Kingsway celebrates 25 years of funding SMEs
This week marks the 25th anniversary of Kingsway Finance funding UK SMEs.
Established by Adrian Anthon originally as a leasing brokerage business in 1995, Kingsway Finance and Leasing became an independent SME funder, following investment from Martin Harrison, in September 1997.
Since then, the company has gone from strength to strength and is one of the country’s longest-running asset finance and lease providers. Over the years, the product range has expanded from the initial soft asset hire purchase and leasing facilities to include commercial and professional loan funding in 2010, Kingsway was also accredited in 2020 and 2021 (respectively) by the British Business Bank to offer government-backed CBILS and RLS term loans.
Funding lines have significantly increased too. From Kingsway’s first modest revolving credit facility to now having multiple options available, bolstered by the company’s acquisition towards the end of 2018 by the Praetura Group and the Praetura Asset Finance Group’s securitisation from NatWest Markets, which was increased from £75m to £100m in the first quarter of 2022.
From humble beginnings in a one room serviced office with one member of staff, the company has grown to now occupying a 3,500 square foot suite across the top floor of Barons Court in Wilmslow with a team over twenty strong. The office reopened following significant refurbishments in spring this year, following their rebranding to Kingsway Finance in October 2021.
2021 was a record year for Kingsway Finance and the Praetura Group as a whole, posting their highest ever lending levels. That vein has continued into 2022, with Kingsway ending the first half of 2022 with their most successful quarter ever: providing more funding to SMEs than in any other quarter in their history, a 12% increase in funding levels compared to the previous record quarter (Q4 2021).
Kingsway Finance make up one fifth of the companies in Praetura Group’s Lending Division alongside Praetura Asset Finance, Praetura Commercial Finance, Praetura Invoice Finance and Zodeq. Together with the Group’s equity investment arm, Praetura Ventures, the Praetura Group has invested or lent over £650m to SMEs across a broad range of sectors since 2011.
Mike Day, sales director at Kingsway Finance, said: “We’ve faced our share of challenges over the years, but celebrated many successes too. Adrian’s unwavering support has enabled and enhanced our progression and everybody’s proud of the company we have grown to be and the relationships we have fostered over the past 25 years. We are already looking forward to being a part of the next chapter and the next 25 years, with plans for the future being both exciting and ambitious.”
Paul Bradbury, commercial director at Kingsway Finance, said: “I am immeasurably proud of Kingsway Finance as a business and the excellent team of people that work here. The fact that we are in a position to celebrate our 25th anniversary as a SME funder is testament to our people and the family ethos the company was founded on. The brokers that we work in partnership with, and their SME clients will always be our first consideration and our team will always be on hand to help in whatever way they can, as they have always been.”