Me & My Dog – Chasing Rabbits

How the fields and nature surrounding our home in Yorkshire have changed following my last article.

As I walked with Willow, our nine month old Labrador across the fields, I was struck by the change of scenery. Gone is the chill of winter, replaced with the beauty and bounce of Spring. Everywhere I looked the green shoots of growth were flourishing. Fields in December, once barren and devoid of life, a by-product of the harshness of winter, are awash with crops and the tranquil colours of Daffodils and Snowdrops bathed in Spring sun.

And so it is, nature is beginning to re-awaken as we move towards the warmth and glow of Summer. Not only is nature re-emerging but so it seems is UK society, in part due to the scientific and medical communities. The determination and dedication of the UK scientific and medical community is nothing less than miraculous. I for one am extremely proud and grateful to those incredible people. Sadly, a brief reflection into history reminds us of the impact of the Spanish Flu virus. Without the devotion and creativity of all those involved in the fight against Covid-19, one shudders to think where society might be today without vaccines.

Whilst capable of filing our lives with such beauty, so it seems nature can also remind us of the fragility of life. This fact was brought home to me on Saturday as Willow and I strolled along footpaths surrounding the fields. Just as the crops and fauna are starting to re-appear it seems other forms of nature are also taking their signal and re-emerging following the winter hibernation. Birds are whistling and chirping once more further enhancing the atmosphere of Spring, and much to Willow’s delight rabbits are again reappearing in the fields.

As we meandered along our route my attention was in an instant captured by movement approximately one hundred metres in front of me. With the sun blinding my eyes it was difficult to determine exactly what caused the movement. My initial thought was perhaps a bird settling on the ground post flight. Intrigued by this movement I raised my hand above my forehead to block out the light. My brow now-shaded, I was once again able to cast my gaze and determine the source of my distraction. At this point I realised to my delight that the movement was not a bird but a grey rabbit.

The rabbit with its huge ears and keen sense of sound had heard myself and Willow long before I saw it. The rabbit silhouetted against the intense shimmering green of the field, was standing rigid on its hind legs with front paws tucked into its chest. Somehow it looked reminiscent of a soldier on guard duty scanning the horizon for impending danger. Struck with the rabbits majesty and almost regal pose, my emotions in an instant turned to horror as I realised my nine month old Labrador, Willow, was off the leash!

Within a split second I lurched forward to catch Willow. Willow, full of youthful vim and vigour had the measure of me. She took off with an alacrity which reminded me of watching firecrackers exploding on a street in China during Chinese New Year. The rabbit, not sure of Willow’s intentions, planned not to remain in place to find out. Rabbit and dog tore off at breakneck speed across the field. Unusually, not even the promise of a tasty snack was enough to tempt and lure Willow back to my side.

Much to Willow’s disappointment and surprise she had no chance. The rabbit had the benefit of one hundred metres advantage and the acceleration and nimbleness afoot of an Olympic sprinter. By the time Willow reached the spot where the rabbit once stood surveying the land for threats, the rabbit had disappeared into Yorkshire’s finest undergrowth. In the rabbits place gasped Willow, huffing and puffing with a look of indignation cast upon her face no doubt wondering what happened to her prized target.

Once home and back in the warmth, the kettle boiled and a piping hot cup of delightful Yorkshire tea was promptly served. Willow, full of the joys of Spring air curled up into a ball and drifted off into a deep and blissful sleep, interrupted only by the occasional flapping of her cheeks as she majestically snored away. As I sat reminiscing about the rabbit and relieved that it was never in harm’s way, I considered what might have been had the rabbit not seen us first. What if by some cruel twist of fate, the rabbit had not made it home? Fortunately for all concerned this eventuality never came to pass but it did reinforce upon me the fragility of life and how it seems to change often when least expected.

As a husband, father and business owner I seek to provide a warm, stable and loving home for my family. But if by some cruel twist of fate I passed away, as happened unexpectedly to my father at the mere age of thirty eight, what would the future look like for my family? Would they have to endure the emotional rollercoaster I was exposed to and would their lives be further turned upside down by the prospect of selling our home to repay a business loan which I might have secured with a Director’s Personal Guarantee?

Fortunately for my family my business is not burdened by debt, however should I have a loan or bank overdraft I would ensure my family is protected. I would protect my family by arranging a Business Loan Protection policy. Just as individual life insurance pays a cash lump sum to a deceased’s beneficiary, Business Loan Protection is a life insurance policy which pays the business a cash lump sum following a successful claim.

Some of you reading this may think that the cost associated with a Business Loan Protection policy outweighs the benefits. But what cost do we place on our family’s stability? As someone who experienced loss at an early stage in life I can say with absolute conviction that the experience was horrendous. Fortunately for me, my father had life insurance which enabled us to retain our home. In different circumstances, the thought of his loss exasperated by the added pain of forfeiting our home is a thought I would rather not contemplate.

Fatgreen Insurance helps protect shareholders, key staff and businesses from unexpected financial risks. Through a complimentary consultation we will understand your requirements and provide bespoke solutions to protect your business and loved ones. If you are concerned that you may be unprotected please feel welcome to contact Fatgreen Insurance to explore how we might protect you.

Me & My Dog – Winter Sun

As I awoke on Saturday I was greeted by a beautiful vista of mist-drenched fields surrounding our home in Yorkshire. The air was still and the mist shimmered in the morning sun, reminiscent of a Norwegian fjord basking in the light.

Later that morning my dog and I were walking across the same mist-soaked fields. My mind started wondering and I found myself thinking about my business. As a business owner and entrepreneur, I hankered back to times when everything I touched turned to gold. In contrast I also recalled the haunting hour of 3am, unable to sleep worrying about bad results and rising costs seemingly beyond my control. It struck me that many diligent and dedicated business leaders must be besieged with anxiety, a by-product of declining revenue, a by-product of the current economic climate and Covid-19. When will there be an end to this wretched pandemic and its economic woes? Politicians and scientists alike seem divided, so how can businesses adapt?

In a perfect world, business leaders adapt companies by increasing sales to drive revenue. During lockdown this may not be a viable option. Some focus on cost reduction although this is easier said than done, especially if that manifests in painful redundancy of loyal staff. UK Government schemes; Furlough, Cebl and Bounce Back loans may provide some of the necessary capital, but if that is not enough are there other solutions?

As a former financier, my business partner recapitalised businesses via sale of strategic assets, raising equity and debt, MBO’s and or securing external investors from Angel and or Private Equity firms. Such solutions can provide a financial life-line addressing capital adequacy requirements and establishing a platform for future growth. The rewards can be great, but nothing in life worth having comes for free. Commercial lenders, Private Equity firms and Angel investors exist to make profit, whilst also protecting their investments from unforeseen events which could render a company bankrupt post investment.

To protect investments, lenders and investors may require Directors’ Personal Guarantees requiring Directors to repay loans should the business fall foul of unforeseen events rendering it bankrupt. Unforeseen events present in many guises. I have worked through the dotcom crash, 9/11, Gulf Wars, SARS and now Covid-19, all of which had a catastrophic effect on the economy and businesses. But how does it feel to be a company Director shouldering the weight of responsibility and pressure of a Directors’ Personal Guarantee. As a business owner I understand exactly how this feels. When businesses perform leaders can feel invincible, but when the tide of success turns – the pressure can be unbearable.

It comes as no surprise that stress associated with running a business can result in mental and physical health complications. Sadly, stress can lead to development of critical illnesses rendering the individual unable to work, or worse, death, perhaps as a by-product of a stress induced heart attack. In my career I have witnessed critical illnesses and premature death far more than I would wish. Against this macabre backdrop, why risk re-capitalising a business in the knowledge that investors usually require a Directors’ Personal Guarantee putting your personal assets such as family home at stake? In the event of death, or critical illness investors or lenders can force the sale of your assets to repay a debt. If those assets include your family home, the impact of such an event at a time of crisis for your loved ones can be unbearable.

As I reflect on my life, my father unexpectedly died aged thirty-eight from a heart attack. The pain associated with his loss was not limited to the emotional but manifested in a physical pain deep inside me. As terrible as the situation was, some relief was provided by a cash-payment from a life insurance policy. The payment provided liquidity to pay down my parents mortgage ensuring my mother was not forced to sell our home.

For those considering re-capitalising a business but worried about providing a Directors’ Personal Guarantee there is a solution. Business Loan Protection provides a cash-lump sum following a successful claim helping to pay-off financial liabilities whilst protecting your personal assets should you be diagnosed with a critical illness or worse. Just as my father’s life insurance policy offered my mother some relief at a time of turmoil, Business Loan Protection provides businesses the liquidity and breathing space to work through a difficult situation, stabilise the business whilst protecting your personal assets. In a world full of unexpected shocks and surprises, could you do more to protect your livelihood? Fatgreen Insurance helps protect shareholders, key staff and businesses from unexpected financial risks. Through a complimentary consultation we will understand your requirements and provide bespoke solutions to protect your business and loved ones.

nick green
<p class="team-pop-title"Peter Blacklock

[email protected]

0333 050 0088

07866 751 415

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Peter Blacklock
Peter is one of the UK’s leading Insurance and business advisory specialists with a track record of building and selling Insurance businesses.

He advises boards and investors in the capacity of CEO, C.A.P.O.W. Consulting, drawing on three decades of experience. Peter’s knowledge of Insurance is unrivalled having had extensive exposure to personal, family and business protection insurance.

Peter is passionate about the North of England and a life-long Sunderland fan and sports coach.

nick green

Anny Lian

[email protected]

0333 366 0988

07908 355 781

Connect with Anny on LinkedIn

Anny was an Investment Banker and CFO of a high-growth company working across Asia, America and now Yorkshire.

With a background in Finance, Anny understands the importance of financial planning and the value of saving and investments while putting together optimal protection plans for businesses, families and individuals.

Anny is also passionate about empowering women financially and boosting women's financial confidence and financial literary.

As an active member of the UK SME sector, Anny accepts invitations to encourage and mentor aspiring future female business leaders.

nick green

Nick Green

0333 366 0988

Connect with Nick on LinkedIn

Nick is the Practice Lead for C-Suite and Private Equity with Nigel Wright, a leading recruitment agency.

At heart, Nick is an entrepreneur who has co-founded two companies, including Fatgreen. Fatgreen arrange Business Protection insurance solutions for SMEs, Private Equity and Venture Capital Investors.

Prior to co-founding Fatgreen, Nick spent two decades in Executive Search, providing recruitment solutions for Investment Banks, Private Equity firms and their portfolio companies. Having dealt with people all his career, he understands the intrinsic link between creating financial value and people.

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