Women in broking stack2

Name: Hannah-Louise Kirkpatrick

Job title: Director, Harmoto Vehicle Leasing

How long in role: 1 year

Current drive? Lotus Eletre

HANNAH-LOUISE Kirkpatrick started as she meant to go on. She worked hard at school, then headed to Nottingham Business School where she secured a first-class degree in international business.  

Hannah-Louise – or ‘HL’ as she likes to be called – went on to build an impressive 13-year banking career, holding senior positions at Lloyds, Metro Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland. These included director level roles, leading national sales teams and managing multi-million-pound business portfolios. Part of that career was during the financial crisis which HL politely describes as ‘a tricky time to be in banking’. 

Last year, Hannah-Louise set up the brokerage Harmoto and has quickly expanded with the appointment of Eleanor Chalmers. So, why change banking for broking? HL explains:

‘I moved back to my hometown of Buxton when I became pregnant. I went from 12-hour days to having a baby during covid, so I had time to consider my next career step. I thought about what I was passionate about, which has always been helping businesses. My banking experience had shown me SMEs were underserved in the fleet market. That drove me to set up Harmoto, it’s certainly very different from my banking days, but I love it.’

Hannah-Louise says that Harmoto’s mission is to provide businesses with the ‘consultative support they need and deserve’. She chose the name to summarise the business approach of ‘Harmony’ and ‘Motoring’. The focus is to work closely with its customers, taking a holistic look at the whole business to understand its ambitions and ensure the vehicles compliment that strategy. The business also works with dealers aligned to Harmoto’s values.

And dealerships are something that HL knows well. She was brought up around the motoring trade as her father had an Audi and Volkswagen dealership in Macclesfield, and he still has a used car business today. Hannah-Louise describes herself as ‘a big car fan’, she comments:

‘Cars are in my blood. At the age of eight, my dream car was a Volkswagen Corrado. I used to love watching the Audi quattro rally cars on television and I really remember the TT concept coming out – I got my father to bring home the stills for me! Honestly, I think if you cut me in half, I would probably say ‘Audi’ in the middle.’

These days, her passion has evolved to include sustainable motoring. She feels there is more to do in this space and is enthusiastic about helping customers review their fleet policies and decarbonise their fleets – in a practical way that works for their business. Harmoto also plants a tree for every vehicle delivery. 

Harmoto is a Jurni partner (formerly Bridle Group). A pivotal factor in deciding to work with Jurni was Nickie Brooks, its chief compliance officer. HL explains why:

Nickie is one of the main reasons that I decided to join Jurni. We had a great meeting and our values just aligned. She was incredibly thorough and so passionate about great customer experience which really resonated with me.’

Hannah-Louise believes that women advocating each other in business is critical, especially in traditionally male-dominated sectors. She says that she was helped on her career journey by ‘brilliant mentor, and now friend’, Marnie Millard OBE, who she met in her Lloyd’s days. The pair also adventured together for charity – including climbing Kilimanjaro and building beehives in Africa. Hannah-Louise feels that female role models are really important, as well as mindset, and she has this advice:

‘We often suffer from Imposter Syndrome, when women sometimes need to have more confidence in themselves - they look at a role and think there’s 20% they can’t do and don’t put themselves forward. A man would probably go for it – that’s a generalisation but it fits with experience I have had leading teams. Don’t be shy in putting yourself forward. By upskilling yourself to become the ‘go-to’ person, you will build a great reputation and a network of supporters. That network will help you achieve your ambitions.’

About Harmoto Vehicle Leasing

Harmoto is a leasing broker providing vehicle finance on a national basis. It supports businesses with a hassle-free, consultative and unbiased approach to finding the right vehicle and finance package for their needs. Harmoto is on a mission to help businesses in their transition to net zero and is passionate about its customers, communities and the planet. 

About Women in Broking

Women in Broking is our regular series of features highlighting some of the great women who are so influential in the leasing broker sector – a sector that has been male dominated for too long. The series celebrates the Women in Broking and hopes to encourage more women to have a successful career in the leasing broker market.

Here’s the previous Women in Broking feature:

Women in Broking: Nancy Thorley

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