Happy 15th Birthday SAF – A review with our Senior Management Team

January 7, 2022

As SAF turns 15 years old, our board, Philip Green, Jane Tabiner and Amanda Boote sat down to discuss the changes that have occurred within the business and the industry during this time and what their predictions are for the future.

Do you remember your first day at SAF? Take us back there.

Philip takes us back to 6th April 2009 which he says seems a long time ago now, his first day was in a very small office above a café. From the experience and knowledge both Steve and Philip had working together, the plan from that day was to be the UK’s market leader in the funding and commercial support for offsite construction within the healthcare and wider private sector markets. It was quickly established that there were other suppliers within the healthcare sector that would benefit from Steve and Philip’s experience and knowledge of funding within public sector markets.

Jane began her life with SAF back in 2010 as employee number 4 in what was originally maternity cover. Having recently left a large corporate business, starting at SAF felt very different. It was a job with a variety of different responsibilities, which was different to what she was used to, there was no large staff canteen and no Starbucks to hand! But equally she loved the efficiency of the business and how decisions were made. The rest is history.

Amanda remembers her first day well! The office was much quieter back then but still the same hive of activity! She recalls listening to Steve and Philip chatting away about the latest transactions they were working on and was in awe at their leasing knowledge – it really blew her away!

What has changed for SAF?

The discussion moved on to what has changed at SAF during their time. The consensus was that the biggest change to the company is the growth of the team. The majority of the staff have been with SAF for a large part of the journey which has helped retain the close family feel. Everyone agreed that the ability to increase the workforce whilst not losing the culture has been key to generating results and growing the business.

When SAF was founded, despite being a small team it created a solid foundation of funding expertise to build upon. By nurturing relationships with suppliers and partners SAF has become an instrumental part of a supplier’s sales processes and is now one of the leading asset finance businesses in the industry, particularly in the modular building market.

What has changed in the industry?

When talk shifted to how the sector has developed Jane and Amanda both highlighted the regulation changes that came about in large part due to the financial crash. Whilst acknowledging the regulation changes, Philip believes that SAF are driving the changes in the market by working in a way that nobody else does, we always work very closely with the supplier and their clients to create a unique solution in order for projects to be completed 

So, what does the future look like?

Looking forwards to the next 15 years all three agree that SAF will continue on its trajectory of being innovative and setting the standard for providing essential finance solutions. However, their views of how the finance industry will change differ. Philip believes that there will be a greater desire for the new funding solutions alongside capital purchases. Amanda, however, feels that the industry will embrace the advances in digital technology to meet the needs and expectations of end users. Jane looked to the awareness of climate change and believes that the green technology industry will see bigger growth.

Only time will tell if these predictions will be correct but with such a strong experienced team there is no doubt that SAF will continue to thrive.

Standout moment from your time at SAF?

With many standout moments through the tenure of the board everyone pondered on their most recognisable memory. Jane recalls being made a director as her standout moment. Jane explained she has always felt valued at SAF but the recognition in this form was the greatest feeling.

For Amanda, she took us back 5 years when SAF celebrated its 10-year anniversary – it’s not very often at all we look back and reflect on how far we’ve come and what we’ve achieved. Celebrating the 10-year anniversary gave the team a chance to do this and it made her so proud to be part of the group that had brought SAF to that 10-year anniversary.

Philip recalls far too many highlights to mention, the keys ones always being one of our many retained clients choosing to partner with SAF over a global vendor finance partner.

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