David Brennan, CEO of Nexus Vehicle Rental
David Brennan, CEO of Nexus Vehicle Rental, gives BQ an insight into his 28-year career in the automotive industry and tells us what he believes makes a great business leader...
What does your role involve?
As CEO, my role is to lead Nexus Vehicle Rental in our pursuit to become the best independent technology platform in the B2B vehicle hire market.
What is it the company does?
Nexus is the leading independent provider of corporate vehicle rental in the UK. We provide software and rental management services to our clients, via our supply network which is made up of 200 plus vehicle rental suppliers across more than 2,000 UK rental locations. We rent out cars, vans, motorbikes and heavy goods vehicles to keep clients mobile.
Essentially, we provide any asset a client could need on a short and long-term basis – any vehicle, anytime, anywhere is what we do.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
I’ve spent 28 years in the automotive space. I worked for two car manufacturers before completing an MBA, then I worked in strategic consulting and ran the UK subsidiary of LeasePlan, the world’s largest leasing business, and now the private equity-backed Nexus Vehicle Rental.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
I’m always very positive, open and encouraging of people. Listening is very important to lead well.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
Leading the management buyout last year at the same time as growing a very successful business – this encompassed two jobs having to be done in parallel and at speed.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
I’m a keen cyclist, and part of an amateur cycling club – The Harrogate MAMILs (middle aged men in lycra). I find cycling the winding hills of the Yorkshire Dales definitely helps as a stress-buster! Also watching my favourite football team, Leeds United, and spending time with my family keeps me grounded.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I had ambitions of becoming an RAF fighter pilot, but with my eyesight that was never going to happen!
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about then?
Politics – a waste of time.
Where do you see the company in five years time?
I’m aiming to double the size of the business from where we are today, with great staff delivering a great service around mobility for corporate employees.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
Listen, listen, listen… we have two ears and one mouth for a reason!