Alternative finance business gets thumbs up from the regulator

Peter black alternative finance

North West entrepreneur, Alwin Thompson and former senior banker, Peter Black have announced the launch of an alternative finance advisory business, Snowball Alternative Finance, having secured Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approval for the new business.

Based in Cheshire, Snowball Alternative Finance will assist SMEs looking to fund growth of their businesses. The company is fully independent with access to over 300 funders in the marketplace.
The pair bring a broad range of business and finance expertise. Thompson, who currently holds a number of non-exec roles with North West based businesses, is best known for his role as founder of Inter Link Foods Plc, a business he formed in 1994 and from which he retired in 2007 when the company had a turnover of £130m.

During his time with Inter Link the company was named AIM company of the year and MEN Business of the Year.
Black has over 23 years’ experience in the SME, corporate and large corporate arenas and has worked for three major banking institutions. During his career, Black has negotiated and/or underwritten in excess of £1.5bn in lending facilities to UK businesses.

After leaving the banking sector, he set up a consultancy business, advising SMEs and corporates on their strategic, business planning and funding needs. This has involved working with established businesses of all types and industries, across the full spectrum of funding solutions.

According to research published by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) at the university’s Judge Business School, Britain’s alternative finance market grew by 43 per cent in 2016.
Speaking about the launch, Black said,

“There is a huge amount of interest from SMEs and property developers/investors across a wide range of alternative finance options, including debt and equity crowdfunding, asset based lending and growth funds.
“At a time when the banks have lost their appetite for lending, there are many strong businesses looking to grow, but they need funding to achieve it.
“Although alternative finance is becoming far more mainstream, there is still a lack of awareness of the many exciting options that are available and that is where we come in with a blend of finance, banking and business expertise.”
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