Tell us about what you do here at Allica
I act as a champion for our asset finance introducers. That means ensuring both they and their clients get the best service from Allica possible, and I also go out and meet new brokers that want to join our panel.
At the same time, I use my background and knowledge of the broker market to advise on how we can develop our asset finance Introducer Portal and product to be as straightforward and intuitive as possible. I proactively gather feedback from brokers to explore ways we can improve its design and functionality. Ultimately, we want to make working with Allica as easy as possible.
What is it you enjoy about working with small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs)?
I find it far more rewarding working with SMEs. You get a lot closer to the business and can make a real difference. I can see with my own eyes the impact our funding has – how we help them grow and prosper.
With a smaller business, you can really get under the skin to see what makes it tick. We typically work with owner-managers, and their pride and passion for their company becomes so apparent.
How did you find your way into asset finance?
Over a 20-year career, I’ve worked in property investment and general portfolio management, so it seemed like a natural progression.
I really enjoy asset finance, as it’s the lifeblood of any business. We’re providing established SMEs with the tools they need to make their business succeed and achieve their goals. I love the speed that the asset finance market moves, and how this brings you closer to customers on a more regular basis.
What made you decide to join Allica Bank?
I think Allica is unique in the marketplace. Like many other new banks, we have developed innovative digital tools and an Introducer Portal that make for a great broker experience. But we back this up with access to direct and tailored human expertise. This makes a real difference. Customers need reassurance from someone who understands their business and has the ability to talk through a product with them.
You joined Allica in the middle of lockdown. That must have been strange?
It certainly was. Everything, including the interview, was done remotely. After I got the job it was four months before I met anyone face to face!
But I was really impressed with how it was done. The onboarding process was smooth and well organised. My equipment turned up on time, and the passwords worked. Sometimes, it’s the simple things like that that people get wrong! My regulatory documentation had already been updated and everything I needed to know had been painstakingly laid out. I even had a calendar pre-populated for the first fortnight with introductions to people across the business.
What struck me most during that first couple of weeks was the passion everyone felt for Allica. How proud they were to be building a new kind of bank to help Britain’s small and medium-sized businesses. It made a real impression on me.
How have you found the experience of working remotely?
It’s just different. Instead of worrying about traffic jams and train delays, it’s dogs barking in the background or the internet dropping.
I definitely miss the personal touch, such as being able to chat around the water cooler – you lose those serendipitous meetings that can lead to something great.
Tell us more about your team
We’re small right now, but we’re just getting started. As we build out the asset finance proposition in 2021, we’ll be bringing on board more business development managers across the country to support customers and grow the business.
Anything you’re looking forward to next year?
Our asset finance proposition is still new, and I can’t wait for it to be in full flow. Next year we’ll look to grow our panel of brokers to bring our proposition to more businesses. Ultimately, we want to become the first choice for SME asset finance in the UK.
What job did you want to have when you were growing up?
I wanted to be a policeman. Preferably one with chunky knitwear and sideburns, like my heroes in Starsky & Hutch and Chips.
You’re given a week off and can do whatever you want. What are you doing?
When I’m not working, you’ll usually find me on a bike. I love a crazy charity challenge, such as cycling 200 miles in a day. So, I’d take my bike somewhere exotic like Vietnam and cycle from one end of the country to the other (or as far as I can get in a week!).
What would you say to someone considering working for Allica?
I’d say go for it. There’s a fantastic opportunity at Allica to be part of something new. In my team’s case, to influence the delivery of a brand new asset finance proposition. It’s exciting to be able to become an integral part of an ambitious new bank that is a breath of fresh air in the industry. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Fancy joining the Allica Bank team? We'd love to hear from you! Check out our careers page to find out how.