White Oak, a UK non-bank lender supporting SMEs and mid-corporates, has beefed up its executive team in the UK with the appointment of a new chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

Melinda Crocker has been appointed Chief Operating Officer after spending over four years at the firm as its head of UK portfolio management. In her new role, she will oversee operational strategy across all of White Oak’s UK business lines. Melinda brings 30 years of financial services experience to the role, including senior banking roles managing analytics, project delivery and product design.

Pawel Lo Guidice has been appointed as chief financial officer, following almost two decades of experience in senior positions at global consultancy firms in the UK and Australia, where he specialised in deal advisory services. In his new role, Pawel will oversee White Oak’s UK financial strategy, driving the firm’s commitment to supporting SMEs and mid-corporates across the country with tailored finance solutions to help them grow.

The two new additions to White Oak’s senior team come as the firm targets its biggest year for growth yet, following a record 2022. The lender recently pledged to provide half a billion pounds to UK SMEs and mid-corporates over 2023, as part of its commitment to help firms up and down the country fulfil their ambitions.

Crocker said, “Since joining White Oak four years ago, I’ve been impressed by the ethos that drives the business and the wide breadth of support we provide to firms. I’m looking forward to pushing our vision for growth in my new role and putting strategies in place to ensure we can support our growth ambitions.”

Lo Guidice said: “I’m excited to build upon White Oak’s growing momentum. In a challenging year for businesses up and down the country, White Oak’s finance solutions have helped their clients to thrive, and I’m delighted to be part of a firm which is focused on the growth ambitions of SMEs in the UK.”

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Jean-Marc Torre, CEO of White Oak UK, said, “With Melinda’s outstanding portfolio management experience and Pawel’s deep knowledge of corporate finance, we will continue to improve the agility required to grow in the current landscape and better provide capital financing solutions to our customers.”

Asset finance new business grew by 8% in January 2023