Commercial director Jack Trowbridge, based in Growth Lending’s London office, oversees the lender’s strategy and the practical delivery of its fast, flexible funding.
What do you do at Growth Lending?
I’m the commercial director, so my job is to work with our regional directors, principals and advisors to deploy our funds to fast-growing SMEs. In the short term, I get our teams working to the same timeframes to fund companies promptly. In the medium term, I ensure that we have a constant flow of deals in our pipeline. And in the long term, I’m looking at how we can find clients more easily and deploy funds more quickly in the next six to 12 months.
What was your first job?
I studied English at university, but I’m an entrepreneur at heart: I was part of the founding team of the alternative lender GapCap, helping to start and build the business over six years, before the brand became part of what is now Growth Lending. I’m enjoying the freedom to be entrepreneurial within a larger group: it allows me to try new ideas, while benefiting from the foundations of a more established set-up.
What’s special about Growth Lending?
We have a team of forward-thinking people and everyone has a can-do attitude. In some organisations, people say “that’s not my job” when you ask for help, but at Growth Lending, everyone tries to make the wheels spin as quickly as possible. There’s an all-for-one, one-for-all feeling, and if you have that ethos, your business will continue to evolve.
Which item can you not work without?
My AirPods. I spend a lot of time on the phone, and when I talk, I walk. Last Friday, I did 15,000 steps in my living room while I was taking calls, so without my AirPods, I’d be stuck to my seat all day.
How do you spend your leisure time?
Whether it’s watching or playing, I’ve always been addicted to sport. I play football three times a week, although as I get older, the youngsters are starting to run rings around me. I try to play tennis, too: I have to exercise or I feel as though I’ve wasted my day. Most of my peers probably wake up and check out the Financial Times, but I’ll be reading BBC Sport. My girlfriend thinks I’m the most uncultured person alive, but I remind her that sport is culture, too.
Which football team do you support?
I was born in Wales, grew up in Shropshire and went to university in Bristol, but I support Liverpool because my dad worked in the city and it was the nearest team when I lived in north Wales. I got into football around the time of our historic Champions League win in 2005. Everyone else loved Steven Gerrard, but I was a big fan of the Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso, which was pretty rogue.
What’s on your bucket list?
I want to learn to kite-surf. You can catch a wave and jump 100 metres in the air, but you’ve got to make sure that the wind’s going in the right direction, or you’re in trouble. I’ve done the theoretical learning, which is really dull – it’s like passing your theory test before you learn to drive – so now I need to give it a go and see where I end up. If you find me splattered against the White Cliffs of Dover, I’ve misjudged the wind.
Given £100m to spend or invest, what’s the first thing you would do?
I wouldn’t want to retire, so I’d probably ask my parents to look after the money until I knew what I wanted to do with it. I’m not a big spender, so I’d probably invest it, but I might buy a race horse, which is cooler than giving all the cash to my mum and dad. I’d call the horse This Is A Bad Idea… or Should’ve Given It To Mum And Dad.