IN CONVERSATION WITH… GRAEME HARRISON

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Tell us about your career path so far?
I’ve spent my entire career working within financial institutions. Having started in banking I then secured a graduate scheme for an independent IF provider, working exclusively within the SME market. Following this, I spent 5 years working in corporate banking, initially as a Director of ABL in the North East and latterly heading up an International Trade team across the UK. The exposure to different business types and sectors throughout my career should stand me in great stead as I embark on my journey with CCBS.

What challenges have you encountered?
Having witnessed both sides of the banking crisis it’s become clear that in recent times we’ve seen the funding landscape change dramatically, whether that be the credit appetite displayed from the mainstream banks or the emergence of independent and alternative forms of funding. What hasn’t changed however, is the funding requirements of SME businesses. As traditional forms of finance become more difficult to obtain, clients are routinely frustrated with the lack of guidance as to what alternatives exist. I’ve now witnessed this from the side of both the funder and the customer whereby each position can be challenging.

What’s attracted you to join the team at CCBS
I’ve maintained a close relationship with the team at CCBS over the past 5 years and watched on as they’ve worked to bridge the gap between the availability of traditional forms of funding and the needs of their clients. In recent years, as the funding landscape continues to evolve, it has become increasingly evident that clients require more support to help identify and navigate solutions for their specific set of circumstances. My experience over the past 12 years should stand me in good stead when helping clients in this regard.

What does 2020 have in store?
2020 promises to be a very exciting year for us. On the back of two years of steady growth, we’re looking to continue along the same lines, and with the additional resource within company, we’ll be aiming to add value to our clients at every opportunity. We are obtaining our FCA permissions whilst working to significantly enhance our marketing capability, allowing us to maintain regular contact with our existing intermediary and client base whilst reaching out to the wider SME and professional market alike. I’m very excited to be spearheading our business development strategy and working closely with businesses and intermediaries across the region.

What is your company’s USP?
CCBS is a unique, innovative commercial finance brokerage and business consultancy. We add value by engaging with our clients in the first instance and establishing an understanding of the key drivers and motivations behind their funding requirement. Often, when we have the complete picture, it becomes clear that the end solution may not be what was first thought.

What is the best advice you have been given?
“There’s no growth in your comfort zone and no comfort in your growth zone.”

Where would you like to be in five years time?
I think the next two or three years may well be turbulent and uncertain for the business community and I would like to be part of the CCBS team that has helped its’ clients through this difficult period and ultimately supported them to achieve their business aspirations. Hopefully, in 5 years, we’ll be continuing to support our ever-expanding customer base and will have further strengthened our relationships across the professional network.

How do you like to unwind ?
I still play a bit of football although I’ve definitely lost a yard of pace as I’ve hit my mid-thirties. I also spend a lot of time at gigs, buying records and generally being one of those annoying music types.

For any enquiries please call 07719560356 or email graeme@ccbsg.co.uk