Smart50 Awards 2016

29 Development Finance Partners

Revenue

$2.4 million

Growth

123%

Founders

Baxter Gamble, 52, Matthew Royal, 41

Head office

Sydney, New South Wales

Year founded

2011

Employees

10

Industry

Finance and insurance

Website

www.dfpartners.com.au

DevelopmentFinancePartners_Baxter

Baxter Gamble

This year has been a good year for Development Finance Partners, with the business having more than doubled its staff and launching its own equity fund in July.

Development Finance Partners began as a service to both corporate and SME property developers to help them financially engineer their businesses and manage periods of financial stress. Identifying the niche within the corporate advisory industry, the business continued to expand and now also covers areas like debt capital advisory and investment management services.

The company recorded revenue of $2.4 million in 2015-16 and over the past three years, has grown its revenue by 123%.

The last time SmartCompany spoke to Baxter Gamble and Matthew Royal, the founders said alerting the market to the company’s presence had been a challenge. Today, the two have embraced social media and online marketing, recognising the importance of continuing to build a strong brand.

Alongside that, the business has focused on demonstrating its expertise through a number of blog posts, whitepapers, and case studies. Events ran by the business have also proved to be helpful, with a developer luncheon held by the business selling out within two weeks.

Through growing the business, the founders have focused on providing support for staff when times are tough, striving to “treat our people like family”.

“In the past 12 months some of our staff have had major life events that have meant they need extra support. We have provided paid leave to deal with the death of young family members, funded a holiday, [and] supported donations to foundations set up for grieving family members,” the two say.

“We expect our staff to deliver to a high standard, however, we also acknowledge that they are people with personal lives and by supporting them we are given their loyalty along with high productivity levels.”

Matthew Royal

Matthew Royal

Like many business owners, the pair have also encountered “serious roadblocks” in some of the business’s deals, which threatened to derail months of hard work.

“There have been occasions when several large transactions, worked on for many months, all confronted unexpected serious roadblocks on the same day,” they say.

“On such rare but challenging days we have strived to remain calm and solutions focused, avoid laying blame or finding fault, and taking confidence in our able team.”

Looking towards the future, Gamble and Royal are hoping to grow the investment management and funds management divisions of the business, with the aim of multiplying revenue and increasing profitability.

“We also want to improve our client relationship and sales management systems through technology, and continue to grow and develop our sales staff,” they say.

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