Principality acquisition creates 160 jobs

Principality has acquired a Cardiff based finance broker business, Loan Link, and plans to create up to 160 jobs in South Wales over the next 12 months.

The acquisition provides the platform for a new subsidiary company to be built, Nemo Personal Finance, operating in the secured personal lending and broking market.

The venture is part of a considered move by the Society to broaden its product range and diversify its income streams, a strategy which has demonstrated its worth in recent years with the successful move into the commercial lending market.

This latest project seeks to build on that success under the leadership of the current directors of Loan Link, Phil Jones and Sam Marshall, who are experienced players in the secured lending and broking marketplace.

Both directors have been part of the senior management team which established and developed the market leading FirstPlus business from 1997 to 1999.

The Society has worked closely with the Welsh Assembly Government, which has provided regional selective assistance support for the project.

Andrew Davies, minister for economic development and transport, says: “I am delighted that we have been able to provide significant financial support towards this new venture.

“The business, which will be Cardiff based, builds on the Financial Services Sector Strategy driven by the Welsh Assembly Government and WDA, which has seen the creation of several financial sector businesses in Wales.”

Peter Griffiths, chief executive of Principality, says: “While we looked at all parts of Wales as a key location for this business, it is clear that the availability of key skills in the capital was the most critical component.

“This factor underpinned our decision to base the business in South Wales, creating 160 jobs including development opportunities for existing Principality Group staff to build diverse careers within financial services.

“This is a significant and positive move by the Society and we are grateful for the support of all key stakeholders in the run up to the business launch.

“We expect to be live in the first quarter of 2005 and have ambitious growth plans underpinning the development of this business, benefiting all Principality members.”

Griffiths adds: I am delighted that Jones and Marshall have joined us as their level of understanding, expertise and experience of this business is second to none and allows us to manage the risks and rewards associated with a project of this size and nature.”