GM BUSINESS connect
Building a stronger Exactly two years ago GM Business Connect visited Together which had just gone through a major rebrand.
Unifying the group’s separately branded products under a new single identity, the business had impressive plans to affirm its place as a serious challenger to the mainstream lenders in the fast-moving marketplace of specialist finance.
Pre-tax profits at the time of the brand launch were an impressive £70 million, with a loan book in excess of £1.4 billion. However, two years on and pre-tax profits are currently £117 million with a loan book topping £2.24 billion. Growth in the business has been exceptional, with staff levels increasing from 350 in 2015 to almost 600 currently. The group has even purchased the building next door at its impressive Cheadle Royal headquarters. The new brand has worked well for the organisation, and further fine tuning in the marketing message has seen ‘common sense lending’ introduced to further emphasise Together’s uniquely personal approach to defining its business model. We caught up with Pete Ball, Personal Finance CEO and Marc Goldberg, Commercial CEO, for a chat about the incredible success enjoyed by the group recently: Together has just announced a record year – clearly things are going well. What are the key drivers of this success? Pete: “It’s a really exciting time for Together and our strong financial performance is a testament to
that. In the past 12 months we’ve expanded our nationwide presence and enhanced our product range to ensure we can help even more customers access the finance they need, and with a loan book of over £2.24 billion, and further growth anticipated, we’re pleased to see the results this is yielding. “We’ve also invested heavily in our infrastructure to support our ambitious plans, and a lot of new people have joined the business, so there are close to 600 colleagues now. Many of these have been with Together for years and boast extensive knowledge of the
L-R Marc Goldberg, Commercial CEO and Pete Ball, Personal Finance CEO
business, but we’ve also brought in some great new people, with broad industry knowledge and long-term experience in the sector, which is paying dividends for what we can offer.
the same brand, we can merge our marketing and present a single identity, where everybody has more clarity and our customers know who they are borrowing from. It’s much better now for customer services and that’s made a big difference.
“Finally, it’s increasingly our common sense approach to lending that is standing out. Our approach is different to what high street banks do and so more and more customers are coming to us, for a whole variety of reasons.”
“I’d say that unifying the group has really been the turning point for our business since 2015 – hence our current results.”
How much has unifying the group under one brand helped to drive this growth? Marc: “It has made a massive difference. We’ve taken a business which has been 43 years in existence – that was previously made up of many different companies that had all been successful in their own fields – and brought them under one brand. That now allows our partners and brokers to clearly see our product offering and recognise the size and scale of what we can offer. “It’s also helped consumers to recognise us as Together, as now that all our products are under
You announced earlier this year that you had acquired the neighbouring building – is that a sign of your intention to continue to expand? Pete: “Absolutely. One of the strengths of Together’s success is putting the foundations in place for growth. Having