Fintech owned by billionaire Joe Lewis appoints new chief

By Roger Baird on Monday 11 February 2019

Alternative Lending

Ultimate Finance appoints former banker Josh Levy to run the lender.

A small business financer owned by British billionaire Joe Lewis has appointed a new chief executive. 

Josh Levy takes up his new role at Bristol-based Ultimate Finance, after serving as a board member on the firm’s leadership team over the past year.

He promised to continue to support small firms through the “challenges they face”, as he replaces former head Ron Robson who steps down after four years. 

Levy has worked at Tavistock Group since 2016, which is an investment group that holds Ultimate Finance among its portfolio of more than 200 firms across 11 countries. Tavistock is owned by British-Bahamas-based billionaire Joe Lewis, who also owns London football club Tottenham Hotspur.

Levy, a former investment banker at Investec, is also a board member of FTSE 250 pub group Mitchells & Butlers, in which Lewis also holds a significant stake. The group owns such brands as All Bar One, Harvester and Toby Carvery.

Levy is 28, according to Mitchells & Butlers 2018 annual report.

Levy said: “I’ve been able to spend a lot of time with Ron and the [Ultimate Finance] executive team over the last year. The strategy and priorities remain the same. I am focused on us continuing to provide good funding and supporting our customers navigate the challenges they face.”

Last month, Ultimate Finance said its  overall lending jumped 35 per cent to £1.4bn in the year to December 2018, as it wrote more asset finance, bridging and invoice loans.

The lender, founded in 2002, said Robson, who is also deputy chairman at Mitchells & Butlers, will remain at Tavistock.

Robson added: “After 10 years at Tavistock, the last four as chief executive of Ultimate, I will be focussing on my other responsibilities within the group.”  

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