Quest Corporate launches debt advisory unit

Edinburgh-based corporate finance firm Quest Corporate has launched a debt advisory unit to be headed up by recent hire Kevin Boyd.

Stephen Paterson, Kevin Boyd, Scott Carnegie and Graham Langley (Photo: Stewart Attwood)

The unit has launched as many businesses across Scotland and the rest of the UK face increasing debt pressure over the coming months and into 2021.

Mr Boyd, who joined Quest from Shawbrook Bank where he was managing director for Scotland until earlier this year, said: “A fast-increasing number of businesses will need time to recover post-Covid and will require help in negotiating with their banks or in finding alternative finance. Positively, there are now many more options than in the wake of the financial crash in 2008.

“Over 50 new banking licenses were granted in the ten years following the financial crash and we have also seen the growth of non-bank specialist lenders which is also a big positive, but at the same time this can make navigating the funding landscape significantly more challenging.”

Before his role at Shawbrook Bank, Mr Boyd was a divisional managing director at Santander and previously held senior leadership roles at Clydesdale Bank and AIB Capital Markets.

Stephen Paterson, director at Quest, commented: “COVID-19 continues to negatively impact businesses in the UK, we’re only going to see more pain in 2021 and because the firm has started to pick up a series of debt advisory engagements we realised that having someone of Kevin’s experience and abilities to launch a new department at Quest was the way to go. The strategic opportunity is for us to be a go-to trusted adviser to businesses looking for solutions that best fit their funding needs and our experience and contacts are our unique selling point.”

To date, approximately £57 billion has been provided to over 1.3 million businesses via the various Government-backed lending schemes according to the British Business Bank.

While banks are focused on supporting customers through the immediate crisis, in Q1 alone UK banks made loan loss provisions of £7.5bn, a six-fold increase on the same quarter in 2019 and S&P estimates that total year loan losses for UK banks could reach £18.5bn for 2020.

Quest has strengthened its position in the UK and corporate finance markets in recent years, advising on deals totalling over £500m since the firm was founded in 2000.

Deals activity has included the 2016 series-B financing round of pureLiFi by Singapore sovereign fund Temasek and the 2017 $67m sale of London-headquartered Vermillion Software to Nasdaq-listed FactSet Research Systems Inc.

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