Why are we investing in Asset Finance talent for the future

16th November 2021

Employers in the UK from across sectors are gearing up to increase their workforce with 80% of firms planning to hire over the next 12 months. Expanding business lenders are no different as we look to capitalise on growth to provide more support to SMEs.

Investing in the development of our asset finance teams is the key to the future of the sector as it continues to play a key role in supporting businesses as we emerge from the pandemic. There are skills shortages that must be filled across operations, underwriting, origination and sales.

As asset finance is perhaps a more niche area of finance than say retail or investment banking, a more considered approach is needed which is based on the foundations of culture, knowledge, and development.

At White Oak we know we need to go further to attract and keep talent in asset finance roles and have worked hard to establish an environment which fosters positive collaboration, enables shared expertise and ultimately motivates people to reach their potential

Building a positive culture

It starts with culture. Delivering asset finance solutions often means collaborating with different partners both internally and externally while working to challenging deadlines. This means that it is vital that we instil a positive and people-focused culture so that everyone from origination to underwriting is committed to a common goal.

Over the course of the pandemic this has been much more difficult to achieve with remote working replacing the norm of the face-to- face office environment. This makes it even more important for leaders in asset finance to bring people together and give them the support they need to boost their careers. At Whit Oak, we have just invested in a brand new headquarters and the return to work has very much been focused on bringing people together again. We have a team of committed consultants with in-depth sector expertise, and we instil an ethos across the business that encourages sharing knowledge to deliver the best asset finance solutions for our clients.

We are actively recruiting with a focus on asset finance, and it is important to use that all new employees can soak up as much “know how” as possible

Investing in knowledge

A career in asset finance comes with a host of training that is a regulatory requirement but, by going on step further and inspiring people to develop a broader skill set, a firm can set themselves apart as an employer. Investing in personal development is high on the White Oak agenda as we see the long-term benefit in developing our people.

There is a host of external training that ambitious White Oak employees are encouraged to get involved in. These include generalist courses at the Finance & Leasing Association and the Asset Finance Diploma at the London Institute of Banking & Finance. There are also more specialist options such as the AFS Academy course.

Internal coaching is also key, and we have put structures in place through which knowledge is shared and everyone can develop their asset finance careers. Mentorship is key at White Oak; we have individuals who have been in the company for decades and have a wealth of knowledge that is fed through to the more junior members of the team who are keen to learn.

Giving people the opportunities to learn a range of skills from credit analysis through to business development will create a team of well-rounded professionals that are excited about working and ultimately deliver value for the long-term. This is what we are committed to building and nurturing at White Oak.

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