Meet the team: Rachel

What is your role at CCBS and how did you get here?
I was introduced to Peter by a mutual contact as he wanted to be more visible in the Tees Valley and, given my background in growing businesses, managing P&Ls, commercial and operational management, understanding the investment and funding landscape for SMEs, plus my network and connections in the area, it was the perfect match.

What is your specialism at CCBS?
I’m the Development Lead supporting CCBS in growing the business in Tees Valley and Durham – I work directly with businesses across advanced manufacturing, green energy and renewables to understand their requirements to see where the CCBS team can use their experience and relationships to support. I also engage with regional and trade professional networks and attend lots of events – so if you see me at one, come and say hi!

What do you like about working at CCBS?
I love working with the team – they are ‘proper sound’ (as we would say in Teesside). CCBS has a fabulous culture and are also very supportive. This culture flows into their work with clients, as often owners can feel quite vulnerable and confused when having to navigate through the funding/investment landscape. CCBS act with huge integrity and work immensely hard at finding the right solution so that everyone is happy with the final results. They also make a good cup of tea and provide pies now and then.

What do you do in your spare time?
I am a mum to two very energetic boys, going to football practice or matches five days a week, but when I am not doing that I love to paint.  We moved house last year, and I decided to take on the decorating, it’s very therapeutic. Maybe Matt and I could go into business together…..Chambers & Lister decorating?!

If you weren’t doing this job, what would you like to be doing?
In my mid 20s I ran a local football team – over a 7-year period I got them from 3rd division to 1st division and also got manager of the year (twice!).  I still have a huge amount of love for the game and would love to be the MD of a large football club (Karren Brady style).  I just love the sport and to run a business that gives so many people pleasure (most of the time!) would be amazing.

One of the lesser known solutions in the working capital space is the specialist lending available to fund tax obligations.

The market has developed tools to assist businesses with funding different tax scenarios and the use of these different solutions is becoming more widespread as lenders refine their products. The important thing to understand is these products are very proactive; typically clients looking at this type of funding to support working capital would look to engage well ahead of time, to fund current and upcoming tax obligations.

You can find out more about the different solutions on our Working Capital page (scroll to the end). Below are two different tax-related deals we’ve completed for client recently – if you would like to hear more about these or would like to discuss your own situation, get in touch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Avatar of Matt from the CCBS team dressed as a painter and decoratorWhat is your role at CCBS and how did you get here?
I’m Operations Director, and my role has changed over the years at CCBS. I was the first member of the team to come in following Peter forming the business. Having worked in commercial banking and invoice finance across a number of years I took the leap over the fence into intermediary side, working with Peter initially for a national asset finance network. The learning curve was steep and working with a much wider range of clients than I had previously. To try and hit the ground running I built relationships quickly with different lenders. This network and knowledge is what I brought into CCBS almost six years ago and I continue to build and develop it. It’s hard to believe I have been here for this long, a lot has changed professionally and personally. We’ve changed a lot as a business, grown the team, developed into a far wider offering and certainly nowhere near finished!

What is your specialism in the team?
More important than specialisms, our work is all about the relationships we have. I feel like the understanding I have built across a range of different lending products sets CCBS apart. Things are always changing and it’s critical that we keep up to date – indeed, where we work with the same client their circumstances do change over time, and we have to adapt our approach. Assimilating the essence of what the client is looking for, where they’re at in terms of trading to match against funders with appetite to support is integral. It’s a consultative approach on both sides of this which is a huge driver this us.

What is a typical day like for you at CCBS?
I’m normally the one in the office early doors! I have always been an early bird. We’re a communal business and we do work really closely together so we rely heavily on being in and around one another in the office. It’s no cliché to say no day or week or month is ever the same – the variety of services we provide is testament to that. A lot of what I do on a daily basis is keeping things moving forward, talking with lenders, talking about different options and then finding ways to use them in practice.

What do you do in your spare time?
Outside of the day-to-day I have played tennis from a young age, albeit not as often as I’d like, getting back into this is a focus this year for me. I’ve had a season ticket at Newcastle for a number of years, and there’s routine to a match day, a rhythm that I really enjoy, same pubs, same route up to the ground, the lads I go with think I’m stupid! I probably am, but it keeps me happy!  On top of that, we bought a house two years ago so we’re in the middle of renovating and upgrading the house, in and amongst walking the Northumberland Coast with the newest addition the family Lilly half Border Collie, half Labrador.

If you weren’t Operations Director at CCBS, what other job would like to be doing?
From doing my A Levels I wanted to work in finance and for a time I had aspirations to be a stockbroker but soon came to realise that it wasn’t right for me. That intrigue into the workings of the economy took me into the bank and financial services. That said having bought a new house which is definitely in the category of a ‘doer upper’ I’ve found I really like painting and decorating. In fact I painted the wall in the CCBS office as I had all the gear. It’s pretty boring, but I find it relaxing – headphones in and just leave me to it. Everyone needs a painter and decorator right?! “MJ Decorators” – I could even fund my own van!

We have opened our first office in Tees Valley, highlighting our commitment to supporting SMEs in the region.

The new office at Hastings House in Stockton will provide a base for our team to support clients in Tees Valley and Durham and is in addition to our office in Newcastle-upon-Tyne where we started the business nearly 10 years ago. Peter Cromarty, our Managing Director, said:

“This year we’ve made a commitment to Tees Valley so we can support businesses as they navigate the opportunities and challenges in the region like the Teesworks development, the Freeport and upcoming mayoral and national elections which may change the landscape yet again.

“We’ve seen a rise in business owners needing support with working capital so that they can capitalise on the opportunities on their doorsteps but we’re also seeing SMEs with very complex financial situations who need specialist support to take their next steps. We’re looking forward to getting to know our new neighbours and building strong relationships with both existing and new clients and intermediaries south of the region – so if you’re in the area, our door’s always open for a chat and cuppa.”

The new office is located at Hastings House, 5 Falcon Court, Preston Farm, Stockton on Tees, TS18 3TS.

What is your role at CCBS and how did you get here?
I founded CCBS in 2014 after a number of roles working for financial institutions predominantly in the asset-based lending space. The role initially was to help North East entrepreneurs and business owners navigate the new funding landscape that had arisen after the banking crisis of 2008. The commercial finance brokerage element quickly moved to a little more than that, where we provide support to businesses around cashflow processes and often being a sounding board to clients who need help on strategic business decisions

What is your specialism in the team?
Other than running CCBS as a business, which takes more and more time as we grow, I mostly focus on all matters working capital finance. I have a lot of experience over the years, in corporate finance and corporate recovery transactions, which tends to help clients and professional intermediaries on deals.

What is a typical day like for you at CCBS?
The beauty about CCBS is that there isn’t a typical day, but it will consist of working on existing transactions with clients and intermediaries and looking for new ones too. That, interspersed with the nitty gritty of running the business and strategic planning, and supporting the team as best I can pretty much fills the time.

What do you do in your spare time?
I used to play a lot of rugby and cricket back in the day but I’m confined to watching those sports now. My real passion now is golf and I really enjoy playing socially and competitively in weekly competitions at Close House Golf Club where I’m a member. Other than that, spending time socially with my family and friends and also travelling.

Have you ever played golf naked?
Only once before and it was so cold the head fell off my mashie niblick.

If you weren’t Managing Director at CCBS, what job would you be doing?
Well if I had my choice I would be in a band, probably a lead singer and/or lead guitarist. On the basis I can’t play the guitar and I’m a dodgy karaoke singer at best then I think this was never going to be a reality, so realistically I think I would have been an insolvency practitioner as it’s the easiest job in the world.

What is your role at CCBS and how did you get here?
I’ve led the marketing at CCBS since 2019, after a varied B2B/B2C marketing career in-house and agency side including at St Oswald’s Hospice and Different Narrative. I work across event preparation, email marketing, case studies and PR, website and social comms and advertising and sponsorships, bringing the team’s ideas to life and making sure there is an avatar for every occasion!

What is a typical day like for you at CCBS?
A typical day in the office starts with a catch-up with the team and a strong Yorkshire Tea, then we get stuck into the current projects – this could be anything from writing new case studies and blogs, liaising with partners for content, planning animation storyboards or updating the website. We have a great structured approach which aligns to our audiences, but with wiggle room for a bit of fun too. I learn so much working with everyone and their specialisms – it’s a really close, supportive team and part of my job is to make sure our clients, intermediaries and prospects see the real CCBS; the expertise, the integrity and the dedication to getting the best solutions for each individual situation.

What do you do in your spare time?
I am a super keen gardener in my spare time and study at college one day a week for my RHS qualifications. Not sure what I’ll do with it but I’ve met some great people and learned so many new skills. I am also training for the Darlington 10k  – I haven’t run since the 2012 Great North Run when I swore I’d never run again – but I’ll be fundraising for CALM which is a good reason to get my trainers on again (if you’d like to sponsor the team, please donate here!).

If you weren’t working at CCBS, what other job would you like to be doing?
There are so many things I’d like to try! I’d like to write a biography of someone unheard of, maybe work in a botanical garden, have a small holding with some llamas, run a bookshop which is also a cocktail bar…the list is so long! Maybe I can combine some of them…

What is your role at CCBS and how did you get here?
My career prior to joining CCBS was spent in ABL and Trade Finance. I originally started on a graduate scheme with an independent organisation, before moving into banking. The fast-paced, results-oriented world of the independent space coupled with the exposure to larger, more complex funding structures in banking put me in good stead for CCBS.

What is your specialism in the team?
My role within the business is to plan and implement the business development strategy, however, much like the rest of the team, most of my time is spent working with clients, intermediaries and funders, providing funding solutions and structuring finance facilities.

What is a typical day like for you at CCBS?
There is no typical day at CCBS. Although we all work from the office as much as possible, we’re regularly out meeting clients, funders and intermediaries. When we’re in the office we’re typically writing credit proposals or negotiating with funders to get the best possible outcome for our clients. The rest of the time is spent rotating the many plants around the office and arguing over the temperature.

What do you do in your spare time?
Spare time, what’s that!? I have a toddler so she takes up 99% of it, however, I do like to squeeze in the odd gig, game of football or afternoon in the pub if the opportunity presents itself.

Have you ever played football naked?
No.

If you weren’t working at CCBS, what other job would you like to be doing?
As a kid I was fascinated with history and always wanted to be an archaeologist. I imagined a life like Indiana Jones, travelling the world and discovering hidden tombs however, as part of my A-Level History course we spent a day at a local dig, which, let’s just say did not live up to expectations. The pace was so slow that banking and finance suddenly became an exciting alternative. I’d still love to do it as a career though.

What is your role at CCBS and how did you get here?
I’m a Debt Recovery Specialist so I support and improve collections processes for companies across all industry sectors. I’ve been doing this for over 20 years, working for asset-based lenders and accountancy firms.

What is a typical day like for you at CCBS?
I visit customers onsite to secure and back up all the information and documentation relevant to maximising recoveries then head back to the office to complete a full assessment of recoverability of the Sales Ledger. This includes pulling together a detailed report highlighting best and worse case scenarios with cashflow recovery forecasts and reconciliations.

What do you do in your spare time?
I have two boys aged 13 and 11, and a 3-year-old cocker spaniel called Stanley. I’m mostly a Mam Taxi to their hobbies and clubs like karate championships and swimming! I like pilates and yoga and my husband and I have a property management and holiday let business which takes up a lot of spare time too.

If you weren’t Debt Recovery Specialist at CCBS, what other job would like to be doing?
I’d like to be a professional sleeper and food critic (just for the grub)!

What is your role at CCBS and how did you get here?

My role is Relationship Development Director. I lead client engagement and retention at CCBS, supporting the team to maintain and develop their relationships with existing clients and nurturing my own client relationships. This includes initiatives such as the monthly client newsletter and events throughout the year. My focus is very much on our clients, I work for them and try to find them the best deal I can – the funders are very much part of what we do but our job is always to find the right funder for the client and their situation.

Prior to joining CCBS Group in May 2023, I spent 36 years working for NatWest in various roles, and that is where I first met Peter and Matt. In the last 20 years at the bank I was a Relationship Director, very similar to what I do now, but it has been great to work for an independent small business here in the North East and build some really strong relationships across the sector.

What is your specialism in the team?
I don’t have a specialism as such, but I do like looking at trading businesses who are looking to grow and need funding to assist this growth.  That could take the shape of asset finance, invoice finance or indeed growth capital. The interesting thing is that working for CCBS Group allows me to look at a much wider suite of lending products than I was ever able to do in previous jobs. For example at NatWest I would bring in an asset finance colleague to support on a deal, whereas at CCBS I am doing that in conjunction with a funder.

What is a typical day like for you at CCBS?
I will start with what a typical week looks like as I now don’t work on a Monday or a Friday, so my working week is Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  I will let you work out the acronym. The theory of reducing your working week sounds easy although the reality is a little different especially having worked full time for over 35 years.  I am well organised and that is a key thing that you need when reducing your working week.  I still check emails on a Monday and Friday so that when I get to work on a Tuesday, I know what needs to be done.  I don’t want to spend the first hour of Tuesday wading through emails.  A typical working day involves coming into the office – I do not want to do my job sitting at home on my own – there is too much to learn and I couldn’t do it there. I always try and have at least one meeting per day with either clients, intermediaries, or funders. The rest of my time is spent progressing deals.

What do you do in your spare time?
Now I have a little more of that, my plan is to spend some of that with Helen (my wife) as she doesn’t work on a Friday and riding my bike (on a Monday when Helen is at work). I must admit that I have become a fair-weather cyclist during the winter and need to get my act together and get back on the roads and tracks. I have some cycling targets (ride 100km a week and more than same week last year) and I am ahead of both.

Have you ever tried cycling naked?
Only in the garage (door shut) BUT had to wear my shoes to clip into the pedals. So – not 100% naked.

If you weren’t the Relationship Development Director at CCBS, what other job would you like to be doing?
When I was little (believe it or not I was once) I wanted to be an astronaut.  Obviously, for a number of reasons that wasn’t going to happen, and I realised that quite quickly. Over the years I have spent a lot of time playing sport (mostly rugby) and coaching (football). The latter for the last 10 years and predominantly because my son played for the teams that I have coached. I really enjoy coaching (even U18s) and do think that I would have liked to have gone down that route as a career albeit that ship has sailed.

You can contact Steve to discuss any finance queries or situations by emailing steven@ccbsg.co.uk or calling the office on 0191 211 1450.

Did you know that there are grants available for businesses across the North East open NOW – from support with capital expenditure and creation of jobs, to setting up apprenticeships and installing EV charging points – that you could apply for?

Find out more below and contact us for further information:

 

If you would like more information on any of these opportunities, contact us on 0191 211 1450 or email info@ccbsg.co.uk.