With August marking 4 months after the launch of ARMCO, we caught up with our Chief Operating Officer, Jon Preston.
In this interview, we discuss Jon’s journey within ARMCO and the success that the group has experienced over the past few months, as well as what’s in store for the future. Jon also goes on to discuss the future of the financial and property industries, with some insights into how the market may develop over the next 12 months.
“When I was approached by ARMCO’s Chairman Russell Martin, I was really excited at the prospect of joining a business that I could see had all the makings of becoming a real success story. Having just completed a £26m MBO with Foresight Group, I wanted something new to get my teeth into, and I knew that I would be taking on a new level of responsibility for the future strategic direction of the company.
“ARMCO is a group that has brought together 9 different businesses. The businesses have joined forces due to their complementary natures, and we now have a group that can offer a realm of property and finance solutions all under one roof. It means we have a great proposition to take to market – we can look at a client’s situation, talk to experienced colleagues and offer solutions that one company might not have been able to provide, or even seen as possible.
“The businesses have joined forces due to their complementary natures, and we now have a group that can offer a realm of property and finance solutions all under one roof.”
“I was also excited at the prospect of working with Russell and creating the next generation advisory business. Having met during lockdown for the odd ‘virtual’ beer, I really liked his integrity and leadership style.”
“We are all about delivering for clients at a fast pace. We’re only too aware that many banks and financial institutions are archaic in their systems and processes. At ARMCO, we deliver exemplary client service and up-to-date solutions that evolve with the ever-changing world. We work as a collaborative team across our 9 businesses, which ensures our clients always get the right solution that will see them well into their future.
“In the past we have used the strapline “Broking is the new banking”, and having recently experienced the slow pace at which the High St banks often go at, we know we are well positioned to service clients efficiently and effectively from every part of the group.”
“I joined ARMCO in January, 2 months prior to our official launch. I hit the ground running, spending time with our business’s eminent leaders who are each strong entrepreneurs in their own right.
“My main focus has been around collaboration between our companies, plus our launch, which took place on 15th March. We wanted to make sure our clients, contacts and beyond are aware of ARMCO and what the group could mean to them.
“There is no typical day! What is on my desk at present? Cross-border transactions, working with UK/European lawyers, collaborating with group MDs on business plans, reviewing our M&A criteria, delivering solutions for global clients, supporting on MBOs, progressing referral opportunities that are multi-faceted, reviewing our legal panel and change and transformation on our routes to market!
“I was recently speaking with a German business regarding financial institutions in key cities, from an efficiency perspective they told me “There is nothing like this model within Germany, let alone the UK!”.
“I know ARMCO will not stand still, and I am really looking forward to sharing in its growth.”
“We have a holistic offering across the group including specialist lending, specialist property broking, cash flow financing, business loans, corporate support, land procurement and development, and insurance services. We advise property developers and investors, SMEs, large corporates, elite sports people and HNWIs. We can do so much for clients across each of our businesses, including financial solutions, tax savings, R&D relief, corporate support, land procurement, development advice and even sales and marketing of new homes.”
“I am currently working on identifying a CRM solution, so we can collaborate our data and look to see which clients we can help via our other companies.
“There are several other projects, including the launch of a new business, and we are looking to bring some legal work in-house with a different model that will benefit the group and clients. Watch this space!
“After the year we have just seen, we are optimistic about the opportunities in the sector for the coming 12 months. ARMCO’s companies remained busy throughout 2020 and worked on transactions in excess of £1 billion.
“I think we will see a shift on emphasis with bigger ticket deals coming through, professional service firms will take advantage of utilising new working methods which will in turn free up development opportunities. The housing market will continue to move forward and with last July’s announcement around the SDLT holiday, we saw an increase in demand for UK residential properties. We helped connect investors to the right lending solution.
“From a corporate perspective, there is a lot of pent-up cash sitting idle and there will be an increase in businesses looking to take advantage of support on this front.
“We deliver agile solutions and we move with the times. We are only too aware of the need to adapt and that is exactly what we will continue to do. We are proud to be a group of companies built on strong relationships, not transactions.”
“ARMCO is a truly unique offering. We truly believe there is no other business like ours in the UK, never mind the Midlands! We bring property and finance solutions under one roof – all delivered by a team of experts passionate about what they do and about delivering a truly extraordinary experience.
“For owner-managed businesses, quite often it is just about having a relationship with someone who knows the market, similar to the historic bank manager role.
“One of our businesses, Innovation 4 Business, is particularly niche and specialise in Research & Development tax incentives for SMEs and large companies who are investing in innovation (through greater R&D spending) to protect the UK economy from overseas competition. Profitable SME’s can benefit from £24,700 per £100,000 spent. Businesses often state they are not innovating or investing in R&D but the truth of the matter is that most manufacturing or IT companies in the UK are seeking an advance in their field. It really is a generous piece of tax legislation.
“Our teams will continue to develop relationships with the key players across the UK and beyond. We have so many exciting things afoot and I cannot wait to help bring them to fruition.
If you’d like to learn more about how our group of businesses can help you, please contact our team today. Based in penthouse offices in the heart of Birmingham’s finance district, our group of businesses are led by a highly experienced team of specialists, working collaboratively to deliver solutions with an unparalleled level of customer service.