Meet Me – Growth Lending’s Regional Head Ryan Sorby
Get to know the head of our North and Scotland operations, from crashing a Formula Three car to some fishy accounts…
Ryan Sorby leads Growth Lending’s Manchester office, which provides growth capital to fast-growing and high-tech SMEs across the north of England and Scotland
What do you do at Growth Lending?
I head up the North and Scotland region, with the team responsible for originating, transacting and executing new working capital and growth capital deals. Since joining as employee number fourteen in 2018, the business and the region have grown significantly.
We have a strong team in the region and last year hit a milestone of £100m of deals completed. My background has always been in Financial Services and the majority of opportunities we uncover are leveraged from my professional network.
What was your first job?
My first job was as an accounting technician in Sheffield, when I was 16. My spending money from my parents was £2.50 a week back then, but my salary was £70 a week, so I thought that was amazing – in my head that was a pair of Nike Air trainers every week! We had businesses coming in with carrier bags full of receipts that smelled of whatever industry it was; one was a fish merchant, so that was pleasant.
How did you end up in Manchester?
BDO supported me through my chartered accountancy exams and I worked for PwC before moving to Lloyds Banking Group. After a period of strong growth the Regional Manager at the time asked me to replicate my success in Manchester and the city is great, so it was too good to turn down.
What appealed to you about Growth Lending?
The opportunity to build a team from scratch and lead a financial institution in the North was a real draw. I was also excited by Growth Lending’s people and culture and the creativity we’re encouraged to bring to our roles.
Which item can you not work without?
My old-school calculator is archaic, but I use it all the time. It got me through my GCSEs, so it’s over 25 years old.
Which football team do you support?
The blue and white wizards, Sheffield Wednesday. My first match was against West Ham United, in 1984; Martin Hodge, who was our goalkeeper at the time, saved two penalties in that game.
What’s on your bucket list?
My wife and I love walking, and we’ve always wanted to trek to Machu Picchu. One day I’ll hire a motor home and travel the West Coast of America, stopping at Yosemite National Park and the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California. I’d also love to watch the Rugby Sevens in Hong Kong or Cape Town.
You seem to be the active type…
I’ve been down the Olympic bobsleigh track in Turin and I’ve crashed a Formula Three car; that happened at a track day, when I went into the side of the person who had invited me. During a lads’ holiday in Tenerife, I was going to do a bungee jump off a giant crane, but I had second thoughts.
Given £100m to spend or invest, what’s the first thing you would do?
I’m an accountant – I’m Mr Risk-Averse. I’d probably buy my parents a new motor home. Those are pretty expensive, so they’d love it, but my wife might have something to say about that! Still plenty left over to put into our next fund though……..