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Profile Autumn 2007 Newsletter

Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank: An Intermediaries View

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(from left to right) Andy Cocker, Phil Hex, Josie Cheadle and Fiona Seville from the Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank’s South Yorkshire Business Centre.

A crucial part of South Yorkshire Investment Fund's role is working in partnership with the banks to ensure that businesses gain the investment they require.

The Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank is one bank SYIF work closely with. Andy Cocker, Head of Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank's South Yorkshire Business Centre tells us more about the relationship.

The launch of Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank's new Sheffield based business centre earlier this year has seen the development of a strong relationship with South Yorkshire Investment Fund, teaming up on a number of deals to offer local businesses the opportunity to expand and develop.

The bank's alternative approach to banking embraces the opportunities that working with SYIF presents, offering great value products and services to a wide variety of businesses in the region combined with the support and stability the fund can offer.

Andy Cocker, Head of Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank's South Yorkshire Business Centre, said: "SYIF offers customers supplementary funding and investment solutions, working with the bank to support and strengthen business applications and helping businesses to fulfil their ambitions.

"This partnership works particularly well when dealing with management buy in and buy out transactions as it brings balance to the deal, by sharing the security and minimising the possible risk to any one party."

SYIF has worked with Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank with a number of businesses looking for funding. This has allowed Alliance & Leicester to team up with the Fund to offer customers the best possible financial solution for their business.

The partnership provides additional flexibility and can streamline the credit process, resulting in even faster turnarounds on decisions due to the reduced risk.

In addition, SYIF offers businesses mentors to help them bridge any skill gaps in order to guide the business in the short term, supporting the growth of the business and playing an active role in their success.

A Sheffield-based business that has benefited from Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank's partnership with SYIF is Vision CCTV. When local entrepreneur, Tim Ralston was buying in to Vision CCTV, he was introduced to Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank and SYIF by Chris Sellars, Head of Corporate Finance at Hart Shaw Accountants in Sheffield.

The deal was secured through a combination of a competitive, bespoke package from Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank and additional investment from SYIF, enabling Tim to buy in to the business.

Tim Ralston, Managing Director of Vision CCTV, said: "The help of Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank and South Yorkshire Investment Fund have been invaluable in securing this deal. We will be looking to expand the business further over the next few years and look forward to working with the team at SYIF and Alliance & Leicester to drive the business forward."

Andy added: "Tim's previous business experience combined with the knowledge and expertise of the existing team at Vision CCTV will help to develop and expand the business, furthering its potential, creating new job opportunities and ensuring the continued success of the business for many years to come.

"We created a bespoke package tailored to the needs of the business and the support of the South Yorkshire Investment Fund played a key role in the deals success."

Editor's Notes

About South Yorkshire Investment Fund

South Yorkshire Investment Fund  provided seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

Created as part of the Objective 1 programme, the Fund is a private and public sector business finance provider. The European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward are investors in the Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provided access to Business Angel investments from the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels and Microloans through BiG Business Loan Fund and Donbac Microloan Fund.

Finance Yorkshire has now taken on responsibility for providing gap finance in Yorkshire and the Humber.
http://www.finance-yorkshire.com

For further details please contact Suzanne Tinkler,  on 0845 649 0000.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (Registered No 3936065). South Yorkshire Investment Fund comprises three sub funds, the South Yorkshire Investment Capital Fund, the South Yorkshire Investment Development Fund, which are each managed by YFM Venture Finance Limited, and the South Yorkshire Investment Small Business Fund, which is managed by Finance South Yorkshire Ltd. YFM Venture Finance Limited (Tel 0113 294 5000) and Finance South Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 01709 386 377) are each authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provides a number of services, which are not regulated by The Financial Services Authority. These include the pilot Seedcorn Fund, BiG Business Loan Fund, Mentorbank and access to the Donbac Microloan Fund. BiG Business Loan Fund is managed by Donbac Ltd (company registration No. 01925556) and Key Fund Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 0114 242 8900).