Nick Smith, sales and marketing chief with alternative finance provider Reward Finance Group, has acquired a stake in the business to complete a partial management buy-in.
The transaction sees Mr Smith take an equal shareholding in the business, which has bases in Leeds and Manchester, with joint MDs Tom Flannery and David Jones. Johannesburg-listed Tradehold – majority owned by South African billionaire Dr Christo Wiese – retains its majority stake in the group.
Mr Flannery believes the transaction represents part of a long-term strategic plan. He said: "Nick joined the business last year to lead our sales and marketing efforts and stage two was always about an equity stake for him.
"Dave and I love everything about the business and the fact that we are genuinely making a difference to business owners lives. We remain fully committed to Reward, we are going nowhere. This deal with Nick is the first step in the longer term succession planning for Reward and between the three of us and the wider management team we will continue to drive the business forward in the alternative finance space.”
Mr Smith says he sees an exciting future at Reward. He added: "We have just come off the back of a record year and our busiest quarter to date, highlighting the fact that our core products are in demand now more than ever.
"I was delighted to be invited to join the equity ranks with Tom and Dave and look forward to continuing to drive the business forward with continued support from our backers.
“We have significant capital available to lend, and our ability to structure and complete deals within days, using multiple assets and taking a practical and pragmatic approach to lending, enables us to build bespoke funding solutions for our clients – something that is unique in the SME lending space.”
Advisers on the deal were Walker Morris, Clarion and Schofield Sweeney.