It’s a common business adage that with change comes opportunity, and this has been top of mind for me in early 2016 following Scottish Pacific’s acquisition of Bibby Financial Services’ Australia and New Zealand business.
Since the deal was announced in mid-January, we have had a lot of interest from brokers wanting to know about the acquisition, what it means for our clients and what impact the deal will have on brokers.
Over our almost 30 years in business we have developed close relationships with brokers, who we recognise as key advisers to the SMEs that make up the lifeblood of the national economy.
It’s important to us that we nurture and develop these great relationships.
In a nutshell, nothing will change in terms of how closely we work with brokers. In fact, the integration of Bibby’s business lines into Scottish Pacific should provide even more business opportunities for brokers and a wider range of products, services and solutions to brokers’ clients.
As a result of the acquisition, our combined business now has almost 300 staff, handles about $10 billion of annual sales and provides some $700 million of funding to clients across a broad range of industries.
Through our brands Scottish Pacific, FactorONE and Tradeline, not only do we support the whole supply chain finance, but we can also now add bad debt protection, collection services and much more to help small business.
The introduction of our selective invoice finance product last year is proving a winner, with increased demand for a more 'come and go' facility.
With the larger scale that results from our recent acquisition, we anticipate expanding our product range even more.
The acquisition also further cements our position as the largest non-bank working capital provider to Australian and New Zealand SMEs, and a serious alternative to the banks.
More than 90 per cent of clients referred to us come via professional advisers such as brokers and accountants.
We work hard to understand our introducers because we know that brokers have a choice when looking for cash flow solutions for their clients. Building long-term relationships that benefit the client, the broker and our business means success for all parties.
A growing number of brokers are recognising that debtor finance, and other offerings of trade and selective invoice finance, can be a great tool for growing a client and their own business.
This is true for a wide range of business situations, from SMEs looking to import or export, undertake management buyouts or other succession planning including a business sale, to fast growth situations where the client may have won a large order that has put their cash flow under pressure.
The beauty of debtor finance is that the finance available grows in line with sales revenues, unlike a typical business overdraft, so the more turnover a business can generate the more working capital they can access.
If brokers have clients using debtor finance, they’ll likely find additional opportunities for them. For example, if the family home has been removed from the security equation, many clients are keen to utilise this to leverage an investment property.
From our perspective, our acquisition means it’s business as usual for us and for our introducers – just with a wider range of opportunities.