I enjoy working for Close Brothers and I think this is due to two key things; the people and the opportunities to develop. I am fortunate to work with people who are not only great at what they do but also really supportive of each other, which makes it a great environment to work in. It’s a dynamic business, with lots going on which means there have been lots of opportunities for me to develop new skills and enhance my career.
I currently work as a Project Manager within Close Brothers Premium Finance, where I am responsible for the delivery of key projects within an agreed timeframe and budget but most importantly ensuring that the project meets the needs of our customers and the business. I am lucky in my role that I am able to work with people from all around the business. It’s an exciting place to work, every day is different.
During the 9 years I have worked for Close Brothers I have been fortunate to work in a variety of roles which has given me the chance to develop many new skills and develop a wide network of colleagues. There are also good opportunities for personal development and training, I have just finished an ILM leadership programme, which has been a fantastic experience both challenging but equally rewarding.
I joined Close Brothers in March 1990 as a Marketing Assistant and quickly moved into IT working on a systems replacement project. I re-located with the Banking Division in 1994 from Great St Helens to Appold St and then again to Tolworth in 1999.
I was appointed Head of Infrastructure for Premium Finance in 2004 and was heavily involved in various strategic projects, most notably two large and complex IT integration exercises following corporate acquisitions. In 2011 I was promoted to Head of Infrastructure and Operations for Bank IT and have subsequently been moved onto my current role which is Head of Service Operations for the Bank, within the IT Shared Services team.
Throughout my career at Close Brothers I feel I have been given opportunities to grow and develop, either through new internal roles and promotions or internal and external training, learning and development programmes.
I joined Close Brothers in 2010 as a strategic analyst in the Banking Division. This role allowed me to work closely with a wide range of stakeholders, from Finance and Regulatory teams to Investor Relations and the Executive Committee. It gave me a solid understanding of the Bank and its strong business model. I was always keen to broaden my experience beyond my accounting background and have since held a number of other roles across the Group, most recently supporting sales and marketing within the Property Finance business. I am now a Senior Credit Risk Manager with oversight of the Premium, Motor and Retail Finance portfolios.
Close Brothers has supported me throughout this career development, always encouraging my enthusiasm for learning and new challenges. It combines the professionalism you would expect of a FTSE 250 business with the entrepreneurial spirit of a smaller organisation, giving employees significant responsibility and independence. I think our description as a Modern Merchant Bank is very apt – whilst we uphold our traditional lending values, the Group recognises the importance of personal development and mobility, including the promotion of women into senior roles. I cannot recommend it more highly as a place to work.
I have been with Close Brothers for 13 years, starting in the cash team of a small business that was bought by Close Brothers. Since then, I moved in to Client Management. I started in a junior Client Management role before progressing up the ranks, and have been in my current role as a full Client Manager for seven years.
There are certainly opportunities for those who want to grow and progress. I manage a portfolio of clients in various sectors – client sizes range from £300k to £5 million. I monitor the lending, review the businesses, make recommendations to the Bank for changes to the lending structures, monitor and review client’s financial performance, monitor trends and statistics, while also keeping an eye out for any issues. The variety of our client base is vast, from recruitment companies to haulage companies and engineering businesses.
I enjoy working for Close Brothers because it feels like one big family. There are about 20 of us in the Client Services Team with a mixture of ability and experience. It’s a vibrant atmosphere and everyone is friendly and helpful. I enjoy the challenge and variety of the role, no two days are the same.
I joined Close Brothers in September 2012 as a new Business Co-ordinator, and was subsequently promoted to Senior Operations Manager in December 2013. As a Senior Operations Manager I look after the core operations of Leasing, managing our systems, operational efficiency/service, and the people in the operations team. I enjoy doing the role as every day is different, and it is great seeing people develop and progress in the business.
Close Brothers are a very entrepreneurial business, where you are encouraged to put ideas forward. Senior Management are very visible within the company, and you really get the sense that you are an important part of the successful running of the business, rather than just feeling like another cog in the machine.
We have a very diverse portfolio of customers and deal types, where every deal is different and challenging, and you’re always learning new things. Close Brothers is a very engaging and friendly environment to work in with lots of opportunities for formal training and development.