Many sectors of the UK economy are well known for their role in supporting people directly; charities, the NHS, social services – but it’s not just the obvious caring professions that have a responsibility to support the wellbeing of their clients.
It’s important that the corporate finance community takes the time to acknowledge and remind ourselves of the role that we also play in supporting not just individual businesses but communities of people.
Many may chuckle at the idea of linking the bread and butter business of corporate finance with social responsibility, but the impact that our work and decisions can have on others shouldn’t be underestimated and it behoves us to remember that.
Behind every SME is a community of people
We recently had to work incredibly hard with a lender when it looked like a minor glitch may lead to them backing out of an asset-based lending deal for a logistics firm. Without our efforts in keeping the deal afloat and pushing the lender through to completion, the company may have collapsed without the funding, having a major impact on those behind it – because that company supports not only its owners and their families, but also its employees and their families, and its suppliers and their families.
Our responsibility as a broker in securing the right deal for sustainable business goes much further than just to our client, and I believe that’s the same for all of us in the industry – the banks and other lenders, the valuers, the accountants and the lawyers.
We’re not just doing deals, we’re supporting UK business
When a business needs a broker there are always challenges involved – otherwise the client could simply walk into a bank and get the deal they need themselves. Brokered deals have wrinkles to be ironed out. For example, making a credit risk go away by working to mitigate risks but experienced brokers can do this by recognising what needs to be done and helping businesses to do it.
Brokers have a key role of rallying support around businesses, taking ownership and responsibility for the client and communication along the chain. In my example above, if we hadn’t dug in with the lender, the deal wouldn’t have happened and people could be out of work. At the end of every deal there is an SME and those people who rely on it.
Those SME owners who find themselves in sometimes precarious positions and who are going out on a limb to sustain their business deserve the support of those of us in relatively secure, often salaried roles. There will always be another potential borrower for the lenders, but we should never take the easy way out by saying no until all efforts have been made to make a deal work; that’s our mission and we hope that everyone across the industry shares it. We are all here to support UK businesses and that should be our key focus.