SME lender names new COO

The appointment comes as the company aims to increase its loan portfolio to more than $1bn over the three years

SME lender names new COO



Sydney-based SME lender Grow Finance has announced the appointment of its new chief operating officer.

Lee Clarke will be bringing his more than 30 years of experience in the finance industry as he joins Grow Finance's executive management. He has held leadership positions at GE Capital, Allianz Finance, ANZ, and Orix Australia and managerial roles at Bank of Queensland and St George Business Finance.

With his new role, Clarke will have the responsibility of overseeing the company's daily operations and implementing its business plan. He will also be managing the company's more than 50 employees.

Commenting on his new role, Clarke said he believes in Grow Finance's dedication to make a positive impact to SME financing.

"I chose to join Grow because I am attracted by its purpose of helping Australian SMEs to more easily access a comprehensive range of finance solutions across both working capital and capital expenditure — particularly as many businesses seek access to capital to adapt to the new economic realities following the pandemic," Clarke said.

Greg Woszczalski, executive director at Grow Finance, said Clarke's recent experience in the fintech and marketing space will help the company maintain and build on its rapid growth trajectory.

"Lee brings more than 30 years of experience to our leadership team as we look to capitalise on the strong momentum we’ve built over the last year when we increased our month-to-month loan origination by four times," he said.

Woszczalski said Clarke's appoitnment is crucial as Grow Finance aims to raise capital and "aggressively shake up" the SME lending space.

"We aim to increase our loan portfolio to more than $1bn over the next two to three years and ultimately meet the lending needs of five percent of Australia’s SME market," he said.

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