As I settle into my new role, my commute from Liverpool St Station to Hamilton House takes me right past Bucklersbury House where I started my career with Barclays forty years ago, fifteen years before the formation of this Association.
Having spent the following four decades learning the art, science and nuances of commercial lending in all its guises, I am fascinated by the prospect of putting all that experience and knowledge into a role and organisation which plays such a vital role in the provision of commercial lending.
In a changing and uncertain economy, there is much to consider and our organisation has to be agile and appropriate to fulfill the needs of our membership. There will inevitably be more changes ahead but I want to make sure that the course we navigate will deliver tangible benefits that will make a valuable contribution to the success of our members and their operations.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the 2017 Commercial Finance Expo – but I assure you I have been extensively briefed, and I know it set a new record for attendance and exhibitor numbers. The total number of attendees reached a total of 1975 people under one roof (a total made up of 1091 visitors and 884 exhibitors). We had to relocate to a different venue to maintain the same feel while accommodating every visitor and every innovative exhibition stand. The feedback I have seen from brokers and lenders is extremely encouraging, and I’m sure we can maintain that momentum.
I’d like to use this opportunity to thank Rob Lankey for his sterling work over the last six months as Interim CEO. In the head office at Hamilton House I have seen and heard activity that assures me that this organisation is working hard and professionally for the benefit of the members and patrons. The depth and breadth of lenders wanting to work with the NACFB remains impressive, and I look forward to working closely with them all in the very near future.
And with a number of compliance and networking events coming up before our Industry Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner on 30th November, I’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet more of our members, without whom this Association would not have the influence that it does.
I am very keen to ensure that there is a strong focus on membership engagement and I will be working on ways to capture feedback on a regular basis so that we deliver what you need to help you run an effective and professional operation. We’ve got some clear ideas about the way ahead, and soon I will be able to share those ideas with you.