Close Brothers Asset Finance has appointed a managing director to lead its German business.
Joachim Otto will lead its German business, based in Mainz. Launched in June 2017, the team offers flexible and tailored funding solutions for Mittelstand businesses in the construction, manufacturing and print sectors.
Joachim, who joins from IKB Leasing, is a leasing specialist with 30 years’ experience in the industry. His background includes sales and sales management; business development and general management.
“We are delighted to welcome Joachim to the team,” said Steve Gee, chief executive officer of Close Brothers Asset Finance’s Industrial Equipment Division. “His considerable experience and knowledge of the German leasing market make him perfectly placed to lead our team and help them continue to grow.
“Getting someone of Joachim’s calibre to join the team speaks volumes about the progress we have made in Germany and we are looking forward to continuing to make an impact in this key market.”
Joachim added: “This is a great next step in my career and I am looking forward to this new challenge with Close Brothers Asset Finance. The team has made great progress since launching, offering its German customers tailored finance solutions that fit their individual requirements.”
In September, Close Brothers’ asset finance division saw its loan book grow 2.7% to £2.07bn (€2.31bn) in the year to July, as the lender considered options to expand its leasing activities in Germany.
The invoice finance book expanded 33% over the year, reaching £712.4m. The commercial banking division, covering both business lines, reported a 5% growth to £76.1m in adjusted operating profits, outperforming the 3% rise across the wider group.
Close Brothers said it was “continuing to explore the market opportunity for asset finance and other services in the German market, albeit this remains at an early stage”. Close Brothers has had a presence in the country for a decade through invoice finance, and also operates its casks and brewery equipment leasing business there.