Principal Julian Hornby, based in Growth Lending’s London office, is responsible for finding new clients to benefit from the lender’s fast, flexible funding.
What do you do at Growth Lending?
I’m a principal, so I’m tasked with growing our book. The main aspects are new business – bringing in prospects from my network or finding them in the market – and structuring deals in the best way to meet our clients’ needs. I’m based in London and focus on the south east, although we work across the UK. We look at all sectors, but I do a lot of work in the media sector and with consumer brands, especially beauty, and food and drink.
How did you end up working here?
I joined GapCap, a brand that was recently acquired by the Growth Lending Group, six years ago, so I’ve moved from a start-up into a larger corporate group. In that time, I’ve done every job under the sun, from working in the portfolio team to managing the business development and marketing teams.
What’s special about Growth Lending?
The variety of our people, whether that’s their personalities, nationalities or backgrounds. We have a diverse workforce that helps us to stand out, and we’re not just a sales and operations set-up: for example, we have a substantial People team and a really interesting marketing team.
How did you get into this field?
I studied management accounting and finance at university – the sort of degree someone takes when they don’t really know what they want to do. It opened doors, though, and I joined GapCap after I graduated. I wanted to do something client-facing in finance, and fintech was the sexy thing at the time, so the rest is history.
Which item can you not work without?
I can work anywhere if I have my laptop, but I can’t start without a cup of coffee, so that’s how my day gets going, having spent £2.90 before I’ve even opened my eyes. It’s about time I bought a coffee machine, so I don’t have to leave the house for a flat white. It’s the first thing I do: my sliders are on and I’m out of the door in the first five minutes of my day.
How do you spend your leisure time?
I’m the type of 29-year-old who still thinks he’s going to become a professional footballer at some point, so I’ll need to grow up eventually. I’ve played semi-professional football and I play tennis and golf in the summer. I’m also learning to surf: I’m going to Biarritz next week to get bashed around by some Atlantic waves.
Which football team do you support?
I support Chelsea, for my sins, but my local team has always been Brentford, so I have a soft spot for them. Chelsea have spent around £300m on strikers in the past five years and we’ve just splashed another £100m on Romelu Lukaku, but he was amazing in his first match, so I hope it’s £100m well spent.
What’s on your bucket list?
I’d like to live in Europe for a few years, in Spain, Portugal, Germany or France. I recently visited Madrid and Lisbon and they’re both fantastic cities. I might have to learn a language before I go, but that’s something I’d love to do. I speak reasonable French and basic Spanish, so I’d like to become very reasonable at one of those.
Given £100m to spend or invest, what’s the first thing you would do?
My first thought was to buy Brentford, but football clubs are known for being the worst investments you can make, so that’s £100m that would probably be washed away. Still, let’s go with that – I’ll buy a football club for passion’s sake, appoint myself player-manager and make an appearance on the pitch once or twice a year.
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