The Corporate & Commercial Business Solutions Group (CCBS) will be celebrating their 5th anniversary in business this month. Michael Grahamslaw met founder Peter Cromarty to discuss the story so far and look ahead to the future.
Why did you form the business 5 years ago?
I felt that there was a gap in the market and the clients I was working with at the time were unable to find the funding they were looking for from the traditional sources. I felt that the funding landscape was changing dramatically and they needed help identifying the right solutions for their particular circumstances. To that end I established CCBS to support businesses on the client side rather than the funder side. That way we could ensure the right solution from the right lender and therefore develop longer lasting relationships which would ultimately benefit client and lender alike.
Tell us about the services you offer?
We are essentially a commercial finance brokerage and business consultancy. We can help with all forms of business finance and also assist businesses on cash management and business processes, as well as operating on a Non-Exec basis for selected clients. We launched CC Recovery Solutions (CCRS) in 2017 offering commercial debt recovery to clients and also insolvency practitioners. This is headed up by Andrea Cummings who has a wealth of experience in this sector and we have also provided outsourced credit control and receivables management services to clients so they can improve their cash position and minimise the risks to their businesses.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
For any SME business getting the resource levels right is really difficult. You really want to maximise the opportunities whilst keeping a control on the costs and this is not easy. We’ve developed the business nicely over the last five years and been careful to bring the right people in at the right time which stands us in great stead for the next phase of development.
Tell us about your team?
Matt Lister joined the business in 2018 and we have seen a significant increase in fee income as a result. As the business develops Matt will be responsible for the ongoing client relationships, management of the funder panel and FCA compliance as Operations Director. We have a new Business Development Director starting in January to spearhead our growth in 2020 and beyond and this brings an exciting feel of pro-activity to the business. Andrea Cummings heads up CCRS and provides invaluable back office support to the wider team too.
What have been your highlights of 2019?
Amid a myriad of deals the following stand out this year: The disposal of the US division of a longstanding client and organising funding in the US of that transaction. The refinance of a large industrial estate with a new challenger bank. Refinance of property vested with Bona Vacantia (Government body dealing with businesses with assets that have been struck off). Arrangement of a syndicated asset finance facility allowing the relocation and refit of a serviced office business. Providing a revolving trade finance facility for a well known North East leisure business.
What is your focus for 2020?
We have begun our FCA authorisation process and hope to have this completed by the end of the year which will enable us to grow the business focussing on quality services and adding value to existing relationships. Organic growth will come from existing and prospective clients through our investment in our marketing capabilities, and we also look forward to continuing working with our established and growing network of intermediaries. We will look to expand our CCRS arm whilst continuing work with our strategic partners NMS Financial, Anglo Scottish Asset Finance and Reward Finance Group. All in all 2020 looks pretty exciting
For further information visit www.ccbsg.co.uk or contact Peter directly on 07715 409386
Source: Northern Insights Publication: https://www.northern-insight.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/new-november-2019-repaired.pdf