As I’ve mentioned before, not many people leave school or Uni with a burning desire to become an invoice finance sales guy, it’s just too niche an industry. Most people, me included, find their way into the industry by accident or good fortune. But once you’re in, not many leave – I’ve been in it 18 years and counting. I was introduced to Colm (Devine) and Ian (Duffy) by a mutual connection last year and immediately saw the appeal and need for the product in the UK!
Whilst the UK invoice finance market is a now considered mature, I do think that Accelerated Payments has shown that the product continues to have scope to innovate. We’re not reinventing the wheel here; the fundamental principles of invoice finance still apply. Where we have innovated, we see growth for our book in a market where the full book factoring and invoice discounting marketplace is and has been static for years. So, there is most definitely innovation in the market and I’m glad to be with an innovator!
I am the UK Business Development Manager at Accelerated Payments working with introducers and their clients to join the platform. There aren’t many roles which allow you that mix and the beauty and flexibility of the AP product means that you get to help businesses of all different sizes, at different phases from start-up through to established businesses in the commercial and corporate space. I work closely with our Credit and Risk teams to structure facilities to our clients’ specific requirements and circumstances before handing over to our Client Management team which manage the relationship in-life. That’s the buzz of doing what we do. We’re actually helping businesses succeed and achieve their goals and their growth plans.
A BDM also has an element of relationship management, not so much on the client side but working with introducers. These may be commercial finance brokers, accountants or even other funders. You get to build long standing relationships, and circles within circles, networks within networks – I mean I still work with introducers now that I first met 18 years ago. We all know each other in our local markets. In some ways, whilst there is always competition you also view your competitors as friends and colleagues. That’s what I love about the invoice finance market. It’s unique and it makes you want to remain in it.
Dogs and Cars. Not necessarily in that order!
I have grown up with dogs all my life, never been without one. I had border collies as a kid – totally mental. They are certainly a high maintenance breed but phenomenally intelligent!
When I lived in Germany, we had a dog there: A Dachshund crossed with German Shepherd. It had a Shepherd head plonked on the Dachshund long body and short legs, quite a sight!
When we moved back to the UK, we got our first Labrador, then our second and now we’re on our third. I had originally taken the move to Labs thinking that they would be a bit more chilled. Oh, how wrong I was!
Dogs are such a big part of my life, and I think they keep you honest. It forces me to get away from my desk, especially when you have been working remotely which I’ve done for six years now. When you’re non-office based, a dog walk allows you to get out of the house for a while for a bit of “head space” and allows time to plan or reflect on the day. It’s a good routine to have. It’s also good to have an office dog around – if getting a little stressed you can take five minutes out. It has helped me, even more so during the last year.
Bucking the trend of most Invoice Finance BDM’s, I have yet to take up golf seriously. It’s something I need to do to stop the embarrassment at the numerous golf days I’m invited to! I took up park runs last year, having reluctantly been encouraged by my wife who is an accomplished runner to get fit. But I have to say I quite enjoy it. Obviously, I haven’t been able to do one since March, but I do still get out and do a quick 5k a couple of times a week. But my true passion for sports, other than following the mighty Aston Villa, lies in motor sport.
For many years I have done an annual Euro road trip, which we term our EuroHoon, with similarly minded petrolhead friends where we have driven some of the most spectacular roads in Europe. The Stelvio Pass in Italy and the Col de Turini on the Monte Carlo rally stage are personal standout favourites. But the track days are my big thing, I’ve been working my way through ticking the boxes on my bucket list. I think my scariest experience was at Nurburgring. To be honest, I’ve never felt in any danger on any other circuit and I will never do it again! It was an absolute life in your hands type scenario. We went there for three days and there were two fatalities – separate incidents – both Brits. it is unforgiving. I certainly wouldn’t do it again.
My favourite circuit is Spa in Belgium which is absolutely epic! I have done pretty much every circuit here in the UK that I can think of, certainly in England. I’ve taken a variety of great cars around them, some that I’ve owned and some that I’ve part owned. At one point I was going to go for my racing licence, but I discovered it was very expensive hobby to be even remotely competitive. I had one big crash, and although everyone was okay, it focused my mind a little bit. It calmed me down, let’s put it that way. It was always in the back of my mind and I don’t think that’s the right frame of mind if you want to be at competitive level. So, I just do it for fun now!
Well there is only one, that’s the Porsche 911! I owned a Porsche 10 years ago but had to let it go as the company I was with at the time deemed it unsuitable for business use for some reason. Strangely they were OK with its replacement, a 450 horsepower, 6.2 litre V8 Aussie Super Saloon because it had 4 doors. Work that one out!
My dream 911 is a classic air cooled 993 Carrera 2S. In Zenith Blue. In my opinion the last of the “proper” Porsches. The only thing stopping me now is a slight funding issue – these things are appreciating in value quickly. Maybe one day, with one kid at Uni & the other on her way, there’ll be space on my drive for a 911. Life goals and all that!