Signature Private Finance has announced that CEO Tony Gilbertson and his senior management team, have successfully completed a £16.8m management buyout of the business, securing new investment from Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”), a leading independent private equity and infrastructure investment manager.

Established in 2012, Signature specialises in short-term property finance, supporting developers and landlords with funds to purchase, re-finance and re-furbish property across the UK, with a team of 12 professionals operating from offices in Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London.

The senior management team (pictured) of CEO Tony Gilbertson, Finance Director David Hughes and Sales Director Jon Preston, has been responsible for introducing new products and transforming the business, which recently achieved its £100m lending target.

Commenting on plans for the business following the MBO, Gilbertson said: “This new investment will accelerate our growth strategy, helping our development of new products that more broadly support the needs of our clients and targeting new locations in order to better serve our growing national customer base.

“The significant increase in deals we have delivered in the preceding months gave us confidence to take this step at a time when the market is beginning to surge now the election is over and the uncertainty about Brexit has faded.

“Our reputation for delivering what we say we will deliver to clients, when we say we will, is attracting a host of new enquiries and new clients on an almost daily basis, which bodes well for the business as we move forward with our new brand Signature Property Finance.

“We have refreshed our brand identity to reflect our determination to make the lending process simpler and more transparent. The new design and ‘unlocking the potential in property’ message sum up our approach to giving developers access to the funds they need.

“In addition to the standard bridge and refurbishment loans you’d expect from an alternative lender like Signature, we will shortly be expanding our product range to include a 3-year bridge and development finance, demonstrating we believe in doing what’s right for the client, not what’s easiest for the lender.

“We will continue to expand our ‘boots on the ground’ policy and open new offices to ensure every property hotspot is within easy reach of a professional lending team that understands the local market, ready to respond quickly to enquiries and shorten the lending process.

“Recruiting the very best property finance professionals, who care as much about building long-lasting, mutually beneficial client relationships as we do, will continue to be one of our key objectives in the months ahead.

“It is this pragmatic, client-centric approach that has brought Signature this far, so why would we change a winning formula? We’d also like to thank Cabot Square for the guidance and support they have provided the business over its first six years.”

James Livingston, Partner at Foresight, commented: “Signature is well-positioned to accelerate its strong growth with the additional support and capital that Foresight will bring. Tony and his management team have developed a successful alternative lender with a good corporate culture and we look forward to working with them to take Signature through the next stage of its growth.”

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