Dutch international rental group Boels has appointed Asif Latief as managing director of its UK operation Boels UK from the start of the new year.
He will take over from Chris Haycocks, who is due to leave Boels UK at the end of January 2020 together with Scott Mulley. The handover of activities and responsibility will be done during the first half of January. The appointment was communicated to employees this week, with an official announcement due sometime today or tomorrow.
Latief joins the company from A-Plant, the UK division of Ashtead. He has held a number of senior management positions at A-Plant since he started with the company in 2002, they include responsibility for the development of strategic account sales, business development, marketing, pricing, customer experience, central call centre operations, and most recently marketing director.
Boels chief executive Pierre Boels said: “I am delighted to welcome Asif to the Boels team, we have ambitious plans for our UK business as we reach a pivotal point in our strategy to become a national hirer of choice. His extensive experience coupled with his knowledge of the equipment rental market will be invaluable as we look to accelerate our growth.”
Latief added: “Boels has an excellent reputation across Europe and I am delighted to be able to join them at such an exciting time. Being a family run business, it has a number of values which resonate with me, especially the focus on developing its people to be the best that they can be, delivering a high level of customer experience, and all this supported by a solid investment programme to help the business grow. The aim is to be a leading player in the UK rental market and I look forward to being a part of that journey.”
The move follows a series of UK acquisitions by Boels, including Artisan Hire Centre and sister company SAS (Survey & Safety Equipment Hire and Sales), Supply UK Hire Shops and Already Hire At the last count Boels had 38 locations in the UK see more acquisitions for Boels
This is an interesting move for Boels which appears to be going from strength to strength. While the Boels UK business is a fraction of the size of the big players in the market, such as A-Plant and Speedy etc, it is growing fast and will almost certainly be well placed to exploit the financial weakness of those UK rental companies who already weak and likely to struggle in the event that the market goes through a tough patch next year. The relatively low level of Sterling will also help make any acquisitions in the UK look cheap, for a group which generates most of its revenues in Euros.
Latief has played a significant role in growth of A-Plant in recent years, although the company has lately begun to look as if it is slipping a little, just as its main rival Speedy seems be getting its mojo back. This new role has a good few challenges and opportunities and could prove ideal for a person with his experience and at this stage in their career.
One question you might consider is whether Boels has the appetite and resources for a major acquisition such as HSS?
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