challenge is managing growth. We have trebled our headcount in the last four
years, moved to new offices and expanded into new lending sectors.
United Trust Bank has grown considerably in the last five years,
Congratulations. What are the biggest opportunities for you and UTB over the
next three years?
Thank you. Yes, United Trust Bank (UTB) has focused
our growth in our core businesses; development finance, bridging and asset
finance. We also launched new divisions for professional lending, technology
finance and specialist mortgages.
Following this growth, what are the
biggest opportunities for you and UTB over the next three years?
will continue to capitalise on the growing economy and strong demand for our
products and services and will continue to develop United Trust Bank's business
by launching new products and building market share across all units.
Can you give us an insight on how you intend to
maximise on these exciting opportunities?
Having launched three new
businesses, we will continue to build the team by employing excellent people.
We will also be increasing our marketing activity to build awareness amongst
consumers. We already have a strong presence in the broker market and we have a
growing reputation for offering consistently competitive savings products. Our
move into the mortgage sector will further help us to reinforce UTB's position
in the new wave of 'challenger' banks.
What challenges does your
One key challenge is managing growth. We have trebled
our headcount in the last four years, moved to new offices and expanded into
new lending sectors. To manage this we have appointed key leaders to assure the
future growth of the Bank. This requires capital for the business and great
people to see the plans through.
Our other significant challenge is
dealing with vast amount of regulation which comes with being a bank.
What single issue do you see most often?
It's not really an 'issue'
as such but what occupies me most is juggling all the elements involved in
maintaining momentum. There's lots going on around the Bank and we must keep
everything moving forward in a coordinated manner.
Your first foray was
with Investec. By the time you were 30 you had a significant shareholding in
the bank, you were a director and the CFO. Looking back at your career, what
have been your pivotal moments?
Selecting and making early stage
investments in businesses were crucial and it's something I've done throughout
my career. My skills are in recognising opportunities, being willing to take
some risk and getting the momentum started. After contributing to Investec I
saw an opportunity at Insinger de Beaufort to do the same. When we completed
the MBO of United Trust Bank in 2003 there were 9 people and a £20m balance
sheet. We now have a team of over 100 people, have grown the balance sheet to
£0.5bn and have achieved that during the worst financial crisis in living
Do you admire any other business leaders?
I admire the
work of Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal and CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX. He
is a visionary and a risk taker. His work in developing Tesla cars, whilst
successful, has been a testing ground for the new battery technology. It has
the potential to make renewable energy a viable solution for powering our homes
and businesses. He has built highly desirable electric cars and used them, as
a glamorous platform for showcasing their battery development. It's a very
clever business model! Most would not have heard of Musk's work had he
concentrated solely on developing large high output, quick charging battery
storage units. It really could be Musk's greatest legacy.
would you give your younger self starting out in your career today?
Invest in your people and relationships! Surround yourself with motivated
individuals who know more about their jobs than you do. Don't be scared to take
considered risks - if you've done your homework, fully understand the
information and are comfortable with the level of risk involved, then move
forward. If it's not absolutely clear to you exactly what you're looking at,
stay away. There will always be more opportunities to test your nerve when
you'll be clearer with the decision.
Finally, the Europe question. In
Definitely in. No question.