June: Awards, aching legs and Arsenal legends

Sometimes on a Monday you look at the week ahead and think “this is a big one”.  The last week in June was like that in the bridging industry.

On 25th we all went up to the Birmingham NEC for a key industry expo and we’re confident Ortus had the best stand by far.  We had a pub serving beer.  Say no more.

As well as catching up with our broker friends and meeting new contacts, we were also able to make an introduction to our new Business Development Manager, John Lukic.

I first met John 14 years ago when he was goalkeeper for Arsenal and he’s enjoyed a hugely impressive career on and off the pitch.  He played 668 times in the top division of English football and is the only goalkeeper to have won the League Title twice with two different clubs (Arsenal and Leeds).  Since retiring in 2001 John has been involved in various business ventures and built a great reputation as an after-dinner speaker.  John is an excellent fit for Ortus and we’re really pleased he has agreed to join us.

The expo also resolved a debate which has been running in the Ortus office about stand-up desks.  I now agree with my colleague Richard that regardless of the health benefits standing up all day is bad.  Having run five marathons I’m not averse to a bit of exercise, but standing up all day at the expo took leg pain to a whole new level.

Anyway, I digress.

On 26th we all adjourned to the Hurlingdon Club for our industry awards.  It was a great event and we were delighted to win the Best Newcomer award.  It was a culmination of 12 months of real effort by the whole team at Ortus along with our business partners.

In this regard it was nice to receive the award from Chanice Henry of Bridging & Commercial, who have been fantastic partners for Ortus ever since we started.  In particular, their creative and effective media campaigns through their company Medianett have played a key part in our growth.

Indeed it was a comment by Mo Mulki, CEO of Bridging & Commercial, which stuck in my mind.  He responded to remarks made by some commentators that the bridging industry has “peaked” and argued there is still huge potential for growth.  We entirely agree with Mo and this was at the root of our pitch to the judges which secured our Best Newcomer award.

We made the point that without the sort of short term finance provided by Ortus, some small businesses in the leisure industry just wouldn’t get started.  The early months are high risk for businesses and it takes real industry knowledge to figure out if they’re worth backing.  This is where bridging lenders like Ortus make a huge difference.

It’s difficult to see the High Street filling this knowledge gap any time soon, so as the recovery strengthens lenders like Ortus are going to become increasingly important.

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