New chairman takes the helm at ambitious WeDo Business Services

Date published: 28 May 2024

The former chief executive of a division of Close Brothers has been appointed as the new chairman of ambitious WeDo Business Services.

James Broadhead spent more than 20 years at Close Brothers Motor Finance.

He joined in 2000 as operations director and later spent nearly 14 years as CEO of its UK and Ireland business.

Before joining Close Brothers, he worked at Abbey National in a number of roles, including heading its debt recovery business.

He succeeds Hugh Fell as non-executive chairman of the WeDo group.

Hugh stepped down after nearly four years in the role.

Mark Lindsay, chief executive of the Oldham-based WeDo group, said: “The board extends its sincere thanks to Hugh for his support of the business over the years and we all wish him well for the future.

“James joins us at an exciting and pivotal time.

"He has a wealth of experience of leading senior management teams in the lending sector and understands the markets in which we are active and looking to grow, such as asset finance.

“He has operated in regulated environments and has managed stakeholder expectations from shareholders and investor boards alike.

"His knowledge, experience and skillset will be invaluable to WeDo as we develop the business.

“We have new investors on board, and are shaping our strategy and structure to drive the growth opportunities we have identified, while at the same time ensuring our processes and rigour remain robust.

“James is an excellent fit for WeDo and he is already adding value to the board structure, board reporting packs and development of the team.

"He will continue to add a new level of professionalism, which he has been used to working at group level in his previous roles.

“Above all, he is excited by our vision and culture, and understands our desire to drive strong sustainable growth.”

The WeDo group has its headquarters in Oldham and additional offices nationwide.

It provides invoice and trade finance, asset finance, loans and start-up funding to a growing client base, as well as accountancy, HR, back-office and IT services.

Mark and Chris Robinson founded WeDo in 2019 with just four staff and the business has grown rapidly through organic expansion and acquisition.

It currently has over 70 staff across its Oldham headquarters and its network of offices.

Its overall lending now exceeds £50m, and it aims to reach £100m within the next three years.

The group’s current nationwide client base spans sectors including recruitment, engineering, manufacturing, logistics and wholesale distribution.

WeDo recently secured £50m in funding which will enable the business to significantly expand its support of small and medium-sized companies across the UK.

The funding has come from alternative investment manager Waterfall Asset Management.

James said: “WeDo is a dynamic business which has the ability and means for further substantial expansion.

"I’m excited to play a part in its growth strategy.

“The team are young and keen to be part of this journey.

"I was involved in Close Brothers’ growth for over 20 years, and hope I will be able to bring my experience to bear to help WeDo to achieve similar success.”

James is also executive chairman of GT Hub, a Leeds-based independent provider of bespoke vehicle finance to high-net-worth individuals and business owners for sports cars, supercars, classics and collections.

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