A very Happy New Year to you all and I trust that you have enjoyed a great festive period with family and friends. In an ever-increasing fast paced world that we live in, down time is an essential component for a business owner and entrepreneur, so I hope you have made the most of this time, I know I have.
I write to you at the start of my fifth year as Chair of the NACFB and at a point where I believe the Association has never been in better shape; benefiting from the support of a record number of Members and Patrons. Our industry leading events, such as the Commercial Finance Expo and Gala Dinner, both enjoyed record attendances also. A similar pattern that is reflected across our regional events programme also.
Of course, this is only part of our story of successes. Later this month, we have the launch of our new-look magazine, designed and tailored to support our Members with industry specific thought leadership and articles. 2019 will also see an overhaul of our main website and FindSMEfinance lead generation platform – both of which will be supported behind the scenes by new back office systems. These initiatives have been designed to support your businesses so that you can assist more SMEs through potentially turbulent times.
This doesn’t mean we can rest on our laurels, not at all. I will be welcoming three new Member, two Patron and one external Board Directors later this month to your Advisory Board. I look forward to embracing their energy and enthusiasm to continue to build on the great foundations that are in place to deliver value and support to all our members.
We continue to welcome selective new Patrons to our Association, whilst ensuring that we enrich and enhance our existing Patron relationships. Collaboration between our Members and Patrons is always high on the Association’s agenda, to ensure that our Patrons continue to provide the depth and breadth of funding we all need for our clients.
I will be delivering my vision for my last two years as Chairperson to our new Board later this month. With their support and the support of our Executive and head office team, I look forward to delivering more value to you, our Members. Ensuring that we are ahead of the compliance curve, embracing the elements of technology best suited for brokers to remain effective in a world filling with disruptive technology. Finally, I will seek to ensure that we as brokers have all the tools and support in our kitbags to further our businesses as individuals and as a collective force.
As a membership organisation, I would implore you to attend as many events as you can. Your voice is important to us, we do listen, and our door is always open to listen to feedback, both good and bad.
Looking forward into 2019, we clearly have choppy waters ahead given Brexit or whatever it ends up being on March 29th. We seem to have been in a world of uncertainly forever now and with the pace of change showing no signs of slowing, we are ever more required to shine brightly as the place to come to for UK SMEs to secure funding. We have the Members to be able to guide businesses through these uncertain times, and by maintaining our high standards, we will remain the kitemark of excellence within the finance industry.
I wish you all a successful 2019 and beyond.
Chair of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers