CommercialMatters - Close Brothers Commercial Finance

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CommercialMatters Winter 2017

Close Brothers Commercial Finance is delighted to be celebrating 10 years of trading in Ireland this year. Some might have thought that our timing could have been better when we opened our office in Belfast in 2007 on the brink of the deepest recession in living memory. In reality, it was the perfect time for us to bring our franchise to the market in Ireland. Our parent, Close Brothers Group plc – a London FTSE listed banking group – managed to weather the financial global crisis extremely well. Close Brothers has a reputation as a prudent and highly successful institution. It did not require government support and managed to continue to trade profitably through the recession and support our clients during what we all know was a hugely difficult period for SMEs. In Ireland when the banking market reined in its appetite for lending, we had a great opportunity to forge new customer relationships and to support Irish SMEs through the crisis by making sure they had the capital they needed.

Close Brothers expands operations in Ireland

This year, Close Brothers Commercial Finance moved and expanded its offices in Cork and Belfast as part of its continued expansion in Ireland, following the success of our new Dublin workplace in 2016. The Cork premises are at IFG House on the South Mall, and house a team offering alternative funding to Irish businesses. The Belfast office is located at Bedford Street’s Centrepoint building. This exciting expansion reflects Close Brothers’ position as the leading provider of asset finance, invoice finance and asset based lending (ABL) for both SMEs and large businesses across Ireland.

Almost 10 years later, we have a team of 65 people based in offices in Belfast, Dublin, Cork and Galway supporting SMEs across the island as they come out of the recession and return to sustained growth. The mainstream banking market in Ireland has not yet returned to normality and the process of raising funding for SMEs remains difficult given the reduction in the number of banks operating here. We continue to increase our franchise and customer base in Ireland and are happy that the market here is seen as a key growth area for Close Brothers Group over the medium term. I would like to extend my thanks to all of our customers for your support in helping us to grow our business to where it is today. We look forward to 10 more years of helping you to grow yours.

Ciaran McAreavey | Managing Director Close Brothers Commercial Finance

Left to right: Adrian Madden – Head of Sales, Asset Finance, Sir Anthony McCoy, Ciaran McAreavey – MD, Emma Spencer, Paul Stephens – Head of Corporate and ABL.

Close Brothers celebrate with

AP McCoy

To celebrate ten years of business in Ireland, guests were invited to join us for an evening with our Brand Ambassador – Sir Anthony McCoy. Hosted in The Westin Dublin, the evening was a unique opportunity to celebrate the life and career of the 20 time champion jockey.

Asset finance Figures to the end of June 2017 show that asset finance provided increased balances at impressive rates by 23% across UK and Republic of Ireland, compared with the previous year. Plant and machinery finance grew with balances up by 12%*. This growth is encouraging, but according to our latest Business Barometer research, there is work to be done. Over 55% of respondents in Northern Ireland and almost 57% in the Republic of Ireland said their understanding of these products is limited. *Source: UK Finance Asset Based Finance Quarterly Statistics June 2017.

Invoice finance Invoice finance is increasingly used by a wide variety of organisations across a multitude of business sectors. Year to date figures indicate a 4% increase in total sales for the UK and a healthy 8% rise in the Republic of Ireland*.

Brexit and the border The potential implications of Brexit on Ireland’s border are currently uncertain. The construction and transport industries typically move materials, goods and labour between Northern Ireland and the Republic, and can employ people across the border. However, if a ‘hard border’ were introduced, this could have a negative effect on cross border trade. Cross border trade is currently worth over €2.6 billion a year*, and it is widely agreed that employing customs and security on the border would hurt the economy on both sides. Positively, it seems a common travel area agreement will be reached, retaining free movement and citizens’ access to entitlements. Whatever Brexit brings, Close Brothers are here to support Irish businesses. *Study commissioned by Intertrade Ireland and conducted by the ESRI.

Our Business Barometer research tells us that of those using invoice finance across Ireland, 50% state they use it because it grows in line with company turnover, meanwhile the other half say it was recommended as the best option by their financial advisor. Learn more about asset and invoice finance, plus the wide range of services available, below.

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*Source: UK Finance Asset Based Finance Quarterly Statistics June 2017.

Product overview

Export & Freight Awards

Asset finance Asset finance helps businesses manage cash flow, fund growth and purchase assets such as plant and machinery, equipment and commercial vehicles. It’s a flexible and manageable form of business funding. Our products include hire purchase, leasing and refinancing.

Invoice finance Invoice finance provides your business with a steady cash flow injection by releasing the capital locked up in unpaid invoices. Fleet Transport Awards

Asset based lending (ABL) Asset based lending enables larger businesses to raise higher levels of funding, ideal for facilitating strategic plans or simply releasing additional working capital.

Bad debt protection Our bad debt protection solution can help you to operate secure in the knowledge that you are covered should your customers get into financial difficulty.

Close Brothers Commercial Finance newsletter

Sponsoring industry awards in 2017 We have been pleased to support several industry awards this year. These include:

• ‘Fleet Truck of the Year’ at the Export & Freight Awards • ‘Services to the Industry’ category at the Fleet Transport Awards Congratulations to all of the deserving recipients.

Award-winning

finance Our high quality products and commitment to service excellence are widely recognised. We’re proud to have received the Business Moneyfacts ‘Best Factoring & Invoice Discounting Provider’ award for the fourth year in a row. Recognition like this is testament to the dedication and hard work of each and every employee. Thank you to all our customers and intermediaries who voted for us and for your continued support.

How we’re helping our customers ExCel Plastics ExCel Plastics, a manufacturing company, had been a Close Brothers Commercial Finance asset finance customer since the business began trading. When they wanted to fund future growth, they opted to use asset based lending (ABL) consisting of a machinery facility, invoice discounting line and revolving term loan to increase working capital. ExCel turned to Close Brothers for a bespoke package that released higher levels of funding and a flexible facility that could grow alongside their business. Close Brothers was able to provide an asset based lending (ABL) package to assist business growth with an immediate cash injection. An invoice discounting facility and the use of market-leading, real-time online invoice discounting platform, IDeal™, saved ExCel Plastics both time and money. The addition of a revolving term loan allowed the business to boost working capital. ExCel Plastics are benefiting from the full suite of Close Brothers Commercial Finance products. The facility has enabled the manufacturing firm to purchase raw materials in bulk when prices are competitive and the additional funding will be used to fund the client’s working capital during periods of projected growth. By working together and taking the time to fully understand the business and its objectives; Close Brothers have been able to provide a flexible and efficient solution to enable the ambitious growth plans of the business.



Close Brothers offered the flexibility we needed to expand our business. Close Brothers proudly supported CQMS’17 Close Brothers were delighted to be a sponsor of CQMS’17, Ireland’s largest construction and quarrying machinery show. The live demonstration zones (Quarry Equipment and Construction Machinery), supported by Close Brothers Commercial Finance, offered buyers and sellers an opportunity to see the latest machinery from manufacturers. The construction industry is a vital sector for the Irish economy and it advances at a solid pace; overall output for Ireland is forecast to reach €20.2 billion by 2020 (CIF). Close Brothers are proud to have worked closely with the sector for many years and are looking forward to supporting more firms as they use asset finance to build for the future.

closecommercialfinance.ie

ISME Annual Conference 2017 Close Brothers Commercial Finance are proud members of ISME, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association. ISME’s Annual Conference took place on Friday, 3rd November in the Citywest Hotel, Dublin. The title of this year’s conference was ‘What’s Your Story? – Driving Business Growth Through Storytelling’. Highlights of the conference included John McGrane, Director General of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce discussing Brexit and the impact on Ireland.

Celebrating 10 years of business 2007

2012

Opened first office in Belfast

Opened Cork office

Contact us Asset finance Asset finance is an ideal choice for SMEs who want to meet strategic objectives. Our expert team can help create bespoke packages that facilitate business growth and deliver a versatile solution to suit your needs.

2013 New office opens in Galway to provide regional SMEs with alternative funding

Adrian Madden Head of Sales | Asset Finance m 087 170 1101 e [email protected]

Invoice finance and ABL 2010

2015

Opened Dublin office

Proud sponsor of CQMS

2016 Continued expansion with new office in Cork

2016 Over 10,000 businesses surveyed for Business Barometer

We’re delighted to be able to provide an award winning product like our IDeal™ invoice finance platform and asset based lending, our structured finance solution, to Irish SMEs to meet their working capital or strategic funding requirements. Our customers are experiencing the benefits first-hand. Paul Stephens Head of Sales | Invoice Finance, ABL m 086 812 6463 e [email protected]

2017

10

years

2016 Moved Dublin premises to Swift Square, Dublin

Close Brothers celebrates 10 years of business with Brand Ambassador, AP McCoy

General information For ROI, call 01 699 4145 For NI, call 028 9099 8957 closecommercialfinance.ie

Close Brothers Limited (being a UK registered private limited company and its Irish registered branch of the same name having registration number 907899), trading as (and having as registered business names) Close Brothers Asset Finance, Close Brothers Commercial Finance, Close Brothers Premium Finance Ireland, Close Brothers Motor Finance and Braemar Finance, is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority in the United Kingdom and is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority in the United Kingdom and is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland for conduct of business rules. UK registered address: 10 Crown Place, London, EC2A 4FT, registered at Companies House, Number 00195626. Directors: M. Biggs (UK), O. Corbett (UK), G. Howe (UK), J. Howell (UK), L. Jones (UK), E. Lee (UK), B. Macaskill (UK), M. Morgan (UK), P. Prebensen (UK) and A. Sainsbury (UK). Close Brothers Invoice Finance and Close Brothers Commercial Finance are registered business names of Close Invoice Finance Limited, a UK registered private limited company (and its Irish registered branch of the same name having registration number 908024). UK registered address: 10 Crown Place, London, EC2A 4FT, registered at Companies House, Number 00935949. Directors: J. Brown (UK), C. McAreavey (UK), A. Sainsbury (UK), I. Steward (UK), D. Thomson, (UK).