BD (Ben Davies) – Hey Adrian, its great to sit down together for 10 minutes and have a proper chat as it has been pretty full on since you joined us on July 1st. How have you found it so far?
I’ve loved it so far, its such a fast paced, energetic environment and that brings out the best of me. Working with yourself and Stu again has been great fun, we’ve always had a great working relationship and we always bounce ideas off one another. It’s not all plain sailing though, it is very challenging at the same time with so much to learn. Hexa already has some fantastic vendor and funding partners, so I have been focused on learning what works well with each partner so far.
BD – It definitely feels like you have been with us for more than 2 weeks and I can’t believe I asked you to start at Hexa on my Birthday that was poor planning by me. All jokes aside hiring our first member of staff is certainly something I will remember so that’s all good. You have picked things up quickly and I think you have actually been in touch with most of our vendor customers already, haven’t you?
Yes, I have spoken to nearly all our vendor customers already, either through calls or email conversations. I aim to call all our customers and hopefully over the next 6 months we’ll meet a lot of the customers in person. I find that building relationships verbally and in person is much more meaningful than email and will help build the positive working relationships.
BD – I think you will have a really big impact on our customers and certainly help free up some more of mine and Stu’s time to look at some new growth areas. We obviously worked together for a few years at Macquarie which was good fun but how have you found it working in your first start up?
Yes, working together was good fun and the key to our business now is that we all know how each other work, trust one another and all have similar but very different skillsets which all benefit each other. I have previously worked for large corporates so joining a new start was something different and whilst I was nervous to begin with, the support of yourself and Stu made the final decision easy. It has been very full on in my first two weeks and being a new start, I have realised that neither of us are stuck to one role, we all do a bit of everything to make it work. I like that because it means I am going to learn so much about business management and the mechanics of running a business which would have been difficult in a larger corporate.
BD – Absolutely, no two days are the same and it’s a case of all getting stuck in and spending using our time wisely. What I would say is the market is quite buoyant and our customers are keeping us busy. How do you think the next 6 months will play out in UK asset finance?
Yes I agree, the market is buoyant and our customers are certainly keeping us busy but you can always be busier. I think the next 6 to 12 months are important for the UK economy and our industry. I personally think we will see the asset finance industry move slightly and I think risk appetites will change or will need to change to support the market. As many businesses would have been affected by COVID, it will almost definitely show a negative trend in many accounts. I’m hopeful that risk teams will take a wider view on the business, its trading history prior to COVID and business plans moving forward after COVID to ensure we obtain positive credit decisions for our vendor partners. As we move out of COVID restrictions, we will see businesses return to their busy normality and will hopefully see a period of growth. If the economy grows it leads to more business spending which will lead to an increase in demand for the financial solutions, we support our customers with.
BD – Yeh, I think I agree with you on that one. There is a lot of liquidity in the market at the moment and customers are starting to make buying decisions again which is good. My only concern with the amount of liquidity in the market is that businesses make smart decisions and don’t over commit themselves to the debt they are taking on. Do you think that market conditions will change the way we need to work in Hexa?
I think the way Hexa will need to change could be around risk appetite and how we support our partners. Working with our vendor partners to ensure we have a full story on clients who have been affected badly by COVID to ensure we get to the right credit decisions. Obtaining approvals is key for our vendor partners to provide the service to their customers and grow their businesses as much as it is ours. I think growing closer relationships with our key funding partners will be vitally important.
BD – Great, well its certainly going to be exciting to see how this year goes for us and I think Hexa are in great shape to support UK businesses with our Smarter Lending Solutions. I wish you the best of luck in your career with us mate and I am confident you will go on to achieve everything you set out to do.
Thanks Ben, I am really looking forward to the Hexa journey and growing the business alongside yourself and Stu. It is really exciting and I believe we have the skillset, experience and partners to excel in the market.