November 18, 2020
Zoom Calls, Solicitors and Completing Deals: A Day in the Life of Reparo Operations Director Sharon Bryden
Reparo’s success is down to the skills and experience of people like Sharon Bryden, our talented operations director. Sharon sits on the board of directors and credit committee; she plays a pivotal role in making sure everything runs smoothly.
We asked Sharon to keep a diary of her typical day, from complex decisions through to long runs and everything in between. Read on to see what Sharon’s day looks like and why you want her on your team if you’re trying to secure finance.
Over to Sharon…
06:30 Most days I head out for an early morning run. It’s much easier in the summer months but come rain or shine, light or dark, I always see the same runners and dog walkers. This little slice of certainty is an excellent way to start the day, because I know once I get started things are going to get a lot more unpredictable.
07:15 I get home and prepare for the day. Now my daughters are older, the mornings are a lot calmer! I use the time to have a coffee and breakfast and a quick look at the news.
08:00 By now I’m usually working through my emails and trying to get ahead of my workload. Today the inbox is refreshingly light, but one email stands out: we’re lending against a property that has several issues, so I can sense some long calls with solicitors are on the cards today. I also ensure I keep our business development manager, Dan, updated on what is happening so we can manage expectations with the client.
09:00 I take a call from one of our existing clients in need of further capital at short notice.
At Reparo, we pride ourselves on our relationships with clients and our responsiveness to their needs. When faced with an urgent cash flow issue there’s nothing worse for a client than waiting, so we always move fast to provide an answer. Even if we can’t help with finance we give that feedback quickly.
In this case, I’m pretty sure that we can help so I ask one of the team to take a look. I promise the client that I’ll call them back later today or first thing in the morning.
09:30 We have a full team catch up on Zoom. It’s a great way for us to keep in touch with each other and be kept in loop with everything that is happening. These Zoom calls have been invaluable during lockdown when we have all been working from home.
10:30 Jason, one of our relationship managers, wants to discuss a small working capital loan. On first look, it seems like we can help so I ask Jason to get a few more details on the loan purpose.
Often strong companies are either turned down by banks or left waiting weeks or months for an answer. If the proposition is sound we’re happy to provide short-term financing so the business can get started with their time-sensitive spending. We expect to see a lot of demand for this type of lending during Brexit.
12:00 My eldest daughter is at college, and due to COVID she is spending every other week at home so we try to take our lunch breaks together. We have a sandwich and a catch-up; it’s a good opportunity to talk about college and hear her views on the world.
13:00 After lunch, I read through a credit paper which needs turning around quickly. We discuss deals regularly and the credit committee is involved in the decision from start to finish—meaning there is less chance of last-minute issues stopping a deal going through.
We’re not constrained by rigid criteria. This means we can be flexible and look at the individual merits of each application. We adopt a positive, can-do attitude—we’re always looking for how we can make loans.
14:00 I spend an hour making phone calls and catching up on emails. As expected, I spend a lot of time liaising with solicitors and ensuring the necessary paperwork is in place to push a few deals through faster.
15:00 I have a Zoom call with our sales director Steve and our PR agency. We’re working on some research on how SMEs are accessing finance during the pandemic. I was blown away by how many survey respondents still need financial help… 85%!
16:30 Before signing off, I prepare everything I need for the next day. I like to leave each day knowing where I will start so I can hit the ground running.
I have a Teams meeting with Kelly, one of our relationship managers, about a few of our current borrowers; I’m interested to see how they’re coping with the second lockdown. As with the first lockdown, I’m really impressed with how the business community has just rolled its sleeves up and got on with it.
18:00 I prepare dinner, although my husband Richard often does a much better job of it—cooking is not my forte! I try to stick to recipes that are healthy and wholesome, like pasta or fish. With Richard not working from home during lockdown, I’m doing more cooking and am getting better… slowly!
To discuss a loan between £25,000 and £1m, get in touch with one of the team
07824 873 358
07805 737 324