Martin has been the Director General of The CHO, the trade body representing the interests of credit hire operators in the UK since 2012. The CHO has c.66 members and an annual subscription income of £220,000 - and is the equivalent organisation to that of the ABI (the trade body that represents the interests of UK insurers and which has subscription income of c.£25 million).
Martin has a BSC Hons in Chemistry (Birmingham University) and is a qualified chartered accountant (PWC). On qualifying, Martin left audit immediately and joined County NatWest Investment Bank specialising in corporate finance (mergers & acquisitions and fundraising advice). From 1996 he became finance director of Protagona Plc, a fully listed (LSE) software and services company that grew rapidly in the UK and the USA. Subsequent to that he became FD of Diagonal Plc, another LSE-listed technology company specialising in SAP software and services. On the sale of that company he became FD of Accident Exchange Group Plc until approximately four years ago.
Over all of this time Martin was involved in numerous acquisitions and both equity, debt and derivative fundraisings in both the public and private arenas.
The role of DG of The CHO arose alongside the announcement of the enquiry into the UK private motor insurance market by the OFT and the retirement of his predecessor. The role so far has largely been that of educating interested parties of the consumer benefits of credit hire, which is a misunderstood service that insurers (who pay for it) would like banned. Educating the OFT, ministers, the press, media and now the Competition and Markets Authority (previously the Competition Commission) of the legal position and of the consumer rights and benefits of credit hire is central to the work effort undertaken by Martin.
Martin has lived in the Midlands (born Hereford) since attending Birmingham University in the 80’s. He has one son and his passions include skiing, golf and cycling.
An entrepreneur with sense of humour (sometimes) and 34 years high-level experience in accident management, the development of software solutions and vehicle rental.
Steve has worked in a privately funded environment and have also worked with development capital (raising around £35m) and, in the last 10 years has ben chief executive of a business that was initially placed on AIM and then admitted to the full list of the London Stock Exchange. He participated in a series of successful public offerings to raise equity of c.£50 million as well as in the issue of £50m convertible loan notes before completing a take private in 2011.
He brought Autofocus to their knees in 2010 having exposed their involvement in what is probably the largest fraud against the civil justice system ever. Working for insurers, Autofocus routinely deployed dishonest evidence, resulting in losses to the Group in excess of £130m. He negotiated a successful compromise arrangement with a total of 50 parties in respect of £16 million of claims, having identified the scale of the fraud through some fairly clever detective work that also resulted in the Attorney General asking the City of London Major Economic Crime team to investigate those involved.
A member of the Executive Committee of The CHO, he is former chairman of the Accident Management Association and, with others, represented the industry on the ABI Joint Technical Committee for the GTA (General Terms of Agreement). Steve has been chairman of The CHO from December 2012.
Provided evidence to the Transport Select Committee on the issue of the increasing cost of Motor Insurance in December 2010/January 2011 and then did the same again for the OFT in their review of the Private Motor Insurance Market and the Competition Commission when the OFT’s enquiry became a referral for a market investigation.