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Invoice financier opens its first Welsh office.

Byline: By SION BARRY Western Mail

Invoice financier Venture Finance has opened its first office in Wales. The new operation, based in Cardiff, is being headed by its regional director for Wales and the west of England Kelvin Thomas.

Mr Thomas said, 'The arrival of Venture in Wales is the result of growing demand for our service, which has previously only been available in England.

'We are targeting a wide range of companies from embryonic new businesses, to medium-sized companies with complex financial requirements, who operate within a variety of industry sectors.

'We will also work with other lenders where appropriate to support larger finance deals.'

In addition to building Venture's brand and portfolio in Wales, Mr Thomas, formerly of RDM Factors and EuroFactor in Wales, will manage and develop the company's West of England team.

'We have an excellent client focused team throughout the region and a strong track record of developing and retaining the best people,' he said. 'I will be looking to enhance the team as our portfolio in the region grows.

'Initially, I would hope to attract new recruits through Venture's graduate training scheme.

'With some of the UK's finest academic institutions here in Wales, finding the best people shouldn't prove too difficult.'

Invoice finance, which releases the value of unpaid invoices for immediate use, is growing in popularity across the UK.

Figures released by the Factoring and Discounting Association (FDA) for quarter one 2005 reveal that the industry advanced over pounds 10bn in funds to over 40,000 companies.

Unlike traditional sources of funding, invoice finance provides access to money tied up in invoices as soon as they are generated. This helps to combat the problem of late payment, as well as providing respite for companies at the mercy of unfavourable credit terms.

Recent research from the FDA shows that cash flow management and bad debt are the source of sleepless nights for almost a third of company directors.

According to the European Payment Index Report Spring 2005, the average number of debtor days in the UK stands at 51.4, even though most companies trade with 30-day payment terms.

However, this does compare favourably to an average of 58.7 in France, Belgium and the Netherlands and around 60 days in the US.

While both factoring and invoice discounting are relatively well-recognised constituents of the financing menu, asset-based lending (ABL) is a fairly recent development

ABL allows businesses to use the value of assets, such as stock, machinery, property or invoices, to raise funds for strategic business transactions.

Invoice finance can even be used to assist businesses in turnaround situations.

These can range from management buyouts and acquisitions to management buy-ins and MBIs to acquisitions. Data from the FDA shows that the value of the ABL industry alone has risen from pounds 2bn per annum in 1993 to pounds 6bn in 2004.

Venture Finance has been a key player in the invoice finance industry for 16 years.

Healthy organic growth has supported the development of a national network and the financier now has offices across the UK.

Established in 1989, Venture Finance is part of the IFN Group of working capital specialists, itself part of the ABN Amro Bank.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 13, 2005
Words:535
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