Q&A with our Head of Transaction Management Peter Talbot

The Transaction Management team is made up of a mix of credit partners and legal experts. In 2020  we focused on supporting our clients with their liquidity needs which by 2021 had switched to helping many expand.

Having pursued a long and successful career at traditional lenders what attracted you about making a move to a non-bank lender such as ThinCats?

"I guess the answer is potential. I was aware of ThinCats’ growing presence in the market and thought their proposition looked interesting, however, having now spent a few months actually inside the business I am even more convinced that the capacity of ThinCats – and the wider alternative lending sector – to deliver better funding solutions to UK businesses is huge. The banks continue to withdraw from certain parts of the market so it’s crucial that new players fill the gap. From a personal perspective, it’s exciting to be involved in a business that has a clear focus, where I know my experience and skills can make a significant impact in building a top-class team and to work alongside colleagues who share the genuine buzz I get from helping businesses succeed."

What differences between a traditional lender and ThinCats have stood out most to you so far?

"The first is probably product simplicity. Compared to a traditional lender, ThinCats has a very focused range of products which makes the process of running the business much simpler. Providing cash flow backed term loans for mid-sized businesses is basically at the core of what we do, which means we can channel our efforts on becoming the very best in the industry at doing it. Introducers can easily understand our offering and how we are relevant to their clients. Secondly, the fact that we are relatively new means we can be much nimbler than traditional lenders in reacting to the changing needs of our clients. For example, traditional lenders have vast amounts of data held in legacy banking systems yet struggle to use it effectively. In contrast, by using modern data analytics to interpret huge volumes of data from multiple sources we quickly built a proprietary credit model that is specific to mid-sized SMEs. Similarly, we can take advantage of the latest in cloud based operating platforms with their potential to integrate with new applications, to create a bespoke operating platform that can grow as we grow. Our response to supporting borrowers through the Covid pandemic is a clear demonstration of our overall agility; in 2020 we focused on supporting our clients with their liquidity needs which by 2021 had switched to helping many expand. Another difference would be around ThinCats’ focus on regional business finance communities, which is where the banks used to be very active. As the banks have withdrawn, ThinCats and others have been building out their regional and local footprints. For the types of more complex deals that we support, having personal and local relationships remains critical."

What does the Transactions Management team do?

"The team handles all aspects of a transaction’s progress from the point of issuing Indicative Terms through Investment Committee, Legals up until Drawdown after which relationship management responsibilities are taken up by the Borrower Services team. The Transaction Management team is made up of a mix of credit partners and legal experts. The credit partners are responsible for shaping the funding structure taking into account any new information that emerges during the manual underwriting stage, while the legal team works closely with a panel of specialist external lawyers to ensure the transaction is completed in time to meet the borrower's needs. The credit partners are regionally based working hand-in-hand with our regional business development directors and regional heads of credit from very early in the process. It means team members get a better understanding of the transaction and develop personal relationships with the advisers and borrowers which helps smooth the progress of the transaction through the process. These relationships are then maintained for future transactions with a particular adviser or for future follow-on funding requirements for the borrower."

What is your main priority for 2022?

The economic backdrop remains uncertain given the ongoing threat from Covid and the challenges posed by increasing inflation, labour shortages and other supply chain issues. No-one can be sure how long these may persist. Our main priority is to be as responsive as possible to the needs of advisers and borrowers. There are always areas where we can do better, so it’s exciting to be part of a business that recognises this and is geared up to facilitate change. As we grow alongside our increasing number of clients, the challenge will be to maintain our can-do, entrepreneurial culture while building out processes that can handle higher transaction volumes without compromising on our flexibility and personal service.

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