05 Jul Newly launched Bergen Finance provides £29m of secured loans in first half year from a standing start
Secured lending newcomer Bergen Finance has lent more than £29m in its first six months of trading, with a further £40m in legal diligence. Bergen, which is headquartered in London and has offices in Leeds and Manchester, provides real estate-backed loans to a diverse range of corporate borrowers and has already completed loans in all four regions of the UK.
The business is backed by leading European investor and alternative asset manager Arrow Global which has over €70bn of asset servicing AUM. Bergen Finance was established in December 2021 to fill a gap in the market for short-term real estate lends of between £500k and £50m. The company provides loans for UK businesses, secured on land and property, which may not fit the strict criteria of traditional high street lenders, but are seeking growth and acquisition opportunities or require finance for short-term cash flow.
Headed by industry veteran Andrew Ward as managing director and director Adrian Hogan, in the first six months of the year, the new lender successfully completed ten secured lending deals. During the period, Bergen Finance has supported SMEs nationwide including companies located in Wales, Scotland, N. Ireland as well as throughout England, working across diverse industries from the care sector, to distribution, specialist property services and engineering.
“Having worked in commercial lending for over 25 years, I was well aware of the need for flexible secured lending to viable businesses which needed larger sums, particularly above the £2m mark,” said Ward. “The early traction we have is evidence that there was space in the market for an agile partner able to deploy large amounts of capital while retaining the flexibility of an independent lender, in non-standard lending situations, with the benefit of being able to make swift decisions and provide funds very quickly.
“We are looking at all opportunities on their own merits throughout the UK and Ireland, across all sectors and situations. This approach is already proving popular – during our phenomenal first half year, we have already completed deals in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and we are currently working on a loan in the Republic of Ireland. Looking forward, we already have an additional £40m of facilities, over eight transactions, approved and going through the due diligence and legal stages.”
Hogan adds: “We are in the fortunate position of having significant funds behind us and our target is for Bergen to invest more than £100m in its first year, with further amounts available from group resources. What differentiates us is not only the quantum of loan we can provide, but also the fact that we are responsive and able to operate without the rigid mandate restraints of an outside funder, enabling us to look at less mainstream businesses and provide a more bespoke service.”