In 2018, Together, one of the top financial services institutions in the North West and one of the UK’s leading specialist lenders, raised and refinanced over £2.8bn of debt facilities to support the companies’ business strategy and growth ambitions, whilst providing over 700 jobs in the North West.
In November, Together announced the successful completion of its second residential mortgage backed securitisation (RMBS), known as TABS 2, following its entrance into the RMBS market in September 2017. The £287m securitisation was oversubscribed and received strong interest from a wide range of institutions. This was particularly impressive in the context of a challenging market backdrop, including a busy ABS pipeline and volatile wider markets due to Brexit concerns, trade war fears and an equity market correction during the week of pricing.
Together also recently announced its quarterly results to 30 September 2018, bringing its loan book to a new high of £3.01bn1. The loan book growth is driven by robust lending volumes at conservative LTVs, with the Group remaining highly profitable and cash generative.
Other activity carried out by the companies Treasury team over the twelve months included a £150m increase to its 2024 Senior Secured Notes (January), refinancing of its £255m Lakeside securitisation programme on improved terms (January), upsizing its RCF to £72m (April), completing the £525m Highfield securitisation programme (June) and refinancing and extending its AA rated Charles Street securitisation facility to £1.25bn on significantly improved terms (September). In addition, Together’s indirect parent company, Bracken Midco1 plc, successfully issued £350 million of Senior PIK Toggle Notes, refinancing its existing Senior PIK Toggle Notes and Vendor Loan Notes on significantly improved terms (September). The delivery of the above is a great testament to Together’s 44 year track record, especially during a time of great economic uncertainty.
The raising and refinancing of £2.8bn of debt facilities provides further depth, diversity and maturity to the funding structure and supports the growth ambitions of the business for 2019 and beyond. The funding platform provides the flexibility and capacity to support the company’s broad suite of products including: short-term finance, auction finance, residential, buy-to-let and commercial mortgages and secured loans through our established distribution network.
Together’s fundraising efforts come at the same time as the business is named in the Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250, ranking 82nd based on latest sales. Together jumped 25 places over the year and placed fourth in the table based on operating profit. Together was also named as one of the UK’s Best 100 Companies to Work For by the Sunday Times earlier this year on its first ever application, also winning a special award for ‘Giving Something Back’. The business ranked 34th in the UK and made the top ten in the North West.
Treasury Team further strengthened with new hires
The Treasury team has been strengthened by some strong hires over the year, including Qasim Jafri, originally from Cheadle, who joined the team in October 2017, after spending 6 years in capital markets and asset backed financing roles at Royal Bank of Scotland, Morgan Stanley and BNP Paribas. Jenna Picken, who joined the team in February of this year, after spending 8 years at Royal Bank of Scotland where she started on the graduate scheme in Manchester and Sadie Hatfield who joined the team in April having previously worked at Aldermore, Coop Bank, Bank of America Merill Lynch and HSBC. Together also works closely with the University of Salford and the University of Manchester on research projects to foster future talent in the region.
Matt Blake, Director of Treasury at Together, comments:
“2018 has been another great year for the Treasury team at Together, raising and refinancing almost £3bn along with adding further diversity and depth of maturity to our funding lines. In doing so, the team have supported the business in reaching record lending levels and growing the loan book to in excess of £3bn. We have also added some really great talent and experience to the team, helping us to deliver a record number of transactions over the year.
“The success of our fundraising efforts in a backdrop of economic uncertainty is a great tribute to our robust and proven business model.”