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Meet the team

Find out a little more about our team of asset finance specialists.

ken mckeating

Ken McKeating Sales Director – SME Lending Division

ian galbraith

Ian Galbraith Head of Broker – SME Lending Division

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Our broker BDM Team

Our team of broker Business Development Managers will work with you to create a finance package tailored to your customer’s needs.

Discover more about their roles and previous experience.

paul heath

Paul Heath

Career background

I started out working in finance for Bank of Scotland in the Motor division. After two and a half years I left to join Lombard, based just outside Southampton, where I stayed for 18 years. I spent a short amount of time with Close Brother’s Transport Division, before working as a Broker for a company based in Bournemouth. Upon leaving the brokerage I worked at Simply for a few months, before joining Paragon in August 2019.

What you enjoy most about the role

Going out meeting brokers, discussing opportunities with them and further building a good working relationship.

Standout deal

Due to when I joined, most of my deals have been CBILS related. I did re-finance a Printing Press for a customer, circa £570k, which I had funded originally whilst working at Lombard.


Business Development Associates

Naomi Mellows

Ollie Cole

neal ashwood

Neal Ashwood

Career background

I have worked in financial services for 31 years, starting out at a high street bank. More recently, I ran an Asset Finance sales team in London for six years and worked for myself as a broker. I joined Paragon in late 2019.

What you enjoy most about the role

It’s great to be able to assist SMEs with their asset purchases and often these represent significant milestones such as general growth, new contracts or acquisitions.

Standout deal

I have transacted some really challenging and significant deals since I joined Paragon which have demonstrated the ability of the team to find a solution and the dedication to get the deal done. However, my most standout deals have been the CBILS deals which have enabled the customers to navigate their way through the pandemic.

nigel johnstone

Nigel Johnstone

Career background

My entire working life has been spent in the banking and finance sector, from leaving school and working for a high street bank before leaving there to join a finance company as a salesman. I have worked for Paragon (under previous names that include Print Finance, City Business Finance and Five Arrows) for more than 22 years.

What you enjoy most about the role

I really love the variety. Not only does it involve every size of business from a sole trader to a large PLC, but we can be funding anything from a single small van to a huge fleet or massive piece of plant and equipment.

There is great pleasure in seeing the difference that investment in vehicles or equipment can make to a business and a real satisfaction in knowing you have helped them to prosper and grow.

Standout deal

I probably derive the most pleasure from helping young businesses by managing to structure a deal for them when they have struggled to find funding elsewhere.


Business Development Associates

Naomi Mellows

Ollie Cole

vajinder bal

Vajinder Bal

Career background

I have spent 13 years working in Asset Finance. Prior to joining Paragon I spent a number of years at Lombard in a variety of roles.

What you enjoy most about the role

I really enjoy being involved with different deals on a daily basis and meeting brokers with different specialisms. It means that I have a greater depth of asset knowledge, be it tractor units or production lines and I am then able to utilise this experience with future transactions to best support the customer.

Standout deal

I supported a bakery line with refinance funding.

amanda wytenburg

Amanda Wytenburg

Career background

I spent eight years with Close Brothers and then spent a few years as a broker before joining Paragon last year.

What you enjoy most about the role

The best parts of this role are the relationships nurtured via face to face meetings and the variations between proposals for customers.

Standout deal

There have been many, including funding for quarry machines. I have particularly enjoyed being involved in deals that involve teamwork and collaboration between myself, the broker and the client. It’s always satisfying when hard work pays off.


Business Development Associates

Naomi Mellows

Ollie Cole

claire hildersley

Claire Hildersley

Career background

I have spent many years in the industry. My financial career started at First National Bank, followed by Siemens Financial Services and then I spent 16 years at Lombard.

What you enjoy most about the role

I enjoy working with my team. Everyone is very supportive and there is a wealth of knowledge and experience - and of course I love the relationships I have with my brokers. Usually communication would be with regular face to face meetings, although understandably in 2020 and going into the start of 2021 there is very little of that.

Standout deal

I enjoy helping with solutions for customers, for example I am currently working on a tricky underwrite on a large bit of kit, I am bringing in Paragon Invoice Finance to look at their factoring which will offer Paragon more security - it’s a clever way of getting a deal over the line.


Business Development Associates

Gail Bartlett

ian-beattie

Ian Beattie

Career background

I have spent 30 years plus in Asset Finance across Tier 1 Banks, and independent Asset Funders as a Relationship and Business Development Manager.

What you enjoy most about the role

I enjoy working with individual Brokers and across Brokerages, packaging and structuring asset finance lending in support of their customers’ requirements.

Standout deal

A £1m refinance of construction plant and equipment and also support to a new customer as part of a £2.2m buy-out of the existing directors and shareholders of two well established companies.

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If you want to discuss your proposal, please contact our Internal Sales Team on 01489 775 699 or email [email protected]

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