A change for the better
Reto Finance makes the case for a new business name
The prospect of change is capable of evoking different feelings in different people.
For some, breaking with the old is a prospect to relish. Change is welcome, a reason for anticipation and excitement about the future. For others, letting go of familiarity is only ever a prospect for anxiety. What do they say? ‘Better the devil you know’ – best stick with the status quo, no matter how much a change is needed.
Change: it certainly can be a tricky business. And there are few things in business trickier than changing the name of an established organisation. So why contemplate it at all? The prospect of ‘rebranding’ is something many business leaders shy away from. Why take the risk? What’s the point of potentially alienating loyal staff and customers after all. Yet there are times when a new identity is necessary and totally appropriate. Moreover, there are times when adopting a new look and feel can provide the perfect platform for attempting something new, for reinvigorating the organisation, for inviting staff and customers to come along on an exciting new journey. Sometimes, a rebrand may be just what an organisation needs.
A good example of this is found with new local lending company Reto Finance and its transition from Shawbrook International.
Established in 2016, Shawbrook International opened in St Helier’s Conway Street to provide loans for local personal and business customers. A subsidiary of UK-based Shawbrook Bank, the organisation rapidly established a reputation as one of Jersey’s leading loan companies.
Yet for all its success, it slowly became clear that something was amiss. Certain matters moved too slowly, more and more opportunities were going begging, it seemed at times that the chance for greater success was slipping by.
The worrying situation became increasingly obvious to Shawbrook International’s local MD Adam Dawson.
‘Working for and alongside Shawbrook’s UK team was great,’ he elaborates, ‘but also frustrating at times. It was too easy to view the Channel Islands-based operation through UK eyes, to judge local opportunities from a UK perspective, to colour our intentions with a UK filter. In short, being part of a larger non-Channel Islands organisation was proving both a help and hindrance. Something had to change.’
That change happened in October 2019 when Shawbrook International became Reto Finance, and, more fundamentally, a whole new company. Amicable discussions then negotiations led to a local management buy-out. Adam and fellow directors became owners of the new company, supported with backing from a major London-based finance investment house. The collective belief is that the opportunity presented by the change is a very exciting one.
‘While we provided a great service as Shawbrook, constraints on the business limited the chance to do even more. Being a local company opens so many doors. The Channel Islands’ financial regulations are different to the UK, its financial laws more tailored to the local market. Reto Finance can now create financial products specific to local requirements. We can expand the range of loans available, increase the lending flexibility, speed-up decision making, minimise the layers of complexity often associated with loan applications. It’s a powerful platform from which to shake-up the local lending industry. Reto means ‘challenge’ in Spanish – I’m looking forward to seeing a challenging Reto making some real changes.’
So, in this case it seems that change should be a welcome prospect, not one to cause anxiety. What do they say? ‘Seize the day’ – sometimes a change for the better is exactly what’s needed.