The Financial Services Expo is around the corner – a key question for brokers – should you diversify?
Online SME lender Spotcap launched their UK operations in October 2016. Active in multiple markets globally they knew the value of the broker channel and started building relationships across the UK from the outset.
In the lead up to Financial Services Expo (FSE), the event of year for the broker community, Kevin Vendel, senior partnership manager, Spotcap, shares an overview of the key themes that have surfaced during the many events and meeting the team have participated in during the last nine months.
There has been an explosion of new lending products over the last few years. Basic lending products shouldn’t be disregarded but it is clear that with invoice financing, secured and unsecured options all on the market, there is a lot to manage. On top of this each provider has slightly different conditions and requirements for their products.
The challenge is obvious. Not only do brokers need to stay on top of the requirement from the business community and their clients. They also need to stay on top of all the new providers.
What does all of this mean?
Brokers need to diversify. They need to diversify their knowledge and become experts on a wide range of funding alternatives. They also need to diversify the sources of funding they use for individual deals.
We are seeing more and more of this. Brokers always take note and ask follow up questions once we start talking about co-financing. The interest makes perfect sense. Why wouldn’t you want to make a deal happen that otherwise might not have gone through, by using multiple lenders?
One of the most important aspects to consider with this type of deal is whether the loan is secured or unsecured. It will either be a secured loan plus an unsecured lender, like Spotcap; or two secured lenders, such as two banks or an asset-based lender and a bank. The disadvantage of the latter is that both have a claim on the client’s assets, which can result in not even closing the deal. The benefit of an unsecured lender is that they have no claim on the assets, so they don’t have to wrangle over them with the bank or an alternative asset based lender.
All About Collaboration
Diversifying beyond your typical portfolio of finance providers presents new risks and challenges for brokers — unfamiliar products and significant upfront time investment to learn about these.
But once this investment has been made you can start piecing together deals that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. We see a real appetite from brokers to forge partnerships between companies. It is not uncommon that the same business might want both equity finance and debt funding. This opens a door for brokers to bring different lenders together.
At FSE, September 13, in London, brokers will have the opportunity to expand their industry knowledge, network with their peers, and spend valuable face-to-face time with lenders. For brokers there are two critical questions to keep in mind: how should I asses the many new providers I am going to meet? And how can I collaborate with them in the future so I can help more UK business get the funding they need?
Kevin Vendel is the senior partnership manager for Spotcap UK. His current focus is on providing brokers with insights on how they can use online lending solutions to grow their business. His specialty is the alternative finance market.
Originally published September 18 2017 , updated July 9 2018