The second NAFCB Patrons Day took place in London on the 26th September. Following on from last week’s Members Day representatives from 50 NACFB Lenders joined chief executive Graham Toy, managing director Norman Chambers and members of the NACFB board at a forum designed to outline the Association’s progress and look ahead to future development.
The opening words of Chairman Paul Goodman outlined that such days are part of a journey the NACFB is taking in efforts to become “more transparent, inclusive and engaged”. This is a journey that the Association wants to take hand in hand with Members and Lenders alike, and the ideas and feedback received will help shape, steer and structure positive future changes.
Graham Toy used the forum as a platform to discuss key issues face-to-face, and in the Association’s 25th year, roadmap a plan for future growth with the support and understanding of the Lenders our Member brokers engage with.
Patrons collectively recognised the positive changes the NACFB has made in the last 18-months and looked forward to seeing a continuation on the same trajectory. As with the Members Day feedback the week before, Patrons also expressed their desire to have greater clarity of communication from the NACFB and more distinctly tailored messages to each sector.
Engagement was the word on everyone’s lips, and Graham was eager to relay that improving engagement levels across all channels is top of his priority list. This will take consistent effort on the part of Association to deliver ongoing value and communicate more clearly the mission statement of the NACFB.
The open and frank discourse between the head office team, NACFB board and Patrons offered some lively debate and constructive feedback. When asked what Patrons viewed as a priority for the NACFB it was clear that compliance matters are very much on high on the agenda. Whilst Patrons conduct their own due diligence checks with the brokers they engage with there were further calls for the NACFB to encourage all its Members to be fully compliant ahead of upcoming regulatory changes.
Following roundtable discussions Patrons fed back to the room that there is still demand for more brokers and greater broker education. Educating brokers more thoroughly on the full spectrum of available Lenders and their products, as well as risk appetite awareness is an area where Patrons feel the NACFB can improve. The commercial finance sector is changing rapidly whilst attracting new talent, it was suggested that the benefits of becoming a broker as a career option should also fall with the NACFB’s remit.
“We view the NACFB as an Association built by members for members” offered one Patron echoing the same sentiments from last week’s broker session. But there are key areas where the NACFB can improve; namely in the variety of sponsorship opportunities available, the strategic use of survey data, and enhancing the visibility of the Association across the UK – further decentralising from London.
Vice-Chairman Adrian Coles spoke of the Association’s internal governance structure review. Adrian spoke of an ongoing process and the bid to gain a better grasp of what Patrons want to see from the Association in the future, as well as how board restructuring can benefit an NACFB that is growing in both scale and complexity. An area that was met with enthusiasm was the notion of having greater board diversity, one suggestion put forward by Patrons was to “taper in” specialist board members, creating an opportunity for legal and Patron board representation in the future.
This was only the second Patrons Day in 2017 but similar opportunities will form part of the NACFB’s events calendar in 2018. How can the NACFB work better to help our Patrons? Were you unable to attend and feel like offering your own perspective? Get in touch, the NACFB is not just receptive to feedback on Members and Patrons days – you can reach us any time by contacting any member of our team via phone or email.