Yorkshire-headquartered funding specialist, ABL Business, has appointed Johanna Roberts as its new finance operations manager – a move designed to support ambitious growth plans and bolster the firm’s national expansion strategy.

With over 30 years’ experience in financial services – in sectors that range from retail to offshore banking – Johanna has provided working capital for hundreds of organisations and facilitated growth strategies ranging from £50,000 through to complex, multi-million-dollar investments, both in the UK and overseas.

Under her new remit, Johanna will drive forward ABL’s complex and challenging applications for commercial finance, closing specialised client deals and working on key accounts while also spearheading the professional development of her colleagues in this often tricky-to-navigate area of business.

“We have bold ambitions for ABL in 2021, but we can only achieve these if we surround ourselves with the very best, straight-talking talent,” explained joint managing director of ABL, Alex Beardsley – who is eyeing the opening of a further five offices by the end of 2022.

“Boasting unrivalled credit and underwriting skills, Johanna’s appointment will enable us to structure higher-level transactions, MBOs, mergers and acquisitions – yet it’s her credentials, passion, and personality which will ultimately drive our national expansion forwards.

“As well as working closely with our clients, Johanna will play a key role in colleague development and ABL’s apprenticeship scheme – nurturing the next generation of SME finance professionals and helping UK SMEs to prosper. We want to change the face of this industry, for the people who work in it too.”

Moving from a role which involved providing global strategic credit and risk advice a leading FinTech firm, Johanna added: “Although the financial services landscape has changed considerably since 1990, the cashflow needs of almost every SME remains the same.

“I’ve always held a keen interest in finding new ways to increase efficiency and efficacy and ABL is certainly not afraid to challenge the norm – something which is so refreshing as the nation starts to trade its way out of the pandemic.

“Now, more than ever, business owners don’t have time to get caught up in the minutiae of complex finance, so being able to work with a team that provides straight-talking, jargon-free advice is incredibly refreshing.”

With offices in West Yorkshire and Somerset – as well as a team in Scotland – ABL provides commercial finance consultancy services to businesses across the UK. Since its creation in 2013, the firm has helped over 7,500 organisations to achieve their growth potential – providing support around raising finance, mergers and acquisitions, refinancing and asset-based lending.