The Q&A: Mark Iley, Investment Manager

"North and West Yorkshire is a fantastic part of the country. The people are diverse and friendly, the scenery is amazing, and the appetite for business growth is substantial."

How long have you worked for BEF and which other roles have you held?  

I’ve worked at BEF for 6 ½ years. Before BEF, I worked at Yorkshire Bank for 31 years.

What would you say most motivates you to do what you do? 

Helping business owners with funding.

What are some of the stand-out businesses you have supported at BEF?

The Hyperthyroid Cat Centre Ltd, Rudgate Brewery Ltd and Earley Ornamentals Ltd come to mind. I supported FMS Europe Ltd, a Bradford based business that offers a range of services to the refrigeration industry. This was a small loan that led to around 20 jobs being created. That sums up one of the things that BEF does well – supporting business to make a positive impact in their community.

What are the goals you most want to accomplish in your work?

To continually grow the number of satisfied clients whose success stories speak to innovation, determination and a little help from BEF.

What excites you about the part of the region that you support?

North and West Yorkshire is a fantastic part of the country. The people are diverse and friendly, the scenery is amazing, and the appetite for business growth is substantial.

What key things stand out to you about an exciting business when you get the business plan?

A short plan for sure! It’s always good to read a business plan that’s full of common sense, understandable and describes the client’s product or service well.

Any words of advice for someone looking to start a business or grow an existing business?

Make sure your product or service is something that makes sense. Be realistic on forecasts. I suggest keep cutting them down by half then half again to see what the worst possible scenario looks like. Ask yourself, “How would the business survive if this happens?”  

Five dinner party guests (dead or alive)?

Former football manager, Brian Clough; former heavyweight boxer, Mohammed Ali; comedian, Peter Kay; singers, songwriters and musicians, John Lydon (Rotten) and Joe Strummer. 

Favourite technological advance to date?

Mobile phones because it’s good to talk. I’m impressed by the recent generation smartphones like the Samsung I use for work. I literally have the whole world in the palm of my hand. It’s a far cry from the early Motorola DynaTAC mobiles that were the tool of choice for bankers in the 80s. 

Best piece of architecture in Yorkshire or the North of England?

York Minster.


Need finance to help start or grow your business?

To discuss any lending requirements that you may have, please call Mark on 07827 318673 or email mark.iley@befund.org.

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