some point that growth will come off. But it’s fair to say it has come off much more quickly than we anticipated…

“We are committed to working with the insurance industry and developing the model. We recognise credit hire is the core product offering within our business, but we are more about providing mobility solutions to the motorist. So if the model evolves to the point where credit hire reduces and is replaced with other business, then so be it. To some extent, we are already providing these solutions,” he chuntered on listlessly.

There’s lots more, but it gets a bit repetitive to be honest.


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