Our “Team Spotlight” blog series lets you meet the people behind FDC’s personal approach to flexible debt funding. This month we spoke with Carl Perry, Investment Director – Growth Capital.
What’s your background?
I studied International Business and Economics at Aston University’s Business School before beginning my career in finance. Initially, I worked in retail banking roles as a qualified mortgage adviser and area branch manager, before moving into corporate banking where I worked for over 12 years split between Barclays and HSBC. My corporate banking career was spent working with SME businesses in the West Midlands and the Marches with turnover up to £50m. I spent time working as a relationship director before a spell in the debt restructuring team. I joined FDC in February 2017.
What do you do at FDC?
I am fortunate enough to meet lots of ambitious business owners / leaders wanting to grow their businesses. As an Investment Director within the Growth Capital team I work closely with the business and management team to assess their strategy in order to see how I can structure an appropriate funding package to support the company’s strategy, cashflow and ambitions.
Tell us more about FDC’s Growth Capital debt funds.
FDC provides growth capital funding, structured predominantly as debt. With our flexible approach we will consider most situations, most often this will be businesses looking for improved cashflow, acquisition funding, funding expansion strategies and asset purchases.
Whilst the trading history of a business is important, it is equally important to understand the viability of the future vision.
Not only do we look at the financial performance of the business, we also consider the softer elements of a successful business such as corporate governance and management succession. With the benefit of having worked with hundreds of businesses historically, we can help business determine what good look likes and use our network to access the right people to ensure that the strategy is best achieved.
Our offering is a fully flexible debt structure, with investments of up to £7.5m, over a maximum term of 5 years. This means that we can tailor each investment to suit each individual investee.
What can alternative lenders do to support SMEs during the pandemic?
At the start of the year, the corporate world was fully focused on the challenges and opportunities associated with Brexit. Nobody could have predicted that Brexit preparations would be overshadowed by a global pandemic that brought many Western economic powerhouses to a standstill. As with all crises comes change and opportunity. Some businesses will see demand for their products and services grow exponentially. Conversely, some business owners, faced with unprecedented challenges may now have taken this time for reflection and decided that now is the right time to sell their business.
Whatever the business strategy, for alternative lenders it is still very much business as usual. We are here to work with and support ambitious business owners to grow their businesses or effect the sale that they are seeking. Key to helping FDC do this is to speak with us early in the planning process.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given in your working life?
Surround yourself by people who are the best at what they do. I am fortunate to work with some of the best professional people, both at FDC and within my wider professional business network. This brings relevant challenge, perspective and experience to all situations that often helps to get to the best possible outcome more quickly.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
I am married to Steph and have two young children, Isaac (5) and Hattie (3). I am a keen DIYer and always have a number of projects on the go - some more successful than others. My motto on DIY is if you don’t know how to do something….YouTube it! I also like playing sports, in particular football, golf and running. Although, as the kids get older, I’m resigned to the fact that it’ll be more and more watching them play sports from the sidelines rather than pursing my own dreams of sporting glory.