GB Asset Finance are a leading independent asset finance broker specialising in the plastic and manufacturing sector. Richard Briggs along with Business Partner Greg Hopping, formed the company almost 17 years ago, and since then GB Asset Finance have gained an enviable reputation for their speed of service and obtaining the best terms and rates in the market. Richard is the next PlastikCity Partner to face the HotSeat…
What trends do you think will shape the future of UK plastics? How will GB Asset Finance respond?
The plastics industry is one of the key elements of UK manufacturing. What I’m seeing now is a major trend to improving efficiency to ensure companies stay competitive in the aggressive world of global manufacturing. As such investment in modern machinery and automation has been key in many companies’ future strategic plans. We have responded by being as innovative and flexible in our finance packages to assist companies in what can be significant and major capital expenditure. We also pride ourselves on having a good knowledge of the plastics sector which I know can gives our underwriters confidence in supporting our finance proposals.
How has GB Asset Finance developed during your tenure?
Over the years we’ve developed a very strong and loyal client base which I’m very proud of. Also key to me has been relationships we have formed with other key players within our industry such as business professionals i.e. banks / finance houses-chartered surveyors / auction houses, accountants, solicitors and also very important equipment suppliers. This assists us not only in generating new business opportunities, which has proven invaluable, but also in supporting many aspects including business advice, valuations, disposals and supporting residual values on equipment we arrange finance on.
What do you credit as the key to your success?
Hard work and always being available to speak to my customers whatever time of day. I am a great believer in having strong personal relationships with my customers, based sometimes on friendship, but always trust and mutual respect. There’s never any opportunity too small or too big and above all I have such a passion in what I do. Finally running my own brokerage business provides me with a better insight into the workings of running a company and so I have developed a better appreciation of the demands and challenges that my own customers face within their own business.
What has been the greatest challenge in your career?
Work and family life balance. My work is very important to me and I’m very lucky to have a supportive wife and we have a demanding but fantastic 10-year-old son so I’m continually learning when to switch off and of course enjoy family time. The older I get I realise how quickly time goes and you can never get time back! (my wife’s quote!)
What advice do you wish you’d had on entering the industry and does that differ from the advice you would give to an apprentice joining now?
I first entered the industry aged 17 working at Midland Bank. At that time, I was conscious of being young and wanting to make a good impression and not looking out of my depth.
However, a very good bit of advice I was given by a long serving colleague was “you should never be afraid to ask the most simplest question by fear of looking stupid, as often that question is the most important and relevant question”. This bit of advice has stuck with me and 33 years later I still refer back and remind myself of this.
What hidden talents do you have?
I have an encyclopaedic knowledge of The Beatles and I’m not afraid to admit that I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to them.