Tell us about your career path so far?
I’ve spent my entire career working within financial institutions. Having started in banking I then secured a graduate scheme for an independent IF provider, working exclusively within the SME market. Following this, I spent 5 years working in corporate banking, initially as a Director of ABL in the North East and latterly heading up an International Trade team across the UK. The exposure to different business types and sectors throughout my career should stand me in great stead as I embark on my journey with CCBS.
What challenges have you encountered?
Having witnessed both sides of the banking crisis it’s become clear that in recent times we’ve seen the funding landscape change dramatically, whether that be the credit appetite displayed from the mainstream banks or the emergence of independent and alternative forms of funding. What hasn’t changed however, is the funding requirements of SME businesses. As traditional forms of finance become more difficult to obtain, clients are routinely frustrated with the lack of guidance as to what alternatives exist. I’ve now witnessed this from the side of both the funder and the customer whereby each position can be challenging.
What’s attracted you to join the team at CCBS
I’ve maintained a close relationship with the team at CCBS over the past 5 years and watched on as they’ve worked to bridge the gap between the availability of traditional forms of funding and the needs of their clients. In recent years, as the funding landscape continues to evolve, it has become increasingly evident that clients require more support to help identify and navigate solutions for their specific set of circumstances. My experience over the past 12 years should stand me in good stead when helping clients in this regard.
What does 2020 have in store?
2020 promises to be a very exciting year for us. On the back of two years of steady growth, we’re looking to continue along the same lines, and with the additional resource within company, we’ll be aiming to add value to our clients at every opportunity. We are obtaining our FCA permissions whilst working to significantly enhance our marketing capability, allowing us to maintain regular contact with our existing intermediary and client base whilst reaching out to the wider SME and professional market alike. I’m very excited to be spearheading our business development strategy and working closely with businesses and intermediaries across the region.
What is your company’s USP?
CCBS is a unique, innovative commercial finance brokerage and business consultancy. We add value by engaging with our clients in the first instance and establishing an understanding of the key drivers and motivations behind their funding requirement. Often, when we have the complete picture, it becomes clear that the end solution may not be what was first thought.
What is the best advice you have been given?
“There’s no growth in your comfort zone and no comfort in your growth zone.”
Where would you like to be in five years time?
I think the next two or three years may well be turbulent and uncertain for the business community and I would like to be part of the CCBS team that has helped its’ clients through this difficult period and ultimately supported them to achieve their business aspirations. Hopefully, in 5 years, we’ll be continuing to support our ever-expanding customer base and will have further strengthened our relationships across the professional network.
How do you like to unwind ?
I still play a bit of football although I’ve definitely lost a yard of pace as I’ve hit my mid-thirties. I also spend a lot of time at gigs, buying records and generally being one of those annoying music types.
For any enquiries please call 07719560356 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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