Home Estate Planning ‘I have no doubts it’ll take many by surprise’: Nando’s hires motor finance veteran as UK chief

‘I have no doubts it’ll take many by surprise’: Nando’s hires motor finance veteran as UK chief

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Nando’s has hired a veteran of the motor finance industry as its new UK&I chief executive.

Mark Standish was previously CEO of MotoNovo Finance for almost 22 years, having started his career at Wagon Finance.

Announcing his appointment on social media, Standish said it was time for “something completely different” and that he had no doubts that his hiring would “take many by surprise”.

His appointment comes after Nando’s reported pre-tax losses of £86.1m for the year to February 26, 2023, compared to losses of £99.4m in the prior year.

Over that time, the group’s revenue increased from £1.066bn to £1.270bn.

In a LinkedIn post, Standish said: After 35 years serving an industry that I genuinely have a love and passion for, the time has come for me to embark on an exciting new journey.

Nando’s recently introduced its first ever student discount as the battle for the nation’s smaller disposable income heats up

“During my latter years in the motor finance industry I had to reframe my sense of legacy, and move away from thinking about it in terms of the entity I had contributed to building, and see it more through the lens of the lives I had the privilege of touching, and hopefully, bringing a little value and positive difference to.

“This realisation proved to be incredibly powerful, blessing me with a fresh perspective on what it means to succeed as a business leader, and bolstered my confidence to the extent it has given me the courage to embark on a new, and what I believe will be, an even more impactful path.

Mark Standish (LinkedIn)

“I have never made a habit of trying to profit from the regaling of my personal story, that saw me navigate through a challenging childhood and upbringing, and from the humble origins of the data input room of the Dept of Employment, to the role of CEO, of what went on to become one of the most celebrated UK motor finance companies of the past 30 years.

“Where I have used my story was more subtly to genuinely try and inspire others, with a heartfelt belief and message that if I could write such a story then there was no reason why others, who perhaps had experienced similarly challenging starts in life, could not still aim high, and realise their ambitions, whatever they may be.

“Throughout the vast majority of my motor finance career I was blessed to be guided and developed by leaders who genuinely wanted to see me succeed, and fulfil my potential, and were very comfortable in giving the spotlight to those they nurtured.

“Back in the day it was never badged social mobility but I guess, looking back, I was a great example of exactly that.”

According to his LinkedIn profile, Standish has been without a full-time role since leaving Cardiff-based MotoNovo Finance in July 2021.

The new CEO added: ‘For me it’s now time for an exciting new chapter, as CEO for Nando’s UK&I.

“I have no doubts it’ll take many by surprise, it did me, but the more I get to know the business, the sector, and above all else the people, the more excited I become.

“What a privilege it is, to be given the opportunity to add an exciting new chapter, to what is an already legendary story, penned by an iconic brand, that makes such a difference to people’s lives.”

Nando’s was founded in Johannesburg in 1987 and operates 480 restaurants and employs 19,000 people in the UK.

A Nando’s spokesperson said: “We’re delighted to welcome Mark Standish to the Nando’s family, as our new UK and Ireland CEO.

“Mark brings over 20 years of CEO experience and an excellent track record of growing businesses and developing people.

“He’s passionate about making a difference and business being a force for good, and will lead Nando’s continued expansion in the UK and Ireland.”

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