YORKSHIRE-based consultancy ABL Business is expanding its operations into Scotland.
The finance and marketing company has opened a second office in Glasgow which will operate from offices in the city’s West George Street and be headed up by an additional director.
The new branch, which will be headed up by commercial finance broker Robert Perrie, provides SMEs with the knowledge, contacts and support to enable growth through accessing commercial funding streams, combined with marketing strategy and management.
ABL Scotland’s expansion comes after just under two years of trading in its current form following a merger between ABL Finance and Talk Direct Marketing.
Alex Beardsley MCIM, director of ABL Business Ltd a member of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB), said: “Over the past 12 months we have dealt with over 200 SME businesses across the UK and brokered £25 million in funding. Our business offer is now perfectly placed for the growing SME market across the UK, including Scotland, where we noticed that provision in the finance market was very limited.”
As well as SMEs accessing the services directly, the packages have already proved popular with funders which have a presence in Scotland such as Lloyds, Ultimate Finance, Shawbrook Bank and Funding Circle.
“We identified a gap in the market in Scotland to provide services for firms operating in Glasgow and the central belt,” Perrie added. “Accessing finance is one of the most challenging aspects of business for SMEs and our research revealed that not all firms realise brokers exist and those that are aware of them don’t quite understand how they operate.
“Our message is that we’re different – ABL focuses on building relationships with clients,” he continued. “We have already secured a good client base as the opportunity to access all financial needs with one point of contact is attractive, not just to the SMEs themselves but also to the funders, as it adds value for their clients.
“Combined with the additional business support available, this makes ABL Business (Scotland) a very attractive supplier for SMEs across the country. Our approach is always is to build trust and focus on people.”
Perrie, whose financial experience spans spells working for Lloyds Banking Group, Aldermore Bank and Western Union, said: “As a provider of commercial finance, marketing and business support services to SMEs, we work directly with owner-managers to support them and understand that our support needs to be ongoing – we are here on the ground locally which helps build relationships.”
The expansion is the first step in ABL’s growth strategy, with the company currently examining potential opportunities in the North-East, North-West, Midlands and London.
Director Andy Redman added: “We identified a niche to move into as a commercial finance brokerage, but wanted to be sure we could provide Scottish clients with the same level of personal service for which we are known in Yorkshire. Under Robert’s guidance, the new branch will enable us to achieve this and offer Scottish SMEs one point of contact where they can access a full range of funding to enable them to grow.”