White Oak UK, a prominent financial services company, and an affiliate of the US-based White Oak Global Advisors, LLC, has launched a new, highly informative website, as part of its commitment to helping UK small-to-medium-sized (SME) businesses gain access to the finance they require.

Derek Money, Head of Sales in White Oak UK’s Glasgow office, explains that White Oak UK’s roots go back to 1989, when LDF Group (Lease Direct Finance), headquartered in Wales, launched as a specialist finance operation. LDF grew to become one of the UK’s largest non-bank providers of finance for SMEs and mid-level corporates.

In 2018 LDF was acquired by White Oak Global Advisors (WOGA), a US Securities and Exchange Commission registered investment manager, as part of WOGA’s ambitions to expand into the UK and Europe. Following the acquisition, LDF rebranded as White Oak UK and the group’s headquarters moved from Wales to Chester, with offices also in London, and Glasgow.

Chester and District Standard:

The acquisition had a major impact with White Oak UK now benefiting from  WOGA’s significant pools of capital  , and experience in additional products gained from an active client base across the US and Canada.

“Within White Oak UK we can truly say that we understand the unique challenges facing SMEs, and we offer a full suite of flexible lending products and services to meet all our clients’ commercial requirements,” Money says.

WOGA is backed by a suite of investors who provide the funding that WOGA and its affiliates provide to SMEs in the form of unsecured loans, invoice finance and asset financing.

The US arm includes White Oak Commercial Finance, the one of the largest factors in the US. As an affiliate company, White Oak UK is able to access the capital provided by these investors in order to support its UK lending activities. This complements the firm's ability to acquire funding for its SME clients from banks and other financial institutions.

Chester and District Standard:

“We are in the fortunate position,” Money says, “of being able to both lend with our own capital as well as act as a broker where an SME has a large requirement. For example, if a SME wants asset financing for a fleet of 100 vehicles, we may decide to finance 50 vehicles ourselves and also approach our panel of lenders to finance the remaining 50 vehicles. This is a tremendous strength for us as a business.”

In addition to its portfolio of flexible loan products and invoice finance, the specialism that LDF built up in asset finance, continues to be a major strength. White Oak UK’s Glasgow office has become the centre of excellence for asset finance, as well as being a one-stop shop for the entire portfolio of lending products.

“As an independent UK provider of finance to SMEs, we are able to offer tailored, flexible finance solutions, often within hours of receiving an application,” Money says. He adds: “We are renowned for our upfront and honest approach and we are committed to helping SMEs to grow and thrive.

"We are particularly proud of the fact that our average turnaround for a decision on a loan application is four hours. Some 70 percent of our customers return to request one or more additional loan products. Repeat business is the surest test that we’re delivering a valued service to UK SMEs.”

Money points out that White Oak UK is constantly recruiting new staff. As part of its dedication to growth and talent development, White Oak UK partnered with the University of Chester to launch its internship program. This collaboration provides aspiring professionals with hands-on experience across various departments, fostering ties with the local academic community.

The program not only offers interns exposure to real-world challenges but also provides opportunities for networking and potential long-term employment within the company.

Recently, within the last week, three interns have been offered full-time positions as Junior Credit Underwriter, Junior Credit Analyst, and Junior Data Analyst, underscoring White Oak UK's commitment to nurturing talent and providing pathways for career advancement.

Additionally, since November, the company has recruited over 40 new staff members, with a significant portion joining the team at the Chester headquarters. This recruitment drive reflects White Oak UK's continued expansion and commitment to investing in talent and local communities.

Located in the HQ offices in Chester, White Oak UK's presence serves as a testament to its roots and ongoing investment in the region's economic development.

Furthermore, the recent launch of its new website reflects the company's dedication to enhancing customer experience and staying at the forefront of digital innovation in the financial services industry.