Powered by People.
Meet the Portman team.

Having been supporting SMEs for 15 Years, we know how close you are to your business, so we make personal service a priority.
  • Depth and range of experience

  • Planning for the future

  • Focused on customer service

The Portman People

The Board

img
Alex Read
Managing Director
+
Alex Read
Managing Director

Alex founded Portman Asset Finance in 2007 and has given dynamic leadership to the Portman Finance Group since inception, growing the business to become one of the largest and most respected hybrid commercial finance broker-lenders in the UK. Alex has also founded a range of profitable businesses such as Boost Trampoline Parks, a Commercial Property company, a residential development and lettings business as well as two commercial finance lending businesses, namely Portman Leasing and Portman Commercial Finance. Alex is able to draw on a wealth of business experience across a range of industries to ensure that Portman continues to deliver an exceptional service for its clients, innovation and growth. 

img
Simon Pratt
Director of Strategy & Operations
+
Simon Pratt
Director of Strategy & Operations

Simon is responsible for the development and implementation, as part of the Board, of the Portman Finance Group’s strategic growth initiatives and overall operational efficiency. Simon oversees Portman’s Accounting, Credit, Marketing, Compliance, Administration, Client Relations and Collections functions. Simon has a diverse corporate and commercial background, holding an MA from the University of Cambridge and having founded a successful property development company. 

Simon also acts as Portman’s in-house legal counsel, being a qualified and practicing solicitor, having previously worked at both a US Corporate Law Firm and an Ultra-High Net Worth Litigation Firm in central London. Simon brings a wealth of commercial experience to Portman’s senior leadership team, with extensive expertise across a range of commercial, operational and legal practices. 

img
Ben Laidler
Director of Sales
+
Ben Laidler
Director of Sales

Ben Laidler is able to draw on over 15 years’ experience in senior leadership positions in various Sales and account management roles. Ben has a wealth of knowledge of the commercial finance and asset finance sector and was appointed Sales Director of Portman in 2020. His early career involved several years working in high-end real estate sales, with 10 years of managing individuals and sales teams of varying sizes, including across 5 offices, under his management the highest-grossing region of a nationally-known estate agency. 

Alex Read
Managing Director

Alex founded Portman Asset Finance in 2007 and has given dynamic leadership to the Portman Finance Group since inception, growing the business to become one of the largest and most respected hybrid commercial finance broker-lenders in the UK. Alex has also founded a range of profitable businesses such as Boost Trampoline Parks, a Commercial Property company, a residential development and lettings business as well as two commercial finance lending businesses, namely Portman Leasing and Portman Commercial Finance. Alex is able to draw on a wealth of business experience across a range of industries to ensure that Portman continues to deliver an exceptional service for its clients, innovation and growth. 

Simon Pratt
Director of Strategy & Operations

Simon is responsible for the development and implementation, as part of the Board, of the Portman Finance Group’s strategic growth initiatives and overall operational efficiency. Simon oversees Portman’s Accounting, Credit, Marketing, Compliance, Administration, Client Relations and Collections functions. Simon has a diverse corporate and commercial background, holding an MA from the University of Cambridge and having founded a successful property development company. 

Simon also acts as Portman’s in-house legal counsel, being a qualified and practicing solicitor, having previously worked at both a US Corporate Law Firm and an Ultra-High Net Worth Litigation Firm in central London. Simon brings a wealth of commercial experience to Portman’s senior leadership team, with extensive expertise across a range of commercial, operational and legal practices. 

Ben Laidler
Director of Sales

Ben Laidler is able to draw on over 15 years’ experience in senior leadership positions in various Sales and account management roles. Ben has a wealth of knowledge of the commercial finance and asset finance sector and was appointed Sales Director of Portman in 2020. His early career involved several years working in high-end real estate sales, with 10 years of managing individuals and sales teams of varying sizes, including across 5 offices, under his management the highest-grossing region of a nationally-known estate agency. 

Our Senior Team

img
Phil Brereton
Finance Director
+
Phil Brereton
Finance Director

Phil is an experienced finance professional with over 20 years’ experience working within regulated financial services. Phil joins Portman having previously been Chief Financial Officer for a firm originating in excess of £500m p.a. in commercial finance for UK SMEs. He therefore brings a wealth of knowledge to Portman’s finance department and across the firm, having also held several senior roles during his career including oversight of Finance, Treasury, and Collections departments.

In addition, Phil has extensive experience of raising and managing funding relationships and M&A, having been involved in the acquisition and sale of a number of firms during his career. Phil’s knowledge helps develop Portman’s lender relationships and own-book lending objectives.  

img
Mark Ford
Head of Credit
+
Mark Ford
Head of Credit

Mark joined Portman with a wealth of credit management and underwriting experience. He is charged with day-to-day responsibility of the operational aspects of credit underwriting, the implementation of a credit risk framework including oversight and implementation of procedures and processes. Having worked in London and the City for the past 17 years, he originally started in the Asset Finance industry in 1992.

Mark’s previous experience has been with an established Finance House operating in both UK SME and consumer markets, financing a wide range of hard and soft assets. As a key stakeholder, Mark has also been instrumental in the formation of new loan portfolios on behalf of two challenger banks and a medium ticket SME broker. 

img
Simon Williams
Head of Compliance
+
Simon Williams
Head of Compliance

After graduating with a degree in Law, Simon has worked within the financial services sector for over 20 years. Having gained a broad range of experience in managing several operational departments, he moved into risk and compliance in 2014 and implemented, developed, and led a financial crime team and compliance department within a major UK broker-lender as an FCA approved Senior Manager. Simon has a wide-ranging knowledge of the industry and a deep understanding of commercial finance brokers and lenders. 

Phil Brereton
Finance Director

Phil is an experienced finance professional with over 20 years’ experience working within regulated financial services. Phil joins Portman having previously been Chief Financial Officer for a firm originating in excess of £500m p.a. in commercial finance for UK SMEs. He therefore brings a wealth of knowledge to Portman’s finance department and across the firm, having also held several senior roles during his career including oversight of Finance, Treasury, and Collections departments.

In addition, Phil has extensive experience of raising and managing funding relationships and M&A, having been involved in the acquisition and sale of a number of firms during his career. Phil’s knowledge helps develop Portman’s lender relationships and own-book lending objectives.  

Mark Ford
Head of Credit

Mark joined Portman with a wealth of credit management and underwriting experience. He is charged with day-to-day responsibility of the operational aspects of credit underwriting, the implementation of a credit risk framework including oversight and implementation of procedures and processes. Having worked in London and the City for the past 17 years, he originally started in the Asset Finance industry in 1992.

Mark’s previous experience has been with an established Finance House operating in both UK SME and consumer markets, financing a wide range of hard and soft assets. As a key stakeholder, Mark has also been instrumental in the formation of new loan portfolios on behalf of two challenger banks and a medium ticket SME broker. 

Simon Williams
Head of Compliance

After graduating with a degree in Law, Simon has worked within the financial services sector for over 20 years. Having gained a broad range of experience in managing several operational departments, he moved into risk and compliance in 2014 and implemented, developed, and led a financial crime team and compliance department within a major UK broker-lender as an FCA approved Senior Manager. Simon has a wide-ranging knowledge of the industry and a deep understanding of commercial finance brokers and lenders. 

img
Amelia Thompson-Seabrook
Lender Relationship Manager
+
Amelia Thompson-Seabrook
Lender Relationship Manager

With a degree in Economics and Finance, Amelia has risen through the ranks at Portman over a period of several years. Having joined Portman as an Account Manager, she demonstrated outstanding and consistent performance, rising to the role of Executive Account Manager in 2020. Amelia learned the business from the ground up, covering a range of industry sectors with specialisms in healthcare and wellbeing businesses, before her most recent promotion to the role of Lender Relationship Manager.

Amelia works closely with our panel of lenders to ensure that we have the best relationships possible, which can be crucial in getting a credit facility approved for clients or expediting urgent applications and payouts. Amelia is also responsible within Portman for ensuring that lenders processes are adhered to, that working practices are as efficient as possible and that Portman remain up-to-date with any changes to lender policy and credit appetite. 

img
Saul Michelson
Head of Marketing
+
Saul Michelson
Head of Marketing

Saul brings 20 years of broad marketing, CRM and analytics experience to Portman as well as a focus on data-driven campaigns and a keen interest in digital marketing. Saul holds a degree in Marketing from the University of Lancaster and post-graduate diploma in Direct and Digital Marketing from the IDM. Before joining Portman in October 2021, Saul spent many years in construction marketing, having held senior positions within both Travis Perkins and Grafton Group as well as both marketing and pricing experience with global safety giant Brady Corporation.  

img
Mark Woolf
Head of Design
+
Mark Woolf
Head of Design

With over 20 years of design industry experience, Mark draws from a diverse portfolio having delivered award-winning projects for high-profile clients including Google, Redbull, Wimbledon AELTC, Greater London Authority, Sir Robert McAlpine and National Rail. As our in-house Head of Design he provides a wealth of knowledge and broad skill-set used to drive forward our in-house standards and capabilities, whilst providing guidance and mentoring of our internal team.  

In addition to earning a Masters degree, he has practiced a broad range of roles working with a variety of organisations from start-ups to government agencies and multinational corporations. Outside of delivering his own creative outputs as a design lead, he has additional success as both studio and production manager, organising global multi-faceted teams, procurement and bidding, through to public consultation events and client management.  

Amelia Thompson-Seabrook
Lender Relationship Manager

With a degree in Economics and Finance, Amelia has risen through the ranks at Portman over a period of several years. Having joined Portman as an Account Manager, she demonstrated outstanding and consistent performance, rising to the role of Executive Account Manager in 2020. Amelia learned the business from the ground up, covering a range of industry sectors with specialisms in healthcare and wellbeing businesses, before her most recent promotion to the role of Lender Relationship Manager.

Amelia works closely with our panel of lenders to ensure that we have the best relationships possible, which can be crucial in getting a credit facility approved for clients or expediting urgent applications and payouts. Amelia is also responsible within Portman for ensuring that lenders processes are adhered to, that working practices are as efficient as possible and that Portman remain up-to-date with any changes to lender policy and credit appetite. 

Saul Michelson
Head of Marketing

Saul brings 20 years of broad marketing, CRM and analytics experience to Portman as well as a focus on data-driven campaigns and a keen interest in digital marketing. Saul holds a degree in Marketing from the University of Lancaster and post-graduate diploma in Direct and Digital Marketing from the IDM. Before joining Portman in October 2021, Saul spent many years in construction marketing, having held senior positions within both Travis Perkins and Grafton Group as well as both marketing and pricing experience with global safety giant Brady Corporation.  

Mark Woolf
Head of Design

With over 20 years of design industry experience, Mark draws from a diverse portfolio having delivered award-winning projects for high-profile clients including Google, Redbull, Wimbledon AELTC, Greater London Authority, Sir Robert McAlpine and National Rail. As our in-house Head of Design he provides a wealth of knowledge and broad skill-set used to drive forward our in-house standards and capabilities, whilst providing guidance and mentoring of our internal team.  

In addition to earning a Masters degree, he has practiced a broad range of roles working with a variety of organisations from start-ups to government agencies and multinational corporations. Outside of delivering his own creative outputs as a design lead, he has additional success as both studio and production manager, organising global multi-faceted teams, procurement and bidding, through to public consultation events and client management.  

Portman People

Do you want to join our team?
Check out our careers opportunities today