New head takes driving seat at automotive training agency

By Anita Jaynes on 21 February, 2019

Leading automotive learning and development agency RTS Group has appointed a chief executive to steer the direction of the 30-year-old business.

Mark Smith has been appointed CEO at the Chippenham-based company, which was founded in 1989 and works with automotive manufacturers and vehicle retailers to develop dealership staff, deliver automotive events, and create high-tech, digital based L&D solutions.

“The Board wanted someone to help guide them and steer the business, as well free them up so they could do their jobs,” said Mark. “We’ll work together to work with our clients, to deliver into automotive an ever growing and improving product range, as well as look at new areas of business which are aligned, and relevant.

“There is a brilliant talent pool of people here at RTS, and the technology they are using for the learning and development is truly fantastic. From now on, it’s about how we market that even more effectively and develop it according to market feedback, and what our clients want. My background is in commercial and marketing, and it is this experience that I can bring to the role.”

Mark began his career in consumer magazines – including editing the official magazines for Arsenal and Liverpool football clubs – then moved into digital media. He launched a retail price comparison site, which was bought by eBay. He then joined a small online shopping portal business, owned by GUS (Great Universal Stores). This was then bought by a AIM listed company, and Mark – who became CEO – built up the business, expanded its services, and created an organisation with a £40m-£50m turnover.

Mark then helped a tech start-up to grow and achieve a sale, and is a non-exec director of three other businesses. Prior to joining RTS Group, he had been taking a career break to support his wife, who was being treated for, and has now recovered from, breast cancer.

RTS Group Managing Director, Malcolm Miller, said: “We are delighted to welcome Mark to the Board in the role of CEO. Ours is a long-established company, with an excellent reputation and ever-growing client base. Mark is just the person we need to help build on that firm basis and help us to grow and support our clients even more effectively within the automotive sector and complementary industries.”

2019 marks 30 years in business for RTS Group, which last year was in the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Small Companies to work. As well as delivering learning and development and automotive events, it has a finance arm – FIMTRAC – which focuses on trade cycle management, and helping dealerships increase the uptake of vehicle finance among customers.

Pictured above: Mark Smith, CEO at RTS Group