Reward increases war chest after stellar year

Leeds-based Reward is to increase the level of funds it has available to lend to businesses following a standout performance in 2014.

The Yorkshire-headquartered lender will have a further £5m to provide to small and medium-sized enterprises either through its short-term asset-backed funder Reward Capital, or the longer term invoice finance provider Reward Commercial Finance.

Christo Wiese, the South African billionaire chairman of Reward’s main backer, Tradehold, has given the green light for Reward’s war chest to be significantly boosted, taking its total funds to lend to £25m.

The decision follows a record year for Reward which completed 70 transactions in 2014, with 25 being completed in the last quarter alone.

This included Reward’s largest deal to date which saw it advance £1.8m in the week before Christmas to a Scunthorpe-based logistics company looking to purchase the premises it currently rented.

The landlord was offering a substantial discount for a pre-Christmas completion on which Reward was able to complete a deal within seven days of initial enquiry.

Reward also expanded its service and reach in 2014 with the launch of an office in Manchester and the recruitment of experienced financiers Neil McGivern and Calvin Dexter. Industry expert Peter Cromarty has also recently joined the Reward team in order to expand coverage into the North East.

Dave Jones and Tom Flannery, the two partners that run Reward, have plans for further expansion in 2015. The launch of a trade finance arm, new premises, the availability of cheaper and longer term funding, and more recruits for both Leeds and Manchester, are already in the offing.

Jones said: “We continue to provide a viable funding alternative for SMEs, enabling them to maximise opportunities that they may otherwise miss out on, often where speed of turnaround is critical.”

Tradehold is an investment holding company listed on the main board of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.