THE WMS Group has officially become part of the Opteven family.
Following approval by the Financial Conduct Authority in late December, after the initial announcement last September, directors from both organisations put pen to paper yesterday, agreeing to Opteven’s acquisition of the warranty plan business, which was highly commended in the 2019 Car Dealer Used Car Awards for its Safe and Sound warranty scheme.
Opteven, which has its HQ in Lyon, already has an operational presence in Britain as it manages the Approved Used Warranty programme on behalf of Volkswagen Financial Services UK.
WMS Group directors Peter Ginger and Chris Brooks will be leaving the business but John Colinswood remains as managing director. Martin Quail, Opteven’s current chief executive for its northern Europe division, will become WMS chief executive.
Colinswood commented: ‘As I have said before, for our customers and staff it is business as usual. We are still incredibly passionate about helping our dealer partners to provide the very best warranty products and aftersales support to their customers.
‘When the original announcement was made last September, we had already started the process of restructuring our business, which included investing in our IT platform and encouraging new talented people to join us on our growth journey, all of which has already benefited our dealers and their customers alike.
‘With Opteven’s support, we plan to create new and exciting products to continually support our dealer partners.’
He added: ‘2019 was a great year for the WMS Group, but 2020 will be even better! Confirmation of the acquisition by the Opteven Group is only the start – there is so much more in the pipeline that will revolutionise the warranty sector in the UK.’
Quail said: ‘We ́re thrilled that the great people within WMS Group have now joined the Opteven family. Over the past few months we have been continually impressed by the WMS Group during this process.
‘The official signing today is the culmination of many months of hard work by both parties. We are really looking forward to what will be a truly exciting future for both organisations.
‘Opteven Group will invest heavily in WMS Group and its people to ensure this brilliant business, full of talented people, continues to flourish and deliver a fantastic service to UK dealers and their customers.’
Pictured from left are John Colinswood, Peter Ginger, Opteven Group chief executive Jean-Matthieu Biseau, Opteven Group chief financial officer Bernard Rousseau, Chris Brooks and Martin Quail