Financial services firm enjoys rapid growth with the help of Business Wales AGP.

A flow of finance is crucial to a functioning economy, where investment can be made, and deals are done. Borrowing and lending, and access to funds – these things require a great deal of knowledge and experience.

Pure Commercial Finance was founded by banking professional Ben Lloyd. His vision was to establish a business which could access and structure funding perceived to be “too difficult” for mainstream lenders. It’s already been a big success story.

 

Here Ben shares his experience as an entrepreneur, reveals his tips for others and outlines just how big a help Business Wales AGP has been to his company’s growth.

 

Tell us about Pure Commercial Finance.
Sometimes turning a great business idea into something that works is all about timing. I think that worked in my favour when I started Pure Commercial Finance (PCF). I had a successful career in banking, but I identified a gap in the market and realised I could make a success by going it alone.

I started PCF in June 2013, with an alternative approach to lending. I built a team of people around me, using the contacts I’d grown as a bank employee. The business grew rapidly and has won awards for being both innovative and tenacious in securing the right funding packages for our clients.

 

Initially, we concentrated on property-backed deals, which remains our core, but we’ve expanded into wealth management and other funding lines. My team now comprises 26 staff based mainly in Cardiff, with representation in London too.

Early on, we realised that to get deals done, more time per deal was required so it could be understood and packaged for lenders who could then make an informed decision to lend. My team has built a reputation of leaving no stone unturned before presenting a potential deal to a funder. 

 

Lenders have confidence in us to put the right deals in front of them, and this gives us credibility in the market. It’s a virtuous circle and one which reinforces our expertise, experience and knowledge as our greatest assets.

 

 

What are your proudest moments in business so far?
We’ve won plenty of financial sector awards. But our proudest distinction would have been our first national industry award at the Bridging and Commercial Awards.

Recognition from colleagues in your sector is such a boost and has really spurred us on. 

 

If you were starting again, what would you do differently?
The business grew very quickly, which I would not change! In the early days, the infrastructure and administration behind the hungry sales force were stretched. There were process inefficiencies as the sales team were dealing with administration rather than sales.

Ideally, we would have grown the backroom functions at the same rate as the sales force. Building the ideal support team would have been an interesting cash balancing act. Of course, we will never know!

 


 

How has support from Business Wales AGP helped your business?
We’ve been part of the Business Wales AGP for four years. And we’ve had a range of consultants help with sales growth and team structure as well as our business strategy. But the most significant positive difference to the business has been the support of our relationship manager.

I’ve used my relationship manager as a mentor, sounding board, confidante and someone to challenge my decisions. We would not be as successful as it is today if without the support of Business Wales AGP.

 

What advice and guidance would you give other businesses starting out?

 

● Don’t be afraid to make decisions. The worst decision is not to make one.

● When you have to make tough decisions, do them with the knowledge you have researched them so you can justify them to both yourself and others.

● Get a trusted advisor who is entirely independent and really listens.

● Invest in your staff. Never underestimate how crucial they are to your business.

 

For more information on Pure Commercial Finance, visit here.


Further information on the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme​.

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