BOOST&Co is significantly expanding its Manchester office, which will triple in size to serve SMEs across the north and Scotland. Ryan Sorby, who has led the alternative lender’s north-west base since its inception in late 2018, is taking on a new role as head of the north and Scotland, and is appointing three experienced principals to his team.

BOOST&Co’s presence in the city has demonstrated the lender’s long-term commitment to investing in the region, as well as helping Sorby to build strong relationships with local businesses and advisors. This has enabled him to provide term loans that are tailored to support the specific needs of innovative, fast-growing firms, particularly in the TMT sector.

“We’ve enjoyed a lot of success through employing people who are local and visible, and who understand the cultural nuances within our city and region. Having people on the ground pays huge dividends in terms of the quality of the deals you can be involved with and the insight that you can get,” Sorby says.

More opportunities for investment outside the south

Although London often takes the limelight, Sorby says that the number of deals being done outside the south is continuing to increase. Scotland offers numerous opportunities for investment in sectors already covered by BOOST&Co, such as gaming, software, and food and drink, while the lender’s north-west base enables Sorby to fund companies not only in Manchester, but also in Liverpool, Newcastle, Sheffield and Leeds.

“We’re investing more and more in the north and Scotland. These are areas where we’ve done high-quality deals over the past 18 months, and the calibre of the advisory base in these regions is fantastic, too,” Sorby says. “The northern powerhouse is gaining a lot of traction in the media and also with the government, which will lead to increased focus, funding and support.”

Experienced deal-makers join Sorby’s team

Sorby is appointing three new principals to his team. One, based in Leeds, is due to start in April 2021, while two have already joined: Oliver Reece, who previously worked for Tosca Debt Capital, and Seth Vaughan, who has moved from Lloyds Bank. With more than 15 years’ experience in financial services, across origination, execution and coverage roles, Reece and Vaughan have strong track records of doing high-quality deals.

“Both were chosen based on the imperative to match the quality of the businesses in the north and Scotland with the quality of our people, and both come with real pedigree. It’s a big statement for us to be able to say that our team in the north is trebling not only in size, but also in quality,” Sorby says.

BOOST&Co’s team of investment managers and portfolio analysts, which supports offices in London, Manchester, Bristol and Cambridge, is also expanding, while experienced principals in Birmingham, Reading and Leeds are due to join soon.

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