Financing venture

Tie-up with Texan lender targets Scottish SMEs

New team: Michelle Carroll, Kirsty Neely, Andy Tait, Joanna Cashmore and Allan Dempsie

Entrepreneur Andy Tait is teaming up with Texas-based Sallyport Commercial Finance to launch a commercial lender in Scotland aimed at small businesses.

The Scottish arm of Sallyport Commercial Finance will be based on St Vincent Place in Glasgow and will target companies turning over up to £10 million.

Mr Tait launched the Scottish arm of Bibby Financial Services in 1999 and built the company to become the largest independent invoice finance provider in Scotland.

Most recently, he served as chief executive at GreenAcres Cemeteries & Ceremonial Parks, having led a private equity-backed management buyout.

Mr Tait is launching his new venture with fellow directors Joanna Cashmore and Kirsty Neely – who join from Bibby and Sonovate respectively – along with senior executives Allan Dempsie and Michelle Carroll.

Mr Tait said: “Having built businesses in Scotland and other parts of the UK, I understand the pressure that the owners of small companies are feeling.”

Sallyport Commercial Finance’s North American arm is led by Nick Hart and Emma Hart. Mr Hart served as managing director of Bibby Financial Services California, having previously been managing director of Bibby Factors Yorkshire and Bibby Factors North East. 

Mr Tait added: “Having worked with Nick and Emma in the past, we are all very excited to launch Sallyport Commercial Finance in the UK with an investor who really understands the sector and the challenges facing small businesses today.

“Sallyport Commercial Finance already has a strong reputation in North America for helping small and medium sized businesses and their owners become successful and I’m proud to bring the brand into Scotland.”

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