PLEASE TELL US ABOUT THE NATURE OF YOUR BUSINESS.

Finance New Zealand is New Zealand’s leading commercial, business and asset adviser business.  We provide finance solutions to companies throughout the country.  We have access to a wide range of funding partners, which ensures the best available lending solution for clients.

We work for clients, using our expertise and relationships, to arrange the most appropriate financing solutions to their needs.  

I’m based in Canterbury and have over 30 years’ experience as a lender, relationship manager and business advisor,  having previously worked for major banks and finance companies including BNZ, National Bank, ANZ and Gough Finance.

HOW DO YOU VIEW THE CURRENT LENDING LANDSCAPE?

Complex mainly because in the current environment it’s very hard for a client to work out exactly what banks will and won’t do – which varies from region to region and industry to industry.

Most of the banks in New Zealand are restructuring – with less of a focus on advisory and more on formula driven responses.

Advisers are playing a big part – realistically they’re the most stable business relationship SMEs currently have, providing consistent advice because they understand what is required as well as the opportunities and threats for their clients.

WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST ISSUES + OPPORTUNITIES YOUR CLIENTS ARE FACING IN THE CURRENT CLIMATE?

New Zealand seems to be emerging cautiously from a year of uncertainty which creates opportunities to push ahead with initiatives that have deferred, as well as opportunities for business growth and expansion.  However, Covid has impacted on the trading performance and balance sheets of many businesses which can hamper their access to funding for growth, acquisition, working capital, asset replacement, and development.

With business confidence improving, access to appropriate funding is critical and we are able to utilise a wide range of lenders to mix and match lending solutions to the needs and circumstances of each client.  

WHAT INDUSTRIES HAVE YOU NOTICED GROWTH IN DEMAND FOR FINANCE?

The transport & distribution sector seems to be busy at the moment. 

Another area is property development – particularly sub dividing and building, especially with house prices going through the roof.

WHAT VALUABLE LESSONS HAVE YOU OR YOUR CLIENTS LEARNED AS A RESULT OF COVID-19?

When you have issues – openly talk about them with partners, finance advisers, etc. Don’t ignore the problem!  Getting in front of the issues in a timely fashion makes it easier to find a workable solution.

If lenders understand what’s behind a problem, more often than not they’ll work with you to find a solution but want full disclosure. 

The other important lesson is cash flow – set aside money for a rainy day. When times are tough, it can be hard to access lending so preserve working capital.

Lastly – don’t rush decisions you may regret later before considering all of the options. An example might be leasing vs. buying – think through the funding structure of an asset before committing.

WHAT WOULD A TRANS-TASMAN BUBBLE DO FOR BUSINESS?

Tourism, accommodation and hospitality would benefit enormously – although while we can’t currently have tourists in the country due to border closures, Kiwis have made up for it by visiting places like Queenstown for breaks because we can’t travel internationally either.

Anything that speeds up the movement of goods  or supplies internally would be great.

WHAT PROBLEMS HAS APRICITY SOLVED FOR YOUR CLIENTS?

Working capital for growth is the main one.  A client won a significant new client which needed additional staffing and purchasing that they couldn’t fund through traditional avenues due to a weak balance sheet.  Because their debtors were of good quality Apricity was able to offer a working capital facility with immediate access, and which grew as their business volume increased.  

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT APRICITY?

The Apricity team are easy to deal with.  A quick phone discussion will clarify whether or not they can assist a particular client.

Apricity offers a specialised product service which is ideally suited to certain customer circumstances.  The product is simple to understand and easy for the client to use.