Over the last nine months, Leeds law firm Clarion has worked with secured lending business Fresh Thinking Capital to help it achieve its first year target of providing more than £10m of loans to small and medium businesses needing finance for opportunities.
Since being launched by well-known Yorkshire corporate financiers Melanie Hird and Andrew Walls in January 2018, Fresh Thinking Capital has provided secured short to medium term lending for many types of businesses across the UK. These companies range from nursing homes, food firms and online retailers to manufacturers, house builders and property developers.
Typically, a borrower is an entrepreneur with various SME investments who requires cash of between £250,000 and £2m for working capital funding, acquisition finance, top up funding or growth capital. Terms range from three months to two years, secured by assets in the business or personal assets held outside the business.
“The key to our success has been the speed at which we are able to lend – it usually takes just five to ten days from the initial meeting for us to deliver the deal and this fast turnaround is often vital if a company is to take advantage of an opportunity,” explains Melanie Hird. “We launched the business with funds of £30m on deposit for immediate lending to SMEs and there has proved to be huge demand for our services.
“Having such a close relationship with Clarion, developed over 15 years of working with the firm, is instrumental in enabling us to operate to such tight timescales. It’s great to have a legal partner on board who we can trust to deliver as we work towards achieving our target loan book in excess of £100m.”
Philip Dine, legal director in Clarion’s banking team, said: “With their substantial experience of investing in SMEs over the last ten years, Melanie and Andrew have the expertise needed to fill the gap in the market for swift short to medium term lending. We look forward to continuing to support them as the business grows.”
Co-founder of Fresh Thinking Capital Andrew Walls adds: “We’ve had a tremendously successful first nine months and are now looking forward to growing the current team of eight in response to client demand. We are also planning to expand from our bases in Leeds and London and establish a national network of offices, giving us easy access to SMEs throughout the UK. There will be further updates on our next office launch shortly.”