Pioneers of Alternative Lending 

ThinCats was founded in 2011 in the aftermath of the global financial crisis; with the aim of offering funding to SMEs severely constrained by the lack of bank finance, whilst providing investors with attractive potential returns.

Today, ThinCats remains at the forefront of the Alternative Finance industry, providing vital funding for dynamic growing UK businesses.



Our Clients




Today’s entrepreneurial businesses want the freedom to seize opportunities, to realise their potential, maximise productivity, grow revenues and expand into new areas. We help these companies by providing business loans to fulfil their funding requirements. We specialise in helping companies who are looking to borrow £100k to £5m. 



We are committed to building strong, collaborative relationships with the network of accountants, commercial finance brokers and corporate finance advisors who assist their clients in finding the best funding solutions. We service this community through our nationwide team of relationship managers. 



We offer our investors the opportunity to earn a projected return of 7-8%* by investing in secured loans to their choice of established businesses.

*Projected return excludes any fees or taxes. Your actual return may be higher or lower and your capital is at risk. Future forecast is not a reliable indicator to future returns. More about risks and returns.




Institutionally Backed 

ESF Capital is the parent company of ThinCats. Established in 2015, ESF has a distinctive and high-quality presence in the Alternative Finance industry. It is backed by leading UK and US institutions, including one of the UK’s largest pension funds. Its senior management team has an average of 30 years’ experience, across banking, asset management, operations and IT, and represents a range of institutional investors who wish to fund SMEs.




The Management Team

John Mould

Chief Executive Officer

John Mould Chief Executive Officer

John is Chief Executive for ThinCats, and brings nearly 30 years of financial services and risk management experience to the role.  His main focus is on safeguarding money and minimising risk for all those involved with the platform, whilst ensuring the smooth running of the company.  He has introduced well tested financial controls and procedures, and has major plans to develop and grow the business, and bring in new products.

Prior to joining ThinCats, he was Chief Operating and Financial Officer at Hermes Fund Managers, and Chief Operating Officer at New Star Asset Management. John held a series of senior European financial and risk management roles at Morgan Stanley, and board positions both in fund companies and main operating companies. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Damon Walford

Chief Development Officer

Damon Walford Chief Development Officer

Damon’s main role at ThinCats is to help grow the existing business and capitalise on new opportunities, with a particular focus on originating loans, widening the platform’s network of Sponsors, and improving the customer journey.  He has over 20 years’ experience in the financial sector, most recently as MD of Aldermore Invoice Finance.

Jill Sandford

Chief Operating Officer

Jill Sandford Chief Operating Officer

Jill is responsible for the development and implementation of operational controls and procedures within the Company, as well as working on strategic initiatives.  Prior to joining ThinCats, Jill was a Director of Restructuring and Recovery with a top 10 national chartered accountancy firm. Having worked in restructuring for some 28 years, she has extensive experience of providing strategic restructuring and turnaround solutions for stakeholders of businesses in financial difficulties.  Jill is a licensed Insolvency Practitioner, being authorised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Nick Buller

Chief Technology Officer

Nick Buller Chief Technology Officer

Nick is responsible for overseeing the technology and development of the ThinCats platform, continuously aiming to improve the customer experience, provide exciting new features, and maximise security. He has vast experience in finance and technology; having spent over 10 years at Barclays at Director level, he has held CTO positions at a number of other London-based technology firms, as well as Technology Director at ESF Capital.

Key People

Samantha Gray

General Counsel

Samantha Gray General Counsel

Samantha provides commercial and legal advice across the Group and is involved in the development of the operational and transactional processes. She also oversees the securities, monitoring and recoveries teams.

Samantha comes with a strong legal background. She has over 16 years’ experience in the profession, having previously been a Partner at Langleys Solicitors LLP and headed up their Finance Law unit which covered financial services, banking, insolvency and restructuring matters.

John Hartigan

Senior Asset Manager

John Hartigan Senior Asset Manager

John is in charge of our in-house portfolio monitoring and recoveries team. They ensure that loan covenants continue to be met and signs of difficulty are pro-actively investigated, with strategies put in place to preserve and maximise value for lenders through restructuring or insolvency.

John is a highly experienced SME restructuring and insolvency professional with 25 years’ relevant experience, initially as an accountant. John has worked at PwC, EY, RBS and, most recently, Deloitte. He was a director in Restructuring Services building the corporate advisory business, and, latterly, as head of Commercial Refinance in the Midlands.

Mike Millington

Partnership Manager

Mike Millington Partnership Manager

Primarily responsible for smoothing the interface between the Sponsors and the ThinCats platform, for both operations and transactions, Mike provides the link between credit and listings on the platform.  He also manages the onboarding of new Sponsors.  Mike has nearly 30 years’ experience in finance, having spent 15 years as a Relationship Manager at RBS before joining the ThinCats team.

Guy Whitaker

CASS and Operations Manager

Guy Whitaker CASS and Operations Manager

Guy’s main role is to develop and maintain procedures to ensure that ThinCats adheres to the Client money (CASS) rules set out by the FCA; dealing with client money with a high level of customer service, whilst reducing the risk of errors.  CASS compliance ensures that client money is protected and gives peace of mind.  Guy came from 15 years of working in the City, most recently at Transact (Integrated financial arrangements Ltd), an online platform for IFAs.  He holds the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments IOC qualification.

Rolf Hickmann

Head of Credit Analytics

Rolf Hickmann Head of Credit Analytics

Rolf is a specialist in the analysis of SMEs, focusing on their demographics, growth prospects, and sources of finance. He was founder and CEO of the pH Group, now part of Experian, where he pioneered the use of extensive databases enabling a detailed drill down into SME behaviour. The pH systems have been used by all the UK’s major banks, many utilities and telco companies, and the UK government (similarly in France). Prior to this, Rolf was a strategy consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. He has a BSc in Physics from the University of Texas and an MBA from University of California, Berkeley. Rolf is also a consultant at financial asset specialist AGFE.

Simon Brook

Head of Credit

Simon Brook Head of Credit

Simon has 25 years experience in the asset and commercial finance sector, with senior director positions at Syscap and Capitas. He specialises in advising companies on funding strategies and evaluation. He has previously established and run a leasing company which required strong credit and operational skills. Prior to asset finance, Simon worked in corporate banking for Manufacturers Hanover Trust, Daiwa Securities and Grindlays Bank. He has an MA in Economics from Cambridge University.

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