John Deere appoints new president of agriculture business
Deanna M. Kovar Credit: John Deere
John Deere has appointed Deanna M. Kovar as president of its agricultural machinery business, effective from 1 November 2023 (beginning in fiscal 2024).
Kovar will oversee Regions 1 (Africa, Middle East and Asia) and 2 (Europe and CIS), the presidency for the agricultural equipment business, and the turf businesses. She previously led the precision agriculture business unit.
Kovar will spend the remainder of this fiscal year familiarising herself with the new role in addition to her existing responsibilities. As of 1 November, she will then be given full responsibility for this post.
Markwart von Pentz will assume an advisory role to CEO John C. May before his retirement in 2024. “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished with John Deere in Europe, Africa and Asia over the past years.”
In the transition phase to the new position as head of Europe she will be trained by Von Pentz in the small and medium-sized agricultural machinery and turf divisions.
Tech lawyer unveils asset verification platform
A digital platform designed to help UK asset-based lenders combat fraud has been launched by VeriFI AssetProtection, a company fronted by a commercial lawyer.
The platform works by recording hi-res imagery and data based on the type of asset being inspected and uses AI algorithms to check the inspection data and reports back to the lender.
This allows for verification of the existence and condition of the asset. VeriFI AssetProtection was co-founded by Jonathan Garnett in January 2022, in response to the Arena TV debacle.
Garnett said: “We’ve got algorithms running in the background that effectively will give a red flag in the report. It will say ‘These are the GPS coordinates of where the inspection took place… if this doesn’t match where it’s supposed to be; the system red flags the inspection to the lender at reporting stage.”
The inspection application collects meta-data such as geolocation information, meaning it records the time and location of where the asset inspection was performed.
Leaseurope task force to tackle EU Taxonomy
Leaseurope, the European Federation of leasing company associations, has established a task force to explore how leasing fits with corporate reporting on the environment in the EU.
Recent EU legislation prompting a green agenda developed a classification system, or Taxonomy, to allow businesses to identify “environmentally sustainable” economic activities related to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, preserving biodiversity or transitioning to a circular economy.
Leaseurope, which represents the interests of the equipment and automotive rental industries across Europe, said the task force will publish a report with recommendations about taxonomy reporting on leasing services and asset classifications that contribute to environmental objectives under the EU Taxonomy regime.
Stella Mitta, Senior Legal & Policy Adviser for Leaseurope, said that leasing companies have some specific challenges when applying the Taxonomy Regulation, particularly in determining what constitutes a ‘green asset’ and how to assess the taxonomy eligibility and alignment of leasing activities.
BFS Scotland appoints BDM
Invoice finance provider Bibby Financial Services (BFS) has appointed Gayle Robertson as business development manager of its Scottish division.
With almost two decades of experience in banking and commercial finance, Robertson joins from Lloyds Banking Group where she spent 19 years supporting SMEs in both operational and sales roles. Her most recent role with the bank was associate director of invoice finance.
Mike Day, head of sales for Scotland, said: “Attracting someone of Gayle’s calibre and market experience is down to our ambitious growth strategy in Scotland, as well as our client-centric approach to supporting SMEs. We’re delighted to welcome Gayle to BFS and look forward to growing our support for SMEs with her on board.”
Prior to joining Lloyds Banking Group, Robertson achieved a BA Honours degree in Psychology with Sociology & Social Policy from Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh.
Since joining the bank in 2006, she has supported the growth of around 250 SMEs. Gayle joined BFS on 2 May with a remit covering the whole of Scotland.
Leasing is European SMEs ‘top finance choice’
The research report, entitled ‘Opportunity in Change’, produced by Acquis asked 1,250 SME decision-makers about their investment plans, their current business concerns and their views on key opportunities.
The study found that nearly one-third (32%) of SMEs who took part in the survey plan to fund investment through leasing – making it the preferred choice over bank loans, credit cards and other methods of finance.
The research found that while the industry is still adapting to ongoing economic pressures, commitment to investing is increasing.
The new data also shows the majority of businesses across Europe (50%) are planning to invest in the next 12 months – an increase of more than 10% since 2021.
Nick Leader, CEO at Acquis, said: “With inflation, rising energy prices and a raft of other socio-economic factors affecting businesses in recent years, the question of whether SMEs plan to withhold their commitment to invest has been a key concern.