Reward makes key promotions to restructure its client relationship operations across the UK

Photograph: (Left to Right) Chris Ibbetson and Paula Jones

Leading SME funding provider Reward Finance Group has restructured its client relationship operations across its key UK regional divisions, by promoting Chris Ibbetson and Paula Jones to head them up.

With Reward providing tailored business finance loans and asset based solutions to SMEs across the UK, Chris and Paula will now lead the client relationship teams, with Chris overseeing Yorkshire, London and Scotland. Paula will head-up the North West and Midlands.

The restructuring is part of the lenders increased investment in people internally, its commitment to supporting SMEs through every step of their finance journey and to support the growth of its regional offices, particularly those in their relative infancy.

Reward is fast closing in on 500 clients, that number has almost doubled over the last three years with the newer offices in Birmingham, London and Scotland contributing significantly to that pace of growth. These changes embrace this shifting nature of the business to a truly national lender.

Chris has been with Reward for over four years, having joined from Yorkshire Bank where he spent eight years within corporate and private banking, whilst Paula has vast knowledge of the financial industry, spanning 20 years. She previously worked for RBS Corporate Banking and has been with Reward for over six years.

Nick Smith, Group Managing Director for Reward, added: “Having seen the rate at which we’ve expanded in new regions such as Scotland, London and the Midlands, we knew that restructuring and investing in our regional client relationship operations was needed to keep pace. Luckily that transition will be seamless, thanks to the talent and expertise within Reward in the shape of Paula and Chris. Both have a proven track record and a strong client-centric approach to providing commercial finance which meets SMEs’ business needs.”

Chris Ibbetson, Regional Operations Manager for Reward, commented: “Our growth has always been underpinned by solid client relationships and guiding the SME through every stage of the lending process. Getting under the skin of the client’s business requirements and finding a common sense solution doesn’t just stop when the deal is done, with ongoing collaboration between lender, broker and borrower a hallmark of our success.”

Paula Jones, Regional Operations Manager for Reward, added: “Chris and I are relishing the opportunity to work more closely with the regional teams across the business to deliver that consistency of service that will help fuel our long-term expansion. We envisage making further hires in this space throughout the year ahead.”