RAF’s origins date back to 1991 when Hugh Sigrist established Reliance Financial Contracts as a business asset finance broker. The new brokerage specialised in dealing with established small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and high net worth individuals (HNWIs) and over the years developed a panel of more than 30 lenders. Phil Oatham joined the sales team in 1993 and Victoria Fisher joined in 1995 to run operations, both are still with the business today.

In May 2008, the business was sold to a merchant bank with a view to transitioning it from being a broker to a lender. Over the next five years, the team developed a loan book of £70m from a standing start. The portfolio was of extremely high quality, combining good yields with low loss experience, resulting in it being one of the most profitable lending units per employee within the merchant bank.

In 2013, following the successful conclusion of a shareholder earn-out arrangement, the team decided to establish a new lending business. Initially funded by facilities made available from the Bank of London and the Middle East, RAF got off to a flying start and wrote over £44 million of new business in its first twelve months to 30th June 2015. Break-even was reached by the year-end with target margins achieved and cumulative losses significantly less than forecast. The second year maintained this momentum of carefully managed growth as new business volumes of £52 million were achieved. Profits were delivered ahead of budget and the 30th June 2016 year-end loan book was £63 million.

Our Mission is to provide our customers with a personal service level which consistently exceeds their expectations. This will be achieved by bringing together all our experience and expertise to make Renaissance the lender that everyone wants to deal with in the SME and HNWI sector.

In the summer of 2016 RAF decided that it was time to start looking for a long term business partner. Several potential partners were identified and in August 2016 a meeting was held with Arbuthnot Latham and Co., Ltd (‘AL’) and it became immediately apparent to the directors of both companies that that AL would be an ideal partner as they had common synergies with RAF in the SME and high net worth sectors and the same desire for growth.

In December 2016 contracts were exchanged for the sale of RAF to AL subject to regulatory approval and on 28th April 2017 the deal completed with RAF becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of Arbuthnot Latham and Co., Ltd.

Arbuthnot Latham and Co., Ltd’s business was established over 180 years ago and is the London-based private banking & wealth management and commercial banking arm of the Arbuthnot Banking Group PLC, with regional offices in the North West and South West of the UK and an international branch in Dubai. The acquisition of RAF is a logical step in the Arbuthnot Latham strategy to concentrate on providing a full suite of products and services to high net worth and relationship-intensive commercial clients and to augment this with the development of complementary revenue streams.


Mark Lester

Joint Managing Director

Mark joined Chartered Trust in 1983 before moving to Combined Lease Finance PLC in 1986, where he held various senior credit roles including that of Credit Director. Mark then worked for the Hermes Group for 11 years as a main Board Director and Senior Credit Underwriter. More recently, he was the Credit Director for General Capital and then the RFC / Close Brothers Brentwood business.

Victoria Fisher

Joint Managing Director

Victoria has spent 26 years in the asset finance industry. The first 7 years with Milestone Leasing (Woodchester Credit Lyonnais) in Operations, Credit Control and Sales Support. Then 13 years at RFC running Operations and subsequently a further 6 years, as Operations Director.

Philip Davies

Sales Director

Philip joined United Leasing plc’s graduate programme in 1981 and stayed for six years. Following a short spell at Chase Manhattan Bank’s UK leasing business as Marketing Director, he joined Five Arrows Leasing Group as a founding director in 1988. Philip remained there for the next 27 years as the business expanded into specialist niches. Philip has experience in financing a wide spectrum of assets across a diversity of business sectors.

Sales Team

Alan Beardsworth

Cameron McClue

Phil Oatham

Sean Taylor

Gary Dawkins

Credit & Risk

Chris Hardy

James Pegler

Sales Support

Danielle Matsell

Kirsty Beale

Stacey Milburn

Lauren Davis

Business Support

Ann Isaac

Katherine Coates

Victoria Rogers


Jan Greenslade

Peter Jones

What we are

RAF is an asset finance funder. Our main source of business is from the UK’s premier asset finance brokers who have a high reputational status and are well established in the lending industry. We also have a portfolio of direct end user clients. Our direct end users are historic clients so there is no conflict of interest with any brokers. We write business from £10k to £2m with an average deal size of £90k. RAF’s culture has honesty and integrity at the core of everything we do and we strongly believe in knowing and understanding the customer.

Supporting SME’s is at the heart of what we do at RAF. We call on our extensive experience and expertise combined with our highly trained staff and can do attitude to provide funding solutions for all our clients. We are a “hands on” business that focuses on each client’s requirements and look to fully understand their business needs. We also give our clients completely impartial advice. If, as a lender, we do not have the best product to suit the client, we have developed relationships with other lenders to be able to broke deals into them. Finding the right solution for our clients rather than shoe horning them into a product we offer means they can rely on our honesty and integrity. This in turn sees RAF experience a high level of repeat business. We pride ourselves on the very high levels of service that we strive to achieve on each and every deal, nothing is too much trouble for RAF.

Our mission is to provide our customers with a personal service level which consistently exceeds their expectations. This is achieved by bringing together all our experience and expertise to make Renaissance the lender that everyone wants to deal with in the SME and HNWI sector.