Two well-known structured finance experts have launched an alternative investment firm.
Marc Sefton and Kieran McSweeney this week launched Aquilam Capital, which will focus on investing in, and lending to, businesses in the consumer and SME finance, leasing and mortgage markets.
Aquilam Capital expects to complete six to eight transactions each year with the capability to lend up to £25m per transaction.
The firm’s investment decisions will be based on a thorough assessment process for each deal, including a detailed analysis of the lifecycle of the assets being funded, benchmarking compliance processes and philosophy against regulatory standards, and best practice and product positioning.
The team will also spend time in the business with both the operational and management teams.
Sefton and McSweeney have more than 30 years’ combined sector experience, encompassing Barclays Capital, Morgan Stanley, RBS and Shawbrook.
After working alongside Sefton at Barclays and Barclays Capital, in 2006 McSweeney joined Morgan Stanley’s Securitised Products Group. In 2008, he and Sefton joined RBS to establish a lending franchise to the speciality finance sector, leading most of the UK’s major consumer finance deals over a period of five years.
Having funded Shawbrook Bank as a start-up investment at RBS in 2010, McSweeney then joined Shawbrook in 2013, where he and Sefton jointly led the new Wholesale Finance division. At Shawbrook, they jointly headed up a new division delivering asset-backed finance solutions to consumer and SME finance businesses, combining market-leading technical expertise with a first-class service proposition to build a highly successful business.
Sefton began his career on the graduate scheme at Barclays, moving into the Financial Markets Team as an analyst. In 2008 he left Barclays Capital to partner with McSweeny and create RBS’ speciality finance proposition.
Having funded the pre-cursor business in 2010, which eventually became Shawbrook Bank in 2011, Marc joined the company in 2013 as Managing Director of Wholesale Finance Division.
Sefton said: “We recognised the need for an investment firm which can provide exciting, entrepreneurial businesses with the right type of funding, but one which will also be a business partner; providing hands-on help, challenge and support where it is of greatest value.”
Other members of the Aquilam team include Jamie Constable, founder of investment firm Rcapital, and experienced businessman Steve Curtis who has run nearly 20 companies as either chairman or chief executive.