Schroders today announces that it has entered into a strategic relationship with Dutch direct lending firm NEOS Business Finance. Schroders has acquired a 25 per cent. stake in the business.
Launched in 2012, NEOS Business Finance provides institutional investors access to an alternative debt financing platform for Dutch small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The company has developed an approach to give SMEs access to small to medium size loans through a standardised issuance and loan terms process.
NEOS Business Finance will provide investment advisory services to Schroders in connection with the management of investment funds of Schroders' clients investing in SME financing.
NEOS Business Finance has an extensive network and broad client base. To date, NEOS Business Finance has launched one investment fund funded by two large Dutch pension funds. In addition NEOS Business Finance works with the largest Dutch bank ABN Amro to source SMEs in need of financing. This complements Dutch government policy which encourages pension funds and other institutions to actively participate in local economies.
Philippe Lespinard Co-Head of Fixed Income at Schroders said: "Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Europe are increasingly looking to obtain debt financing from non-bank lenders. Part of this trend is explained by the decreasing supply of credit in that space by commercial banks who face increasingly onerous capital requirements on loans perceived as risky by regulators and supervisors. On the demand side, borrowers expect faster approval times and lower collateral requirements than afforded by banks’ traditional processes and systems. These conflicting trends open up a space for non-bank actors to provide growth financing to SMEs on simpler and faster terms.”