ABOUT THE TEAM

We have a dedicated, experienced team

Your time is valuable and you have better things to do than running around from lender to lender. Our job is to help you over the hurdles imposed by lenders to the point of completion.

Based all over the South West, we offer a personal service to ensure we fully understand your business and your requirements to provide the right funding solution at the most competitive rate taking advantage of all the potential benefits whilst avoiding the potential pitfalls which are easily missed.

We will manage the application process from initial enquiry to full credit sanction and through to completion.

We take the hassle out of business/property finance. We are on your side, working for you and not the bank.

DAN SMITH

I recently finished a ‘medium sentence’ of working with High Street banks where I completed 14 years working in commercial & corporate roles.

Through this tenure I completed a number of funding transaction for both the SME sector (turnover < £25 million) and property clients ranging from single self-build to multi-million pound investment portfolios.

The lure of a self-employed role where I am no longer restricted to one sector was too strong and setting up SWBF with Steve has been a great journey, which has seen us assist a number of clients so far.

I am a keen sportsman, mainly rugby, where I have been lucky enough to play at Twickenham twice (10 years apart). I am currently trying to retire and this seems to be a lot harder than I thought.

My main outlook on life is to stay positive and it will happen.

STEVE BARRETT

Unlike Dan I have completed a life sentence (28 years) at my second home Midland/HSBC Bank – this included roles such as branch manager, corporate real estate & senior international manager, working across the South West of England based out of offices in Bristol, Bath & Swindon.

These roles have given me an in-depth knowledge of the banking sector, developed specialist knowledge in the real estate and international banking sectors and hence I gained considerable experience in structuring funding packages for all sized business.

The 28 years of working in the south west has resulted in a vastly experienced network of professionals giving me a strong commercial market awareness and the challenges it faces in today’s economy.

I left the bank in 2014 firmly believing that I could assist business far better outside the bank based by having a much wider range of funding options.

My age dictates that I am a lover of 80s music and currently enjoying a number of concerts from the so called ‘legends’ of that era. I also enjoy sport where I help coach my twin boys in their local club.

My best lesson I have learnt is that never respond to emails when you are hung-over or annoyed.

LLOYD DAVIS

I have taken a change of work direction to get involved in obtaining funding solutions with Dan & Steve.

I have spent the last 3 years looking after clients in the catering industry making sure all their needs and requirements are sort after in a fast moving environment.

The skills gained from this role have been a good base for my new role of client manager for SWBF.

There is obviously favouritism for Rugby at SWBF, as I am a keen rugby fan (albeit Welsh) and still play rugby for Trowbridge RFC and like Dan was lucky enough to have a run out at Twickenham in the intermediate cup final.

PAUL LILLEY

After 34 years of working for Midland/HSBC, I was very fortunate, to be offered early retirement a few years ago, and I didn’t need to be asked twice.

My career spanned most roles in the bank, including those of senior branch manager, commercial and corporate manager, head of our South-East Asia, International office, based out of Singapore and most recently, deputy regional director for Wales.

I have been a past president of a Chamber of Commerce and Chair of a Young Enterprise board. My experience has covered most areas of banking and finance and my customer focused approach will hopefully bring a refreshing outlook on how we look to do business.

I am very much schooled in old style banking, where the client relationship, sits very much at the centre of everything that we do.

Like Dan and Steve, sport has been an important part of my life and continues to be so but now, more as a spectator than a participant.

ZOE MORGAN

31 years within the Financial Services Sector, 31 years of which I have been supporting SME businesses to achieve their business goals and aspirations within my local area & communities.

I bring a breadth of experience with own personal knowledge and skills of managing commercial business via owner/Director roles in family based business, this allows me to link my personal experiences with wealth of knowledge and skills to provide an all round client experience. I am approachable, professional, adaptable to change within a changing environment, and keen to meet with other SME businesses who would benefit from this.

Also, keen rugby supporter, which links me very well with the SWBF team!

ROB MATSON

Along with Steve and Paul, I am an ex Midland/HSBC Manager. After 38 years I was offered early retirement in December 2015. I covered a broad range of retail and commercial positions.

For the past 20 years my roles included, Senior Commercial Manager, Senior International Commercial Manager and Relationship Director.

My client base was predominantly domiciled in Bath, Bristol and surrounding areas. I have a thorough knowledge and experience of the commercial banking sector and international trade. Over the years I have enjoyed working with clients from a broad range of sectors and specialisms.

Having spent five months attending to long outstanding DIY projects around the house, I am keen to return to gainful employment and work with the SWBF team. For me, job satisfaction comes from the interaction with colleagues and clients. I enjoy building relationships with clients, understanding their challenges and providing solutions to problems.

As with Dan, Steve and Lloyd, I am a keen rugby fan. I have been a season ticket holder at Bath Rugby for over 30 years and coached Juniors at Avon Rugby Club for 13 years. I am also a life long Everton FC fan, hence I have an inbuilt ability to cope with disappointments and adversity!

DEBBIE NEALE

I started my career at Midland Bank in North Derbyshire and went on to serve 28 years with Midland/HSBC.  I worked in various roles including that of Branch Manager and completed my BSc.(Hons) in Financial Services.

By far, the most enjoyable role was as a Commercial Manager working closely with businesses to understand their challenges and help them achieve their goals.

This time with the bank means that I have a wealth of financial knowledge and experience having worked with businesses from small one man bands to multi-million pound turnover companies.

After leaving the bank I spent four years working as a Business Manager with Inspire by Wessex Chambers which resulted in me building up a huge network of professionals and further broadened my experience outside the financial world.

My motto – “Life is short so I believe it’s extremely important to have a passion for what we do but as well as working hard to get the right results, we should have some fun along the way”.

I always make time for holidays and enjoy getting out on my motorcycle including visiting the Isle of Man every June with my husband to watch the TT Races.  I have cats and chickens at home and would love to be able to live my own “Good Life”!

CHRIS ELLIOTT

I am based in South Devon, and have now left Lloyds Bank after a 40 year career, the last decade of which was  in Commercial Banking Business Development here in the West Country.

I am available to support you and your business, with both the sourcing of appropriate Finance and perhaps to help you to take your business forward by working in conjunction with you and your professional advisers.

I apply 30 years commercial banking experience, knowledge and skill to source the right finance for your needs, and improve and maximize the performance of individuals and teams. I have a sustained track record of success in business development, sales, service, projects and all aspects of commercial lending.

My style is collaborative; I support and challenge. I am creative, enthusiastic and have a desire to help everyone maximize their opportunities – a focus on Business, People & Talent Development has been key to my success.

SIMON SHELDRAKE

The enthusiasm for Rugby seems to be matched by enthusiasm for ex Midland/HSBC managers.

I also served 27 years undertaking varied roles in retail banking, business and corporate banking as well as regional positions across the South West and London.

I spent the last 10 years of my banking career as a Senior Commercial Manager in Cornwall and Devon. Since leaving in 2012 I have been busy doing what I felt were the good parts of being a “proper bank manager” : assisting numerous businesses in raising funds and providing practical and strategic advice to help them survive, thrive and move forward.

I cannot claim to have played Rugby at Twickenham but my best claims to fame are that I was Margaret Thatcher’s bank manager for a while and I have appeared in the credits of a film.

Personally, my life has recently been turned upside down (in a good way I think !) by the arrival our 5 year old niece who has come to live with us. As our granddaughter is the same age we expected to be a lot more arms length on paddling pools, school nativity plays, learning spellings, etc.

CATHERINE PARSONS

After twenty happy years working for HSBC Bank I recently came to a career crossroad with my role as regional manager being relocated.

I believe things happen for a reason and am extremely excited about the opportunity of working with South West Business Finance to realise my own personal goals and those of my clients.

Over the last twenty years I have worked in both the commercial and retail sectors and have a thorough understanding of how we can help businesses to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential. Having been born, bred and worked primarily across South Wales I understand the geography, demographics and challenges of the area very well. I am a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development which will enable me to help your business in a variety of other ways in addition to sourcing the best lending solutions in the market.

Life outside work revolves around my two young sons who take a keen interest in Welsh rugby so this may be a bone of contention with the other Partners and Directors in the business but an allegiance I hope I can share with many of my clients. As a family we love spending quality time together and I hope this continues into their teenage years!

The best life lesson I have learnt is to live for today as you don’t know what tomorrow may bring.

JON DYER

With 30 years’ experience in the Financial Services sector, I have had the pleasure of helping a wide variety of businesses of varying size and sector.

The last 16 years I have focused on Asset Based Lending. Having worked for both the High Street Banks and the Independent Sector, I am now looking forward to working with SWBF to help our clients reach their goals.

Outside of work I have chaired School Governing Bodies and Junior Football Clubs, but now my children have reached adulthood I can concentrate on Golf ( unfortunately my handicap doesn’t match the time and effort put in!) and watching most sports.

If you want help securing funding for your Bath, Bristol or
South West based business, call us on 01225 800849

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