Seven years after its creation,
Weatherbys Finance is no more.
Last month, the small-ticket lessor was
renamed Arkle Finance, in what Richard Briscoe, the company’s
managing director, said was a move to distance itself from the
horse racing world.
Weatherbys Finance was set up in 2003 by
Weatherbys Bank, the long-established family-owned horse racing
The lessor, Arkle Finance, will keep the same
structure and management that Weatherbys Finance had, and will
continue to be 100 percent owned by Weatherbys, Briscoe
“One of the mandates we had when we first
started was that we weren’t to get involved with horse racing,” he
“The perception to the racing world is that
Weatherbys have a big racing finance company, but we are not
involved in horse racing at all.”
Over the last seven years, the lessor has
quietly built up a solid reputation in the market. Today, it writes
around £2.25 million (€2.6 million) per month, and has a book worth
around £50 million.
“We don’t really want to write more than that
at the moment,” Briscoe said.
“We have managed to write better quality
business lately because of the reduction in competitors in the
small ticket leasing market.”
The lessor said it would continue to operate
using brokers, although it isn’t taking any new brokers on.
“We have maintained our underwriting criteria
very similar to what it was before, and it has been very positive
“I can think of easier times in terms of
arrears and bad debt, but we have kept that very much under
Briscoe added that he views the rebrand as a
coming of age for the company, now that it no longer requires
having the Weatherbys brand behind it for stability.
But the apple does not fall far from the tree.
Those who are in the know, or who have a passion for race horses,
will be quick to realise that ‘Arkle’ refers to the famous Irish
thoroughbred racehorse that is today still regarded as the greatest
steeplechaser of all time.
Of course, only time will tell if Arkle
Finance will live up to its great name.
Jason T Hesse