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April 29, 2019updated 30 Apr 2019 10:29am

OakNorth makes senior hires in Manchester, Midlands and South West

SME lender OakNorth  is increasing its regional presence with the appointment of four senior team members in Manchester, the Midlands and the South West.

By Christopher Marchant

SME lender OakNorth  is increasing its regional presence with the appointment of four senior team members in Manchester, the Midlands and the South West.

Overseeing lending operations in Manchester is Christopher Swarbrick, who joins as a senior director for debt finance from Europa Capital Debt Investment. He will be joined by David Rowlinson who joins from Investec as a director for property finance.

Christopher Richards, who joins from RBS, is OakNorth’s first Midlands-hire (Birmingham), while Tom Windett who joins from HSBC is the lender’s first South West-hire (Bristol).

Christopher Richards joins from RBS where he spent 11 years and most recently held the role of senior relationship manager, managing a portfolio of 40 complex banking relationships. Tom Windett has over 12 years experience in deal structuring and transaction management for corporate, entrepreneur and family office clients, most recently at HSBC.

Ben Barbanel, head of debt finance at OakNorth, said: “Our co-founder, Rishi Khosla, has always said that the best businesses thrive in times of economic turmoil. One of the features about our process that our borrowers greatly appreciate is the ability to discuss their finance needs directly with the Credit Committee.

“To ensure we can continue offering this experience whilst providing British businesses and property developers with access to customised debt finance options, we have made several senior hires in Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham – all of whom have incredibly strong regional knowledge and over a century of experience between them.”

Despite ongoing economic uncertainty as a result of Brexit, OakNorth, which made £33.9m pre-tax profit in 2018, has claimed an increasing demand from businesses and property developers across the UK. The business has lent £3bn since its launch in September 2015 and the last 12 months has seen it receive over £500m of repayments and a 160% increase in total loan facilities.

OakNorth is to take part in the UK Enable Guarantee programme, securing a guarantee of £133m from the British Business Bank, the UK government’s economic development bank.

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