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Five mins with…Grant Lewis


In our latest ‘Five mins with…’ series we meet Grant Lewis, Paragon’s new Business Development Manager for the Broker team. Grant gave us an insight to who he is and where he gets his drive for success from. To connect with Grant on LinkedIn, visit his profile.                                      

If you had your own SME, what would it be? No idea is too bizarre or quirky!

I often think that in my local area, that is surrounded by countryside, canals and a country park, there is a shortage of café/bars with outside seating. In the summer months I could see a demand for people wanting to sit in the sun with a cold beverage and even potential to have a large screen showing sporting events in the open air. 

The rest of the year could concentrate on the walkers, providing warm food and drinks as they rest. There would be little need for large indoor area as long as there was somewhere to keep dry and providing shelter from rain. I’ve noticed a large footfall throughout the year and weather in the UK is getting warmer and dryer, so there is a demand for somewhere to watch live sports in the outdoors with a beer in your hand!

Prior to your current role, did you have another dream career when you were growing up?

I had the usual dreams of being a professional footballer or rugby league player, until I realised that I just wasn’t good enough. Then as I went through high school I wanted to be an accountant and went to college with the intention of then going to university, until the urge to work and earn some money took over.

So, after a couple of very boring junior office roles, I accepted a job with the Co-op Bank, moved around various roles from call centre to corporate, to structured finance eventually leaving for a role in asset finance. Fast forward several years and here I am.

What are you looking forward to most in your role, anything exciting you can reveal to us?

I like having the opportunity to meet people, sit down face to face and have a chat, you don’t have to talk purely about work, you get to know certain people quite well when you meet up regularly. 

Building a relationship with the brokers is a major part of my role, which encourages them to place new business with us, knowing that they can pick up the phone and talk to a familiar voice, either answering their questions or taking ownership of a problem.  

Whilst there can be an element of pressure to get deals submitted/approved/paid out, the days are always varied.

Congratulations on your new role, for the aspiring youth have you got any advice for breaking into the industry?

Be honest and be yourself, that is best advice I think that I think I could give!

You get to speak and meet with a lot of people through day-to-day business and professional events, so you have to be genuine, if you put on an act, you will soon be found out. 

In my role you deal with a lot of people and have to deal with some difficult conversations, so being open and honest is always appreciated, if you will not be able to complete something in a required timescale, tell them as early as possible. Better to under promise and overachieve.

Visit Paragon SME Lending’s Asset Finance page to find out more about how we support clients in this market and to keep up to date with SME Lending’s latest news, follow us here.

Paragon Bank PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Registered in England number 05390593. Registered office 51 Homer Road, Solihull, West Midlands B91 3QJ. Paragon Bank PLC is registered on the Financial Services Register under the firm reference number 604551