Nucleus Commercial Finance has expanded its asset-based lending team (ABL) in Yorkshire, with the appointment of Riana Azam as regional sales director.

Azam brings 14 years’ industry experience and will be central to developing Nucleus’ ABL proposition for this region.

Azam joins Nucleus from Metro Bank where she was business development director, covering the north of England. In this role, she was not only responsible for building the bank’s northern presence, which included supporting the opening of the Manchester store and running its women in business networking events, but also providing funding to SMEs with a focus on their working capital requirements.

Azam started her career in the invoice finance team at RBS, managing a portfolio of 80 clients across Yorkshire and the North East. After seven years at RBS, she moved to Santander, working for the ABL new business unit, where she was responsible for growing the book organically.

Joining Nucleus as regional sales director, Azam will be based in Leeds and will be responsible for expanding Nucleus’ proposition in Yorkshire, with a focus on the debt funding and VC space.

Riana Azam said: “This is an exciting move as Nucleus Commercial Finance has an excellent reputation of driving innovation in the asset-based lending industry. Having grown up in Yorkshire, I’m committed to supporting businesses in the area and I’m looking forward to working with the team to support the local market and to champion the Northern Powerhouse.”

Chirag Shah, chief executive of Nucleus Commercial Finance, added: “Riana brings many years of experience in the industry, having worked at several large banks. She will be central in supporting the expansion of Nucleus in Leeds and the surrounding areas, and her appointment further demonstrates our ambitious plans to diversify as a business and provide more flexible finance solutions to businesses in a traditionally underserved part of the country.”