How Rivers Leasing and I have grown over the last 10 years

Posted: Tuesday, 22 February 2022 @ 10:14

Rishi Shah has been part of the team at Rivers Leasing since the beginning. A familiar voice to many of you, 2022 sees him celebrate 10 years with the company, but rather than wax lyrical ourselves we thought we would give him the proverbial stage. Here he shares his thoughts on working in asset finance and being part of the Rivers team to date.  

In many ways, Rivers Leasing is where I have grown up - professionally speaking at least. In 2019 I was promoted to Business Operations Director, having joined the company as Accounts Assistant in November 2012.  However, being here is, and always has been, much more than a job. Rivers Leasing hinges its service on strong relationships, and that’s an ethos that not only informs how we work with our clients, but also how we operate as a team. I like to think that has a lot to do with the journey we have been on to date, and our continued path ahead.

Doing what we say we’re going to do

As a team, we work to embody the values that make Rivers Leasing what it is. We are quick and responsive with our communications, empathetic to individual needs and circumstances and we are efficient and expedient with our decision making processes on loans and payouts. 

We are an SME and we understand the needs and pressures placed on other individuals and SMEs. So the service we provide is designed to respond to that. In short, we answer the phone when clients call, and we do what we say we’re going to do. By the same token, we look after our team, support one another and we work together for positive outcomes.

That approach seems to speak to something that we all need and want, both personally and professionally, because most of our team have been with us for at least seven of the 12 years we have been in business. Meanwhile, the brokers, suppliers, customers, investors and other stakeholders that we work with also have long standing relationships with us, which only seem to strengthen as time goes on. 

A member of the asset finance community

When Rivers Leasing started, and when I joined in its infancy 10 years ago, it was very much a newcomer in the finance market. Our team came from a variety of backgrounds - some traditional finance, others from a range of consumer industries. 

That’s a tradition that we have continued. For example, at a senior leadership level we have Non-Executive Director, Stephen Bassett, who was MD of Arkle Finance, Business Development Manager; Michael Friend is a non-executive director who has been qualified as a solicitor for over 30 years; Al Shields joined us last year as an independent niche asset funder with nearly 40 years’ experience in the industry; and Tim Shand, who was our Business Development Manager and had 36 years’ experience in financial services, was an extremely valued member of the team until he passed away in 2020. Meanwhile, our Chairman, Ratan, came from senior roles at The Body Shop and Virgin Group. That diversity continues throughout the team.  Collectively we’re able to bring a combination of fresh perspective, innovation and new ideas as well as the due diligence that’s integral to financial services.

Over the years, a steady commitment to our values, our team, our clients and a combination of creativity and dependability, have turned us from newcomer to a trusted member of the asset finance community. We have grown, and despite the challenges of the pandemic, we continue to want to represent and serve the business community to the best of our abilities. 

For example, we continue to develop our services with the changing market in mind with the goal of supporting clients and the industry we’re proud to be a part of. As a case in point, we recently launched our incubator block discounting service, with the aim of helping small lenders to develop their portfolio.

Supporting the development of SMEs

Much like Rivers Leasing, I can no longer really call myself a newcomer to the finance industry… unless perhaps I compare my tenure to that of Al or Stephen. 

However, what my time with the company and with the industry to date gives me, is the chance not only to continue developing my own knowledge, and the relationships I have with our brokers, but I am also in a greater position to provide support to those around me - my colleague and our clients. 

Much like Rivers, I am in it for the long haul. We want to help businesses grow by doing what we do best - providing funding and being the trusted lender who understands the need for fast decision making and fast (well considered) actions, who will pick up the phone when you call. 

I am looking forward to seeing what the next 10 years will bring for our company, our community and our clients.


Rivers Leasing plc

Amba House, 15 College Road, Harrow, HAI IBA

Telephone: 0208 424 8262

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Registered in England. Company number: 07376100.

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Rivers Leasing is a subsidiary of Rivers Finance Group PLC.