Business

Chris Hawes joins PwC’s debt and capital advisory team

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Big Four firm PwC has strengthened its debt and capital advisory team with Chris Hawes, who leads the asset-based lenders offering.

PwC’s Debt and Capital Advisory team comprises of 30 debt specialists based across the UK. It has seen demand for its services ramp up, as borrowers look to optimise their financing strategy and navigate the increasingly diverse lender landscape. This includes more than 100 active debt funds, a significant number of independent asset-based lenders (ABL) and challenger banks, in addition to the traditional commercial lenders.

Joining as a Director, Hawes now leads the asset-based lenders offering. His key focus will be to build on the already extensive experience in the team, helping private, listed and private equity-backed companies requiring working capital and asset based facilities.

Chris Hawes becomes Director with PwC

“We’ve already seen increasing demand for ABL as a financing solution for businesses, with the team having worked on ABL financing processes totalling close to £1 billion in the last two years,” explained Richard Siddall, a partner in the Debt and Capital Advisory practice.

“We expect that this trend will continue as the market recovers from the pandemic. The aerospace, automotive, manufacturing, construction and plant hire sectors are where activity could be particularly high… It’s great to have someone of Chris’ calibre and expertise joining our team.”

Hawes brings 23 years of asset-based lending expertise to the firm. Throughout his career, he has built and led ABL teams at ABN Amro, NatWest, HSBC and, more recently, M&G. He has extensive experience in structuring and providing asset based facilities to corporates across multiple sectors in the UK, the US, Europe and Asia.

Speaking on his appointment, Hawes said, “I’m thrilled to be joining PwC, particularly given the momentum around asset-based lending within PwC’s business. We’re seeing first-hand how borrowers and private equity are increasingly looking to ABL facilities as an alternative to traditional cash flow and leveraged facilities.”

Ken Walsh, Head of Deals at PwC, added, “As the economy is emerging from the financial impact of the pandemic we are seeing a deals-led recovery and Chris’ arrival comes at a very important stage for our clients as they are looking to refinance existing facilities to create headroom to take advantage of the market opportunities. Corporates have found the flexibility offered by asset based lending particularly attractive as they are looking to fund top line growth.”

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