Bridging & Commercial caught up with Dave to find out what attracted him to finance, how he was getting to grips with the new role and his predictions for the sector.
What does your new role consist of and how does it differ from your previous experiences?
My role is head of distribution, but it also covers a number of other areas. My main focus is on the growth of the B2B side of the business and ensuring our service levels meet and exceed the expectations of our intermediary partners. Thankfully, this doesn’t differ too much from my previous roles as I’ve always worked within the B2B market.
I’m thankful to have some fantastic relationships with some great people and I’m grateful that I’ve been able to retain those relationships and experiences.
Did you always want to work in finance?
A difficult question to answer as it depends whether you class your childhood ambitions of being an astronaut, a samurai warrior or a footballer as genuine career aspirations. I’m guessing you can’t!
I was 20 when I started my career in finance and have been fortunate enough to work in both the lending and the broking side of the industry. It’s kept it interesting and has, therefore, been a good career choice.
What drew you to Finance 4 Business?
I’ve dealt with Finance 4 Business for many years, as we used to refer business to them when I was at V Loans. I was in the privileged position of knowing most of the master brokers in the market personally, but it was Finance 4 Business in-depth knowledge and true specialism that always impressed me most.
You knew you were speaking to real experts in their field and their service was second to none, it replicated my ethos at V Loans so it was a natural fit.
What is one thing you would change about the commercial finance sector?
Commercial finance is a large sector so the question encompasses many areas, the one area that I would like to change is the challenger banks going back to their core principles.
Recently, it’s become clear that the challenger banks are aligning themselves more to the high street than ever before. If you’re going to price on risk, then this needs to be reflected in your criteria.
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How has the EU referendum impacted the commercial finance sector?
I think the initial impact of Brexit certainly had an impact, but thankfully we have some smart and resourceful people in our industry that have been able to navigate through some of the turbulence.
The market seems to have recovered from the initial shock, but we must remember we’re only at the start of a challenging exit from Europe, so we have to hope we negotiate that in a way that minimises the impact further.
What are the biggest challenges currently facing the commercial sector?
The problem with the commercial sector is the same as it is for residential: there is always going to be a correction in the market at some point. I’ve yet to meet anyone with a crystal ball that can determine when these corrections are going to happen, but inevitably it will.
I think following on from the previous question, our Brexit negotiations will prove the toughest test and will ultimately determine how severe our challenge is.
What exciting projects does Finance 4 Business have in the year ahead?
Where do I start? One thing I’ll never be able to accuse Russ (Martin, managing director) of is resting on his laurels. I’ve never worked with anyone that has such ambition and determination to succeed.
We are exploring a multitude of different avenues at the moment, all of which are equally as exciting as the other. We will be moving into our new offices in a few months and although I can’t say too much right now, we will have a number of exciting announcements that will follow on from that.
What has been the highlight of your time at Finance 4 Business so far?
I’ve only been here for six weeks, but the real highlight has been the staff. In my role, it is essential that you can deliver on your promises, and to do that you need a really strong team that is passionate, driven and can deliver the service that’s required.
I’m grateful that my highlight has been meeting a team of people that already has this in abundance.
What is your favourite aspect of the commercial finance sector?
Commercial finance covers almost all aspects of lending outside of the traditional residential mortgage. This is always going to deliver the weird and wonderful that stops it ever being mundane, so this would be my favourite aspect.
Who is your idol and why?
The easiest question out of them all: my Dad! I could give you a thousand reasons as to why, but I owe everything I am to him. As an idol is supposed to be a person or thing that is greatly admired, loved or revered, I’d say he ticks all of them!