Two new joiners strengthen team at SWIG as demand for finance increases

August 4, 2020

Regional alternative finance lender South West Investment Group (SWIG) has made two appointments to its growing team while also saying farewell to Brian Steer, one of its longest-standing employees, who has retired.

Nicki Kimberley has joined as start-up loans officer, a role that involves supporting applicants to the Start Up Loans scheme and helping them secure the finance they need to get going. 

Nicki, pictured, has 12 years’ experience in financial services, most recently as a business specialist with HSBC, where she worked with start-up and growth businesses turning over less than £2m to help them achieve their financial goals.

Mike Wall returns to SWIG, where he was business manager until last year, to succeed Brian Steer in the role of portfolio manager.

Mike is a former commercial lending manager, with well over 30 years’ experience throughout all aspects of frontline banking, primarily with Barclays.

Brian Steer’s retirement after 14 years at SWIG follows a particularly challenging time due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Brian has played a pivotal role in supporting SWIG’s customers and overseeing the stability of its loan book over the past few months.

Brian, pictured, began his career as a trainee at the Midland Bank (now HSBC) in Okehampton in 1973 and worked his way through the ranks to become branch and commercial manager for Teignmouth, Dawlish and Newton Abbot before joining SWIG as business manager in 2006.

SWIG has tripled in size since Brian became portfolio manager in 2010 and has developed into the region’s leading Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI). 

SWIG managing director John Peters said: “Nicki’s appointment comes at a time when there is a growing demand for start-up finance.

“I am so pleased she has been able to join us, having known her for some time when she was at HSBC. I’m sure she will make a huge contribution to the ongoing success of our start-ups team and help us to meet and exceed customers’ expectations.

“We’re delighted to welcome Mike back. Mike is a very popular team member and his extensive credit management experience and local knowledge will be invaluable to us as we continue to serve the South West SME market to the best of our ability in these challenging times.

“I’d like to thank Brian for his hard work over the years. He is a valued team member who will be missed by all at SWIG”.

SWIG provides loans from £500 to £250,000 to South West start-ups and SMEs that cannot access sufficient support from their bank.

It is an accredited delivery partner for the British Business Bank’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Start Up Loans Company.

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