Mark Johnson joins Credit4 as Chief Operating Officer

November 18, 2015 by Credit4

Mark Johnson joins Credit4 as Chief Operating Officer

I think it’s beyond dispute that the last three decades have ranked among the most challenging years ever for business lending. During this period, which encompasses my career, the industry has been forced to adapt to the radical changes in the financial landscape brought about by the banking crisis and the new laws and regulations that have followed in its wake.

My first exposure to so-called ‘Alternative Finance’ was at Commercial First Mortgages, a company that offered mortgages to SMEs which found it difficult to secure High Street funding (even in the good times) because they did not fit the standard banking criteria. It was here that I learnt to ‘think outside the box’, where innovation was essential and product development was ongoing to accommodate the needs of the customer base. It was a steep, but worthwhile, learning curve.

I subsequently moved to Clifton Asset Management, a company that has been working in the SME sector for over 20 years. The company’s particular innovation was to utilise Intellectual Property (an intangible) as an asset through which to secure funding. This was, and probably remains today, very unusual.

The more recent period of 2010-13 saw the emergence of many new alternative finance products, including the arrival on the scene of numerous P2P lending platforms.

My arrival at Credit4 followed an eighteen month period when I had worked closely with the company, providing me with a very good grounding in both the company’s products and target market. I found it exciting that here was a funder who genuinely wanted to support growing businesses with innovative products. Together with bespoke underwriting, I have to say it was also refreshing to have the chance to work in a company where customers were able to present their business plan to a real, live human being!

Credit4 sits in a space in the market that does have other occupants. They are competitors, but each has its USP and we all know each other very well. There is room for everyone.

Credit4 has developed a marketing strategy that will put the company in a position to offer an expanded range of products to many more SMEs which will, in turn, enable them to grow their businesses to the next level.

My move to Credit4 was not taken lightly nor was it in haste. I made sure that it was the place for me and now, having worked with some of the people more closely, I am more convinced than ever that this is the job for me – onwards and upwards!

Connect with Mark on LinkedIn