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July BrokerWorld APP is out

July edition of BrokerWorld is ready to download and read - you'll find the APP on iTunes and Google Play.

If you're not yet using the BrokerWorld APP then go to the BrokerWorld APP on iTunes or Google Play, to download and install it. Alternatively these are the links: For iPhones and iPads ; For Android

The APP editions are free so ignore any requests for passwords or suchlike, just  download the relevant edition you'd like to read, and enjoy!

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No Brexit Blues here

Twice a year, at midsummer and Christmas, the Asset Finance - Professionals Association (“AF-PA”) put on a great networking do in a relaxed venue somewhere in Central London. This summer saw it at the Sports Bar and Grill, in fashionable Clerkenwell, and the supported charity was the Air Ambulance Service. 
As AF-PA’s flyer stated, “Has there ever been a time when there has been more of a need for the industry to be meeting? With the results of the recent election, there are likely to be significant changes to all of us, how will funders be impacted, how will the outcome affect you?”
Good question, so we went round with our memo recorder to hear some of the range of unattributed opinions from funders and brokers, and here are a few:

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Twitter board at Leasing World Awards!

The new venue for our Hitachi Capital Business Finance sponsored Leasing World Awards Dinner 2016 at Hilton London Bankside offers many exciting possibilities, especially on the audio-visual side. Three large AV screens are available in the ballroom itself, and we are pleased to announce that tech-savvy Liberty Leasing will be managing one of the screens with a moderated realtime Twitter Board, using our Awards Dinner hashtag #LeasingWorldAwards, so we look forward to a stream of live tweets on the night . .

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The 2016 Leasing World Awards have begun

The Awards have Begun!There can be no doubt that the night of the Leasing World Awards Dinner offers huge enjoyment to its guests, with many elated spirits, and maybe even a few stifled sniffles by the end of the night.

Our headline sponsor for the fourth year running is Hitachi Capital Business Finance, and once more our thanks go to them for supporting our event and our industry so staunchly. As the event grows bigger every year, we have moved to a larger venue, to the banqueting halls of Hilton London Bankside, Great Suffolk Street, London SE1 0UG, which (for those familiar with the NACFB) is just a short walk from the NACFB’s Annual Dinner venue. 

In recognition of the improved facilities there, and the sense of occasion, this year we are requesting Black Tie from the gentlemen. 

All the broker funders will be there, as well as many of the other mainstream funders, and more and more broking firms as our Awards categories this year offer brokers so many more opportunities to win.

To see the new Categories, Judging Criteria and Key Dates . .

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1PM boosts portfolio

1PM continues its march towards significantly growing its portfolio, with the purchase by its wholly-owned subsidiary, Academy Leasing Limited (“Academy”), of a book of receivables for a consideration of £1.6 million, satisfied in cash on completion.

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NACFB monitors State of the SME Nation

This month's LW magazine features a profile of Adam Tyler, and the organisation he heads, the NACFB. To read Adam's views on the state of the SME Nation, and a number of other crucial topics . . 

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April BrokerWorld is on the APP

April edition is ready to download and read.

If you're not yet using the BrokerWorld APP then go to the BrokerWorld APP on iTunes or Google Play, to download and install it. The app editions are free and here are the links . . .

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NACFB seeking new staff

Due to expansion and growth within the Association, there are two excellent opportunities to join the NACFB to ensure the smooth running of the office on a daily basis. To see the job descriptions . . .

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Too many regulations?

Over a hundred delegates attended the Broker Seminar in London on April 11th, sponsored by Close Brothers Business Finance, Hitachi Capital Business Finance, Aldermore Business Finance, and United Trust Bank. Joanne Davis, Partner at Locke Lord UK LLP, gave major presentations on the FCA Handbook as it applies to credit brokers, and how to approach the maze of ARs, IRs, agents and other routes through the broker chain.

* The 64-page delegate FCA Handbook is now available to view on the BrokerWorld APP.

We did some video interviews afterwards, asking Gavin Wraith-Carter if there were too many regulations, and Adam Tyler for his views on the new proposed Minimum Standards for Brokers.
This is what they had to say . . .

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1PM acquires Bradgate Business Finance

1PM, the AIM listed provider of finance to the SME sector, has announced the acquisition of Bradgate Business Finance Limited (“BBFL”) for an aggregate consideration of up to £2.75 million, comprising £2.20 million payable in cash on completion, and up to a further £0.55 million in shares over the next three years subject to certain performance targets being achieved

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Praetura to open in the South

Having reached a £50 million lending book in 2015, its second year in business, Praetura Asset Finance is turning its attention to better servicing the needs of a growing Southern client base with the launch of a new regional hub . .

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Practitioners budget views

Carl D Ammassa & Nick SimpsonWe caught up with Carl D'Ammassa, Group MD of Aldermore Business Finance, and Nick Simpson, MD of Asset Finance Solutions UK, in the relaxed atmosphere Aldermore's corporate hospitality rooms at Cheltenham Races on St Patrick's day, the day following the UK's March Budget. Carl's team had already been the first to issue official press release comment on Budget day, so what were the views 24 hours later? Click the pic to see the video.

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The LeaseTeam Aspire system for brokers

Brent Walmsley, UK Business Development leader for Leaseteam software solutions, is enthusiastic about the asset finance intermediaries market and its growth and professionalisation over recent years. He sees an important role for his company's Aspire™ technology solution to assist the indusstry in its continued development . .

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Experts 5 point plan for broker acquisitions

Readers will recall that given the increase in M&A activity in our industry we ran several articles on the subject, including contributions from two of the key private equity companies involved, Cabot Square Capital and STAR Capital, which talked about what they look for when taking the measure of a leasing acquisition. To round off the series, we asked Nick Parkhouse, an Executive Director at Ernst & Young LLP if he had any advice to give to those independent lessors and brokers who saw themselves as potentially selling their business, or raising capital, and here’s what he told us . .

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Aiming for five in a row

Martin Nixon, Head of United Trust Bank Asset Finance ("UTB") writes: If the majority of voters decide that we will be better off outside of the EU, the implications of a withdrawal for British businesses, particularly those which export to Europe, could be far reaching. Businesses which have over borrowed on the back of lower rates and relaxed credit may come under further pressure if the spectre of rising interest rates returns, and those funders who have been stretching their criteria on marginal transactions may find . .

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Latest Broker statistics

Broker Stats to Dec 2015

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British Engineering discounts

To celebrate and recognize the outstanding contribution, strength and success of the British Manufacturing and Engineering industries, Hitachi Capital Business Finance is offering all introducers a reduced finance rate on CNC machines . .

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March BrokerWorld out on the APP

March BrokerWorld magazine APP is out on the AppStore and Google Play, featuring details of the BLME / Renaissance Asset Finance acquisition, and Profiles for fast growing funder Praetura Asset Finance, and software solutions provider Leaseteam Solutions UK. PLUS a case study from Vehicle & Asset Finance utilising funding and an RGF grant from Close Brothers Business Finance, more asset finance news, association news and business volume statistics for the year Jan-Dec 2015.

For more instructions for downloading the APP, click here . .

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BLME and the Renaissance acquisition

BLME has confirmed its acquisition of Renaissance Asset Finance (“RAF”), to be concluded by April 4th, 2016. After the acquisition RAF will remain a separate legal entity, but owned by BLME . . .

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STAR shares its acquisition methodology

We asked Philipp Gensch of STAR Capital Partners to address the following two questions:

1. How do STAR choose their broker investments?

2. What type of approach do STAR adopt in the selection process?

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Niche bank in asset finance boost

The niche bank Cambridge & Counties’ asset finance team is now ten-strong and shaping up for growth in 2016, with recent arrivals bringing decades of experience . . .

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Leasing World Awards Shortlists - Brokers and Specialists

The Brokers and Specialist Awards categories shortlists are:

UK INDEPENDENT LESSOR OF THE YEAR
1pm Plc
Key Finance 
Liberty Leasing Plc
PEAC Finance 
Shire Leasing

BROKER OF THE YEAR
Bluestone Leasing
First Independent Finance
Premier Asset Finance

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Leasing World Awards Shortlists - Major Funders

All the Leasing World Awards entries are in, and we can finally announce that we have sixty entries competing for seventeen Awards, and our congratulations to the worthy entrants. The judges are sharpening their pencils, and getting ready to apply their razor sharp criteria to the very high quality submissions in their category folders.
Our judges are scrupulously fair, sworn to confidentiality, and are duty-bound to raise their hands at the slightest possibility of a conflict of interest on any submission. There are six judges, split into two panels, chaired by John Bennett, our long-serving chairman and arbitrator.
It’s a competitive field in the categories, with established heavyweights pitted against up-and-coming contenders. Broadly speaking there are four groupings to the Awards:
1) Major Funders
2) Major brokers and Specialists
3) Service companies
4) Individual recognition

We shall be announcing the shortlist for each grouping day-by-day, starting today with the shortlist for the major funder awards. The Major Funder Awards categories shortlists are:

BUSINESS FINANCE CHAMPION
Aldermore Business Finance
Hitachi Capital Business Finance
Metro Bank
Siemens Financial Services

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Grant Thornton campaigns for vibrant economy

Grant Thornton has produced an analysis of the mechanics of leaving the EU, an assessment of some of the external factors that may affect our organisations over the coming months and years, and a summary of the different models for trading relationships outside the EU. It can be found on their website at http://www.grantthornton.co.uk/brexit

They urge organisations to consider not only legal and regulatory changes but also market reactions . .

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Brexit: Humble pie can do you good?

In May’s Leasing World editorial comment I predicted a win for Remain with a 55pc-plus vote, otherwise there would be some serious Humble Pie consumed here. Well, I was wrong about the result and have consumed a goodly sized version of Humble Pie since, which wasn’t all that bad as I discovered that Humble Pie was historically a pie made by the medieval poor filled with whatever low quality scraps of meat that could be found, which I suspect makes it little different to the meat pies down our local pub, which is where I went to commiserate.

But, I am not trying to wriggle off the hook here, I was shocked by the win and the events that followed, dismayed by an early conclusion I was forced to come to, that the EU referendum had been hijacked by up and coming politicians using it for a free ride into the spotlight, and positioning for jobs coming free in the wake of political resignations from a political upset.

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Deadline extended for Leasing World Awards submissions

Submissions have been flowing in for Leasing World Awards categories. With many still in the pipeline, judging by the number of individual requests we have received for extensions, the official deadline for Awards submissions has been extended to JULY 29th.

Hilton London Bankside, our new venue which can hold up to 280 people has already taken 250 bookings and this year’s Leasing World Awards sponsored by Hitachi Capital Business Finance will be the biggest yet! The venue has state of the art AV equipment and this year we will be featuring a LIVE TWITTER BOARD on the night so those guests that are tweeters can Tweet as they eat, watch this space for our Awards Dinner Hashtag. Is this the first leasing event to feature a live Twitter Board?

Charity giving will continue to be a feature, and there will be a massive Jeroboam of Roger Brun Champagne for the winner of our traditional Heads n’ Tails game, and more charity raffle prizes than ever.

We have been attending tastings of the Hilton London Bankside’s dinner menus, and can report back that Hilton chef Paul Bates is a master magician of Cuisine, with some fabulous dishes for meat and fish lovers, vegetarians, and those of us with a sweet tooth!

It’s a black tie affair this year for the first time, as befits this smart venue, and Aldermore’s pre-dinner drinks and after dinner party will be held on the venue’s sweeping balcony overlooking the ballroom.

We are really looking forward to our 8th Leasing World Awards Dinner, we think it will be our best so far. Cheers!

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Shawbrook shares plunge on impairment

Shawbrook Group plc (“Shawbrook” or “the Group”), the specialist lending and savings bank, has announced in a Trading Update ahead of its Interim Results for the six months to 30 June 2016, that as a result of irregularities in one office in the Asset Finance part of its Business Finance division, the Group expects to book an additional impairment charge of c.£9 million in Q2 2016 on impacted facilities of £14.7 million. The irregularities, which have now been rectified, were the result of a number of loans being underwritten in the Asset Finance business that did not meet the business's strict lending criteria.
 This control breach was identified by the Group's upgraded risk management systems and controls, which were implemented following significant investment through 2015 and H1 2016. After a thorough investigation, the Company is confident that the upgraded risk management systems and controls would prevent the recurrence of such irregularities in the future.
 Steve Pateman, CEO, stated, “While this is extremely disappointing, the irregularities were identified by the upgraded risk management systems and controls we implemented earlier this year. They have been investigated thoroughly and appropriate action has been taken.
 “Since the year end we have simplified our business model into three divisions with clear management lines, implemented an upgraded risk management framework and are confident that our disciplined approach to risk is fully embedded across the business.
 “Whilst the additional impairment charge arising from these irregularities will impact pre-tax profit for the year, performance is otherwise in line with our expectations. Our specialist and diversified market positioning provides a significant advantage as the Group continues to grow strongly and deliver superior returns through a strong Balance Sheet, a stable funding platform and a clearly articulated strategy.”
 In an unrelated announcement it confirmed it has accepted the resignation of Tom Wood, who had made an important contribution helping successfully guide the Company through its IPO and first year as a quoted company. He will leave the Company on 30th June and a search for his successor will now begin. Dylan Minto, who is currently Director of Strategy, will become interim CFO.
Shawbrook will announce its results for six months to 30th June 2016 on 27th July 2016.

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Challenger wagons start to roll?

Paul Lynam, CEO of Secure Trust Bank has certainly enjoyed a Spring bank holiday blitz of press publicity. Firstly, we reported in May’s Leasing World that Paul would not “pay a penny!” to the Competition & Markets Authority’s (“CMA”) proposal for a website, paid for by the banks, for customers to compare the benefits of various bank accounts. Paul chairs the British Banking Association’s Challenger Bank panel . .

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Charity Skydive

We had previously reported that Mike Randall, who needs no introduction, would be jumping out of a plane from 14,000ft in aid of Cancer Research UK in May, his goal was to raise at least £5,000 for this wonderful charity. Well, Mike now reports that he made it! Together with his colleague Steve Williams they have raised over £9500 for cancer research, and survived a sky dive. And we have pictures to prove it!

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Dont miss this opportunity

Rules of the Game Pt.IIIf your business is in the intermediaries channel, and you are serious about your business, you really should consider attending or sending a representative this event.

Feeling FCA-ed out? You know what they say, once it starts, it never stops, but a unique aspect of the UK intermediaries channel is the desire on the part of funders and advisers to help brokers maximise their businesses within the gold plated standards required of the UK financial industry, of course the standards are high - we're in the most advanced financial environment on the planet.

Funders’ Minimum Standards for brokers are on the cards, funders themselves have to adhere to them, and ensure the partners they deal with adhere to them too. It’s a big topic, a major initiative, and one not to be brushed aside.

Do you like Golf? Good, because golf is the theme for the 2nd Rules of the Game Pt.II conference that will deal with the coming of Minimum Standards, FCA Handbook as relevant to asset finance brokers, and all those other topics that have to be constantly kept on top of, like responsibilities regarding Appointed Representatives, Agents, the broker chain, Dealers, and Introducers.

How to Attend? Brokers should ask sponsoring funders and advisers: Close Brothers Business Finance, Aldermore Business Finance, Hitachi Capital Business Finance, Locke Lord, or United Trust Bank for complimentary tickets. Funders and services providers can book directly through the EventBrite booking system, for a modest outlay.

The event is framed in the popular Monday afternoon format, on April 11th, starting at 13.00 at 201 Bishopsgate, London, and here’s what you can expect:

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Stay or Go?

We know it’s not leasing per se, but Brexit is a most important issue on today’s business landscape so Leasing World are going to be writing about it. Where do asset finance professionals stand on this? John Allbrook, well-known to many in the asset finance industry through his top roles in Syscap, GoIndustry and GE Capital, is a Criticaleye Board Mentor and Non-Executive Chairman of Cellesce, a leader in the field of regenerative medicine research and process design. Here he presents his case for staying in the EU.

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Continuing the economic masterplan

In his Budget Review, George Tonks, of Invigors EMEA writes: There were many questions floating around ahead of this year’s Budget statement, primarily fuelled by two clear themes – the run up to the EU in/ out referendum in June, with associated questions around future leadership of the Conservative party, and the general deterioration in economic conditions, both in the UK and more generally since George Osborne’s last formal statement in November. In particular, some commentators were questioning whether the Chancellor would be forced to backtrack on some of his leniency in that last report, or to announce that the public finances would not move into surplus until after 2019-20 . .

 

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BVRLA: Budget cause for concern

BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney said: “While it may have been touted as pro enterprise and pro infrastructure, this Budget gives the rental and leasing industry plenty of cause for concern . .

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Budget: FLA on transfer of CMC regulation to the FCA

Commenting on the announcement in today’s Budget that regulation of Claims Management Companies ("CMC") will transfer from the Ministry of Justice to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Fiona Hoyle, Head of Consumer and Mortgage Finance at the Finance & Leasing Association, said:

“After many years of campaigning. .

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Aldermore first with Budget SME comment

Commenting on the Budget announcement that the tax threshold for small businesses will rise to £15,000, Carl D’Ammassa, Group Managing Director of Business Finance at Aldermore, said, “The increase of the tax threshold for SMEs announced today . .

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