Stuart Whittle has joined Hippo Motor Group as its new chief financial officer, with a remit to create a digitally focused growth strategy for its three businesses, Hippo Leasing, Caruno and Hippo Approved, its used car retail arm recently rebranded from Hippo Prestige.
Whittle has more than 20 years’ finance experience and prior to joining the Blackburn-based firm held senior leadership roles in the vehicle, property and banking sectors, including Close Motor Finance, LSL Property Services and Leeds Building Society.
Director Tom Preston said: “We have enjoyed phenomenal growth over the past few years through investment in our team, technology, and state-of-the-art facilities. This year alone we have increased our team by 50% and purchased new sites, so we are now geared up ready to hit our targets in the coming years.
“In order to maintain our competitive edge in a busy sector it is vital that we have a robust finance leader and we are confident we have that in Stuart, who will be a real asset not just for Hippo but also for our own lending arm Oasis Motor Finance”.
The business has offices in Blackburn, Manchester and Luton with further expansion in Derby and Corby coming soon.
In 2022 the group achieved £117 million turnover and £3.3n pre-tax profit, and its accounts stated that it was being equipped to increase its sales volume by 50%
“Hippo is a business which prides itself on customer service excellence, so our people are our most important asset. Stuart has the experience to deliver a strong finance future as well as the skillset and qualities to lead his team and help them thrive.”
Whittle said: “Hippo is a dynamic business and Tom has a clear vision of its future place within the market and how we get there. I am delighted to join the team at this crucial chapter in the Hippo journey and can’t wait to get stuck into the role.”