Chris Hughes, Relationship Director Aviation, Lombard part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc
How long have you been at your current organization?
I have been with Lombard since March 2010 having previously worked in the Structured Asset Finance team at BNP Paribas Fortis in the UK, and before that at HSBC bank plc. I initially joined Lombard to work in the Corporate Asset Finance team but when an opportunity came up six years ago to get back into Aviation I jumped at the chance. The past six years have flown by …pardon the pun.
What are your responsibilities within your organization?
As a Director within our Aviation finance team I am involved to a degree in all aspects of the client life cycle. My primary role is deal origination, negotiation and execution but I also get involved in credit management, and assessing policy and risk appetite for the aviation business in general. A key component of the role is relationship management of both our internal and external stakeholders as well as our growing customer base.
Describe a typical day or week in your role.
I like to start the day with an early Crossfit fix, an early workout always sets me up for the day ahead. First thing I do when I get into the office is to check my emails and action anything that may have come in overnight. From there it’s a real mix of client meetings, internal stakeholder sessions, client calls and external stakeholder meetings together with taking time to catch up with the team on workloads and pipeline. My wife would say that my working week will always include one lunch meeting in London too…..
What do you love most about your job?
It’s tough to pinpoint one aspect to be honest but if you pushed me, I’d have to say that it’s the clients that you get to meet and work with. Our clients include everything and everyone from Air Ambulance charities who do amazing work across the UK to HNWI clients who may have developed and grown businesses to become hugely successful.
Why did working in the Business Aviation industry interest you, and how did you get started?
I got into the industry by chance really. I joined BNP Paribas Fortis as a Credit Analyst and the month I joined coincided with them launching their Structured Asset Finance team and one of the first deals they asked me to review was a proposal for a used Challenger 604 – from there on in I was hooked!
Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?
I can’t say that there has been just one person; I’ve been very lucky and worked for some great leaders in my career and I’ve tried to learn something from all of them.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Friendly – Honest – Persistent
What one item would you never travel without on a long haul flight?
Headphones – as soon as I step on a long haul flight, I go straight to the movie section on the in-flight entertainment and will happily sit through three or four films back to back.
Finally, what is your hidden talent or hobby?
Not sure if it’s a hobby as such but I’m a big country music fan. We have even hosted some aviation contacts at the Country 2 Country festival at the O2 a couple of years ago. Seeing Al Whyte from CJI strutting his stuff to some Country music was a real highlight. I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to hang out backstage with one of my favourite country stars, Dierks Bentley, on his last UK tour too (see photo).
About Lombard part of the RBS Group
Lombard Aviation Finance specialises in the provision of finance for aircraft and helicopters. Our experience within the industry spans over 20 years, during which time we have helped a growing number of aviation contacts and businesses to discover the benefits of aircraft ownership.
We offer finance on new and used fixed wing and rotary up to executive jets, with terms that can be tailored to suit individual requirements.
We also provide funding for aviation related equipment such as simulators and ground handling equipment, as well as funding for a wide range of fixed assets for business use.
As one of the UK’s leading providers of aviation finance and as part of the RBS Group, Lombard has built a reputation for expertise, competitiveness and trust.
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