Broker interview: Rob Kelly, ABL Partners Ltd

January 27, 2021
Broker interview: Rob Kelly, ABL Partners Ltd

Rob Kelly of ABL Partners talks to Satago about the secret to his success, the challenges he anticipates in the 2021 financial landscape and what he looks for in an invoice finance provider.

Tell me a bit about who you are, your business and your background

Having worked in the banking and commercial financial services industry for over 30 years, I decided in 2020 to set up ABL Partners Ltd to assist UK SME’s in finding the correct commercial finance solution. Due to the ever-changing and challenging world we now live in there are so many choices available, from Government assisted loans to independent asset based lending facilities, so making the correct choice is vital.

What’s the secret to your success?

In the last 30 years I’ve worked and lent money through a variety of lenders and companies including high street banks, international banks, trade finance houses, independent finance companies and even peer2peer fintechs. With this experience, I can really make sure that each client is obtaining and using the correct commercial finance facility for their specific business.

What are your views on the government support schemes and where do you see the business finance landscape moving as we move through 2021?

The support given by the UK Government to date has been amazing but I do think that business owners now need to start planning “post” government assistance. These loans will need repaying and although initially they are interest free the repayments could be crippling, so new structured lending facilities are vital.

What are the biggest challenges you see for business owners given the continuing Covid crisis and what advice would you offer them in regards to finance?

Cash is king – that saying has never been truer. Businesses need to make sure that they have access to cash and after government assistance the easiest way to generate cash is to release it against assets on their balance sheet (invoices, stock, plant & machinery etc).

What challenges do you anticipate in the business finance market in the coming months and what products will be the most important?

Business owners need to start planning now (even though we’re in a lockdown) for life post pandemic. Flexible facilities will be key in 2021/22, as businesses need to make sure they don't run out of cash.

What are the most important characteristics you look for in an invoice finance provider?

Simplicity for the client – deep down invoice finance is funding a bit of paper (an invoice) and the facility should be under-written against the strength and enforceability of the invoice.    

What do you like about Satago?

The fact that Satago look at facilities against the strength of the invoices and offer this on a selective basis is so refreshing.

When you’re not helping businesses out with their finance, how do you like to spend your free time?

I play golf (when not in lockdown) and from the 1st April 2021 I’ll be Club Captain at Cainhoe Wood Golf Club, Bedfordshire. Having a working Lab and Jack Russell has meant that I’ve kept to my one hours exercise during lockdown.