Chris Baguley from Together Money came to the huddled office to talk about his industry experience and what he thinks makes a great company in the North West.
Chris Baguley – Together Transcript
What’s your name, position and where do you work?
My name is Chris Baguley. I’m Commercial Director of Together.
Describe your business in one sentence.
Together is a specialist lender working in the short term funding market and long term funding across residential and commercial property.
What separates you from the competition?
What separates Together from the competition is the unique approach it has. We look at every transaction and case individually, we assess the client’s needs on every matter. Speed is a big part of our business and one of the things we support clients with is enabling them to complete on commercial acquisitions, residential portfolios, within very, very short timescales. Days – not weeks or months.
What have been the highlights of your company so far?
There’s several highlights actually, I think one of them being our very successful rebrand in September last year. Previously, we were a number of individual companies who quite literally came together under the new name in September. Another highlight has been we’re lending in the region of about £80-90 million a month and in March this year, we broke the 100 million mark, something which myself and all of our colleagues are incredibly proud of.
What qualities are needed to succeed in your industry?
Professionalism, openness, honesty and above all, friendliness.
Why do new businesses choose Manchester?
Businesses come to Manchester because there’s a huge amount of opportunities, there’s a huge skill set. We have organisations such as MMU which provide a massive pool of talent and the opportunity for us to try and retain those people in Manchester. I think we’re unique and we’re a friendly bunch.
Who are some local companies you would recommend?
It would be hard to know where to start. There’s so many companies we work with, right across the North West and across the UK. I wouldn’t like to pick any one individual company out.
Who do you think are the most influential people in the local business scene?
The obvious ones are people like Sir Howard Bernstein who’s incredibly influential in terms of making things happen but then we’re very heavily involved in the property arena, so people who are shaping Manchester, people like Tom Blockson, Ian Simpson, who are really creating waves in the Manchester skyline.
Do you have any advice for new businesses in Manchester?
The best advice that I could give would be to look at a real mix of talent. One of the things that we’re very proud of as a business is we like to have something where we grow our own. You want the business to be a perfect springboard for encouraging talent at lots of different levels, not just at graduate level, but also school-leavers and people who might not necessarily be academic but want a real head start in life. And if they’re prepared to work and they’re prepared to look at the opportunities, go for a real wide range and mix of people. That would be my advice.
What’s the main benefit of working in Manchester?
Manchester has an amazing infrastructure, it has an amazing social scene, people work very hard during the day, they want somewhere they can go out and enjoy themselves at night. We’ve got a massive skills pool and you’ve got organisations that support what’s going on in Manchester such as Pro Manchester and the Chamber which have a big influence in the city.
Where are your favourite places to eat and drink in Manchester?
There’s a massive amount to choose from in Manchester but I’m a big fan of Chinese and there’s only one that I would go to and that would be Wings in the centre of Manchester. It’s probably the best Chinese in the North West.
Have you got any final words?
Together does lots of different things but one of the things we’re most proud of is we’ve recently raised £26,000 for a bone marrow transplant unit at the Manchester Royal Children’s Hospital and some of our colleagues did the Three Peaks recently and raised over £15,000 for St Anne’s hospice and we’ve got a huge drive within the business to raise funding for lots of North West and more local charities.
I’m Chris Baguley from Together and this is huddled.