Recognise bolsters presence in the North West

Recognise hires three new Business Development Managers in the region to support local SMEs with their lending needs

Recognise Bank is reinforcing its presence in the North West with the appointment of three new Business Development Managers in the region. The move cements the importance of the North to the SME lender, which only opened its doors to business in November, but has already received more than £500 million worth of loan enquiries.

Chris Stevens joins Recognise from Acre Lane Capital and is a specialist in bridging finance, bringing with him over two decades of experience with lenders including RBS and Revverbank. Chris will focus on Manchester, along with fellow new Business Development Manager, Michael Doxford, who joins from Aldermore Bank, having started his career in finance at Manchester Building Society.

Jonathan Kirk completes the line-up of new Business Development Managers, joining from Assetz Capital, having previously worked at Aldermore Bank and Lloyds Bank. Jonathan is a commercial mortgage specialist and will focus on Yorkshire, where he will support SMEs looking to acquire their own premises and property investors.

Recognise has a network of regional hubs across the UK, created to bring the personal relationships back to SME banking that have disappeared in recent years as mainstream banks centralise their operations. With an office in Manchester, Recognise believes the North West will be at the forefront as the UK opens up after the pandemic, with smaller businesses helping to regrow the economy.

Speaking about the new appointments, James Meigh, Regional Director, North West and Yorkshire, for Recognise, said: “The North West is a thriving business community, full of ambitious businesses that just need the right advice and support to help them grow.

“It’s a region Chris, Michael and Jonathan know well – it’s their home – so I am delighted to have them onboard, doing what they do best, which is working with great brokers and SMEs.”

Commenting on his new role with Recognise, bridging specialist Chris Stevens said: “SMEs need trusted support, fast decisions and quick access to funding. The reason I’ve joined Recognise is because it’s built its entire proposition to provide that, combining personal relationships with cutting-edge technology to ensure speed of delivery.”

Michael Doxford said: “I’m delighted to be joining Recognise. I’ve been watching its progress since it started, so to be a part of that journey, especially here in the North West, is a great opportunity.”

Jonathan Kirk outlined how borrowers need the support Recognise offers. He said: “It’s a perfect time to join Recognise because it understands the marketplace and the needs of SMEs. The property market is buoyant, so that means people need to act quickly when they see a property they want, whether it’s an SME expanding or buying new premises, or an investor adding to their portfolio.”

The North West appointments follow the recent announcement of three new Business Development Managers for Recognise covering London and the Midlands as the bank builds out its team.

Recognise provides lending to the UK’s SME sector including Commercial Mortgages, Bridging Loans, Private Practice Loans and Working Capital Loans with Professional Buy-To-Let Mortgages to follow soon. In addition to its hub in Manchester, the bank has offices in London, Birmingham and Leeds. The network of Business Development Managers is backed up by the latest cloud-based technology to provide quick lending decisions and fast access to funds.

The bank aims to provide more than £1.5 billion of business lending over the next five years, with plans to also launch both business and personal savings accounts later this year.