Our journey into DSW: Hazel and Martin of DSW ABL Risk Management

Leading asset-based lending specialists Hazel Lomas and Martin Ellison joined the Dow Schofield Watts Network in January 2022 to launch a new service advising banks and other finance providers.

Our journey into DSW: Hazel and Martin of DSW ABL Risk Management
From L – R: Nicole Burstow, James Dow, Hazel Lomas, and Martin Ellison

Can you tell us about your background?

Hazel: Martin and I have over 60 years of experience between us and have worked with most of the major names in the sector. I worked for GE Capital and Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance, amongst others, before setting up my own consultancy in 2016. Martin started life as an accountant before moving into asset-based lending, working with HSBC Invoice Finance and Bibby Financial Services, and has been an independent consultant for over a decade.

Were you looking for a new opportunity?

Hazel: I enjoyed running my consultancy, but I wanted to expand and share the journey. I was talking to Craig Richardson from DSW Corporate Finance about the DSW model and was attracted to its scalability and support structure.

Martin: I was in a similar situation to Hazel, successfully delivering independent ABL consultancy services, but I was ready for the challenge of building something bigger and better, and the Dow Schofield Watts network provided the perfect opportunity to enable us to do that.

How was the recruitment process for the DSW Network?

Hazel: Initially, I had a couple of conversations with James Dow and Nicole Burstow of DSW Capital, who outlined the opportunity. I put together a Business Plan, with Nicole helping with the numbers, and I presented it to the DSW Capital Board.

I often came across Martin working on numerous multi-asset class deals. It turned out we were in the same head space at the same time. He subsequently met with James and Nicole; we went through the Partner appraisal process, and the stars all aligned!

Martin: It was very smooth. Considering Hazel and I were joining together as business partners and then into the DSW Network, it was a relatively seamless process. Having the strength of the Dow Schofield Watts brand, its immediate credibility and financial stability, and the added resources enabled us to hit the ground running. We had the added benefit of the rest of the DSW Network to refer work on and to us.

How has the last 18 months been?

Martin: Since joining DSW, we have significantly increased the number of high-profile deals circa £50-100 million and are now on the panels of major funders – exactly where we hoped we would be. We’re both delighted with how DSW ABL Risk Management is evolving.

What’s next for DSW ABL Risk Management?

Hazel: We’ve already expanded our activities into the south and see opportunities to attract new clients in other areas too. Our business continues to grow, and we are on the lookout for excellent ABL professionals to join our team. We are planning a recruitment drive and are always interested to hear from good ABL professionals. We look forward to continuing to grow the business and are keen to share the opportunity with like-minded people.

Recent funding deals for which DSW ABL Risk Management have provided pre-lend due diligence include the following:

* Recruitment group with eight companies – £75m

* Consumer goods group with three companies – £55m

* Integrated logistics company with three companies – £35m

* Office products wholesaler – £20m