"We are optimistic of reaching our target because our sector is buoyant and our business is growing. We have also stepped up our efforts to really spread the word about alternative finance. "
Peter Dobson, managing director of PMD
Over the last seven years, Oldham-based PMD has grown from employing eight staff to 21, and managing director Peter Dobson has revealed plans to provide finance totalling £100million to SMEs over the next 12 months.
Peter said: “We currently advance £75million per year to SMEs and we’re aiming to reach £100million over the course of the next year. We’re optimistic of reaching that target because our sector is buoyant and our business is growing, we’re recruiting more staff all the time. We’ve also stepped up our efforts to really spread the word about alternative finance and the different options that are available for SMEs.”
Bolton man Peter left school at 16 and decided against the university route, opting instead to pursue a career in finance. He started his first job with NatWest on his 16th birthday, before going on to become the managing director of Admiral Leasing for 16 years.
Peter said: “At school, the careers teacher would tell you it was either engineering or banking. I went into asset finance when I was 21 and became the MD of Admiral Leasing for 16 years, overseeing its successful sale in 2006. I worked for the new company for three years before forming PMD. I’d ran someone else’s business for 16 years and realised I wanted control over my own destiny, that was when I saw an opportunity to start PMD. It began with eight employees, we’ve grown to 21 now and we’re looking for more people to join our team.
“We’re marking our seventh anniversary this month and, it may sound cheesy, but PMD’s success is absolutely down to our staff. Every single member of our team is ambitious and dynamic. It’s a predominantly young team, with a great blend of different characters. There’s nobody here who gets carried or is dragging their feet, and we’ve taken care to instil this during our interview process to make sure everyone has the same ethos and work ethic. Our biggest asset is definitely our people.”
The firm’s young workforce is demonstrated by its heads of department, Lee Schofield and Tom Brown, who are both 31. Lee is also a director of the firm and Tom is earmarked to be made a director in the next 12 months. Tom was recruited with business development director, Richard Fothergill, to set up the direct finance offering. While Lee’s focus is developing relationships with suppliers of equipment, machinery and commercial vehicles and providing their clients with finance.
Peter said: “Tom and Lee are both young, dynamic, forward-thinking guys who have steered the company in its growth. Since they joined, we’ve added direct finance to our portfolio and we also recently underwent a rebrand to better reflect our offering.”
Tom said: “Our aim at PMD is to communicate that there are a number of different finance options available that aren’t restrictive – businesses don’t just have to look towards the banks for financing anymore. We work for the customer and everything we do is moulded to the benefit of the customer. Over the years, we’ve found that businesses want to pick up the phone and speak to someone they trust. We pride ourselves on providing that personal, human touch and we work with a diverse range of clients, who might be looking for finance from £2,000 to £20million.”
Tom added: “Alternative finance is having a huge impact on SMEs. It enables them to grow and to grab opportunities because they are able to access money faster. For example, in some cases businesses have received the money they needed in 24/48 hours, which has meant they’ve been able to jump on an opportunity straight away without having to wait for weeks. It means growth is more realistic and they can expand quicker – it’s really important to support SMEs because they create jobs and help the economy flourish.”