Former head of UK Government Procurement appointed to the board of Birmingham-based business finance solutions provider
Nigel Smith, former Chief Executive at the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) and Second Permanent Secretary in HM Treasury, has joined the board of Birmingham-based business finance solution provider Obillex to help the company shake up the supply chain finance market in the private and public sector.
Smith is currently a non-executive director of Sepura plc, a global leader in the supply of TETRA and DMR digital radio products and services and a non-executive director of Sellafield ltd, the nuclear decommissioning, reprocessing and waste management site license authority. He is also an advisor to HM Treasury on Major Programmes.
He was formerly Chairman of data analytics business Spikes Cavell , President of multi-national Invensys Rail Systems and Chief Executive of Charter plc, a major British engineering business.
Whilst at the OGC, he was responsible for leading the drive to modernise government procurement and deliver value for money. His responsibilities included setting out a clear procurement framework that all government departments could follow, as well as managing the relationship with government’s key suppliers across some of the country’s largest projects. At the OGC, he spearheaded major initiatives transforming collaborative procurement activity and capability across Whitehall. His strategic focus resulted in significant efficiency and value for money savings being achieved in the public sector.
Smith was once described by Sir Gus O’Donnell, former head of the Civil Service, as an “excellent leader” who had “a positive influence on the way government departments procure goods and services.”
On the new appointment, Damian Crowe, chief executive of Obillex, said “We aim to shake up the business finance market by making it possible to get money into the hands of SME suppliers quicker and at a lower cost than ever before, providing vital working capital for them to thrive and grow. Nigel’s background will be key to helping achieve our vision of establishing supply chain finance as every day finance and not a last resort source of high cost cash.”
Smith added: “The environment for game-changing business finance provision is ideal particularly as the government is looking to clampdown on late payment, which is widely acknowledged to have cost UK businesses over £40bn in the past year alone. Obillex provides something really innovative in a marketplace which has been dominated for too long by high cost bank finance. I am looking forward to supporting the growth ambitions of the company and finally providing an effective solution and support to the vital SME sector of the economy.”
Through its unique financial instrument, Obillex has focussed on addressing the critical issue of accessing finance as quickly and cheaply as possible. Its solution leverages the credit worthiness of big business and public sector buyers to draw in investors, who attracted by the low risk involved put up funds that enable almost instant payment of an invoice in exchange for a small fee.