BLN Sponsors Ltd

Bob Cox and Tony Lucas have been involved with ThinCats from its inception and they helped develop the systems, procedures and borrower Information Pack, as well as being responsible for all of the initial loan proposals. They also helped develop the standard legal documents for making a loan.

They set up BLN Sponsors Limited especially to offer their services as Sponsors to businesses seeking finance through the Business Loan Network.

Bob Cox was a career banker with Barclays, with his last 30 years in Commercial Banking (essentially owner-managed business between £1m to £20m sales). Bob has undertaken all aspects of Commercial Banking from front-line relationship manager responsible for wide-ranging portfolios through to credit manager – those ones in the back-room. Bob spent the last 10 years in Barclays as Area Director, Commercial Banking in Birmingham, with a team of 15 relationship managers with 800 customers.

Post Barclays, Bob has worked with Advantage Transition Bridge Fund – a loan fund of £16m to support viable business through the recession period – in both a front-line and a non-exec capacity. Bob has a strong empathy with the SME business sector and a thorough but practical approach to assessing lending propositions.

Tony Lucas spent 21 years with NatWest, completing a variety of roles including working with borrowers in the front line through to assessing credit proposals. He has experience of the SME market as well as major corporate customers, working in retail and corporate banking as well as in the leasing market.

Tony left NatWest to join Pan Security International as Finance Director (a start-up company) that pioneered online automated security testing, successfully raising £5m of funding and launching the product. Tony went on to work for Business Link as Operations Director in the Black Country and as Client Services Director for the West Midlands.

Tony is also a director of the Advantage Early Growth Fund, a governor of Dudley College and also runs an interim management and consultancy business. In addition to his lending and commercial expertise, Tony also has expertise in strategy development, change management and performance improvement. He also has experience of patenting, business process re-engineering, contracts and project management as well as building and leading teams.


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