As Amicus looks to meet an ambitious lending target of £400m in 2016, Keith Aldridge, managing director of the short-term lender, reviews the state of business over the past year.
When reviewing our performance for the year it is a story of growth, acquisition, recruitment, record performance months, a stronger distribution and awards. But that is only part of our success story.
In Q4, we set about establishing a number of initiatives to improve the quality of our service and to address all the good challenges that growth brings. Improving internal communications, as well as the recruitment and ongoing training to ensure a quality experienced team across the whole business have become increasing priorities.
We are also focussing on improving and evolving our proposition in the market. An example of how we’ve taken the lead was the launch of our inaugural stakeholder day – an industry first event.
Our stakeholders who attended the event gave us some incredibly positive feedback and welcomed the chance to share openly issues that affect us all. This is now going to be an annual event.
Another first was the £100m securitisation we completed in September. This was an important addition to our funding strategy as it allows us to grow new channels such as development business, which has increased by 89% compared to 2014.
The growth in our development business has led to the appointment of an in-house quantity surveyor Cedric Houghton-Brown who joined the team in November. This appointment was one in a string of quality appointments that saw Athol Abrahams join us as head of risk, Anita Kirkbright as operations manager, Gareth Ward as senior underwriter and Mark Harrison relationship manager based in our Preston office.
All these investments supported our 2015 ambitions to deliver our diversification programme through acquisition, the strengthening of our funding lines and the improvement of our relationships including distributors and industry trade bodies. I was delighted to be elected to the executive committee of the ASTL and look forward to helping Benson Hersch grow the influence of the association in 2016.
Happy Christmas and every best wish for a prosperous 2016 to all who have helped the short-term lending sector to get to where it is today… and in my opinion 2016 looks set to be even better.