Raising Finance in challenging times
In 2006, International Investment & Underwriting (founded by Dermot Desmond) took full control of a UK based transport and logistics business, Venson Automotive Solutions Limited. Anthony was appointed to the group board as Finance Director. The board was set defined short term objectives; to renew existing customer contracts, return the business to profit and positive cash and to obtain the required asset funding lines.
In its first year under new ownership, the directors achieved all of the shareholders targets, hitting profit and cash targets as well as renewing all key customer contracts. Anthony played a key role in these achievements. The same management team went on to grow the business very successfully building on a 98% customer retention rate and adding substantial new contract wins.
Anthony’s direct responsibilities included managing the finances and cash-flow. He was responsible for agreeing c£100m of funding lines with major lenders including Barclays, RBS, Lloydstsb and Fortis. Anthony successfully maintained the funding lines during the exceptionally challenging period of the credit crunch in 2008 and the withdrawal of RBS as a major lender. Anthony used his strong relationship skills and innovation to maximise funding lines. He also worked with industry trade bodies to lobby the banks and held a series of meetings with both government trade organisations and senior banking representatives to encourage greater lending in the market.
Change Management Project
In 2009 Venson were awarded a 10 year contract for the vehicle maintenance and repair of Hertfordshire County Council fleet. The final award included the outsourcing of this function and the requirement for premises. Venson acquired a 40,000 sq ft facility from which to service the contract. Anthony was a key member of the bid team. Following implementation, we experienced some issues with the efficiency and quality of the operation. In our view the site management were not dealing with the issues and listening to us the customer. The issues were escalated to the board and Anthony Richman was assigned the responsibility to improve the operation and meet the contractual KPIs. I found Anthony to be very personably and he listened carefully to our issues. His approach was refreshing and I believe his ability to truly understand our issues were key to the ultimate success. Anthony re-engineered a number of key processes including customer service, invoicing and quality. He also restructured the operational resource tackling some very difficult staffing issues in a unionised environment which also encompassed changing the on-site management. The operation is now transformed with regard efficiency, quality and on-site management.
Head of Contracts
Local Goverment UK