Reward Finance Group, the Leeds and Manchester-based alternative funder, has received a £40m investment from Foresight Group.

The business said the investment will double the amount of funds available for the company to lend to SMEs.

Foresight Group, a global infrastructure and private equity investment manager with £2.7bn of assets under management, has provided Reward Finance with a secured loan note facility against the investment.

Reward Finance, which was founded in 2011 by joint managing directors, Tom Flannery and David Jones, was identified as an attractive investment vehicle for Foresight as it has delivered year-on-year growth in its loan book and pre-tax profit.

In the year ending February 2017, Reward advanced funds totalled £84m and the year-end loan book stood at £40m, up 25% on the previous year. Corresponding income grew £7.56m and pre-tax profit was £3.5m. In addition, the company continued to maintain its low bad debt rates, with write-offs representing only 0.3% of total funds advanced, due to the robust underwriting procedures and experienced risk management team.

Reward is 70% owned by Dr Christo Wiese’s Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed Tradehold, with Reward’s management team owning the remainder.

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Tom Flannery, Reward’s joint managing director, said: “This is a significant step forward in the short history of Reward Finance Group. While we have been growing the business with substantial loan facilities provided by our ultimate parent since our inception in 2011, we have been looking for a senior debt funding facility to take the business on to the next level.

Foresight Investment manager Amy Crofton, said: “Reward Finance Group has an exceptionally strong track record of profitable growth. We have known the business for some time and have been impressed by its development over the last few years. Working with the Reward team, we structured a flexible debt facility that will provide substantial new capital resources to promote the ongoing success of the Company”.