When did you join ABN AMRO Commercial Finance?
Two years ago I joined ABN AMRO as a Business Development Director from a UK clearing bank and was focussed on full-bridge banking products of which Asset Based Lending (ABL) formed part of. I was keen to focus solely on new client acquisition and wanted to build my knowledge of ABL. I understood that ABN AMRO Commercial Finance is well respected in the UK, has a broad ABL product offering, delivers high levels of service, and is keen to grow market share so seemed like the right fit.
Describe your role at ABN AMRO Commercial Finance…
I provide working capital solutions in the form of confidential invoice discounting, inventory finance, plant & machinery finance, and cash-flow loans. A typical client in my portfolio would have revenue of less than £250m, a finance requirement of between £5m and £30m, and would possibly require finance for sister companies or subsidiaries in the Netherlands, Germany, or France. I provide a quick and efficient service, achieve confidence in a positive credit outcome at an early stage, try to minimise the disruption to my client’s business, and build a good understanding of the client’s strategy to ensure that facilities provided are fit for purpose in the medium term.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
It’s great to be an important component of a success story. In many cases access to appropriate working capital at competitive pricing allows a business to take advantage of opportunities that they would have otherwise missed out on. A recent example is a dried fruit business that was unable to take on new clients because of funding restrictions. Their product is high quality, their service offering strong, their pricing competitive and margin healthy. Their challenge is that their client base are used to long credit terms or expect them to move away from existing suppliers. They are currently trading over 30% up on last year and are improving the quality of their client base whilst doing so.
What’s the biggest value-add your role brings to clients?
I facilitate business growth and free up a management team’s time to deliver it. Our facilities are covenant light, our systems easy to use and real time, and our credit process slick. Relationship teams are not overwhelmed by the size of their client portfolio, are high calibre, and can be reached quickly.
What's the best way to start the work week?
At least two cups of tea.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Plenty of sports. I play golf, football, badminton, and squash regularly. I love to read and am a big film fan. My journey to work is usually accompanied by a Podcast – Adam Buxton at the moment. Most of my spare time is taken up by my children. They are getting old enough now to beat me at some of the above mentioned sports and my decision to let them beat me when they were younger has turned out to be foolish. If I’d have known, I’d have scored the points when I could. On the plus side I get to watch more football at home because the voting usually works in my favour now…
What is on your bucket list?
- Skydiving over the glaciers in New Zealand.
- Run a major European Marathon.
- To watch the Boxing Day Test live.
- To watch the Ryder Cup live.
- To visit the Iguazu Falls.
What was your dream job as a child?
Fighter Pilot. When I was told that I was colour blind and that I couldn’t fly a Jet, I was devastated…I recently flew a light aircraft and was sick as a dog. Perhaps it wasn’t the career for me after all!
What makes your heart beat faster?
- When my kids stand in front of the yellow line at the train station.
- I remember watching Felix Baumgartner climb to the edge of space in a balloon. His handler was reading instructions to him – counting down actions from a list readying him to jump out at a height of nearly 40,000 metres. I don’t remember my heart beating as fast as the last 30 seconds of the countdown as he shuffled to the edge of his chair with the curvature of the earth visible beneath him, or for the first minute of his freefall when it looked like he was out of control and would plummet to Earth.