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Community Relations

Throughout our business, the secret of S&U's success lies in the close ties it has with its customers. It's therefore natural for this to translate into links with the local communities we serve. That is why, both through direct sponsorship and through the Keith Coombs Trust, we at S&U support charities, mainly for young people both for those who can't support themselves and for those who, with help and incentive, actually can.

That means, in the Midlands, support for children with disabilities through the National Institute for Conductive Education where Anthony and Graham Coombs serve as trustees. Last May Anthony and Graham Coombs, along with Ed Ahrens, Managing Director of Aspen Bridging participated in a "Bridge Too Far" cycle challenge in France along some of the route of the Tour de France to raise money for the Keith Coombs Trust.

We also provide scholarships for aspiring and talented young choreographers and designers through the Birmingham Royal Ballet; as well as providing a new project for deaf and hard of hearing children through the Birmingham office of the NSPCC, upon whose national board, Tarek Khlat, non-executive director, sits.

More important of all, our work gives S&U staff the opportunity to do their bit for local good causes too. These range from a Million Meter Row for Marie Curie Cancer Care, to sponsorship of kayak rides, cake days and cycle rides.

Good business means doing good and we never forget it.

Consumer Credit - S&U plc

S&U was founded in Birmingham in 1938 by Clifford Coombs, a charismatic figure from South Wales. His secret lay in his ability to charm and motivate people, whether they were customers or employees. By 1975, changing customer tastes and sophistication saw S&U and its sister company S.D. Taylor Ltd transform their goods based credit businesses into a finance and HP operation. This was successfully taken forward by Clifford’s sons Derek and Keith Coombs for the following three decades! Consistent with this customer focussed home credit operation the business has traded very well as Loansathome4u during the last decade until its disposal in August 2015 for over £82m.

Motor Finance - Advantage Finance

Set up in 1999, Advantage has grown to be one of the most progressive and innovative motor finance companies in the country and is a member of the Finance and Leasing Association. Advantage employ over 90 people and have provided motor finance for over 80,000 customers across the UK, growing at the rate of 15,000 per year.

Operating within the non-prime market sector, Advantage has built its excellent reputation and track record on quality as opposed to quantity. Funding is invested wisely through a very experienced management team the majority of whom have been with the Company since inception. Low staff turnover and a strong focus on reward and recognition are fundamental to the success of Advantage which has achieved sixteen consecutive years of record profits.

Board Members

Anthony Coombs MA (Oxon)
Nominations Committee

Joined S&U in 1975 and was appointed Managing Director in 1999 and then Chairman in 2008. Between 1987 and 1997 served as a Member of Parliament and was a member of the Government. Serves on the Executive of the Consumer Credit Association and chairs its Public Relations Committee and is a director of a number of companies and charities including chairing the trustees of the National Institute for Conductive Education.

Graham Coombs MA (Oxon) MSc (Lon)
Deputy Chairman
Nominations Committee

Joined S&U plc after graduating from London Business School in 1976.

Chris Redford ACA
Group Finance Director and Company Secretary

A Chartered accountant with over 10 years business experience in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods, food and travel sectors prior to his appointment as Finance Director of Advantage Finance in 1999. Following a successful start up period for Advantage he was appointed as Group Finance Director with effect from 1 March 2004.

Guy Thompson
Managing Director of Advantage Finance

Guy joined the Group in 1999 as Managing Director of Advantage Finance and has overseen an excellent performance in their first 16 years. Guy has a strong track record in the finance and motor sectors and since his appointment brings these skills to the Board of S&U plc.

Demetrios Markou MBE FCA
Nominations, Audit and Remuneration Committees

A Chartered Accountant with over 40 years experience in public practice in Birmingham and director of many private companies. He has extensive commercial and political experience.

Graham Pedersen
Nominations, Audit and Remuneration Committees

Graham joined the Board of S&U in early 2015 and brings enormous experience both as a regulator at the Prudential Regulation Authority and as banker with detailed knowledge and involvement in the speciality finance sector.

Fiann Coombs BA (Lon) MSc (Lon)

An economic analyst with wide-ranging professional and commercial skills and experience, Fiann has brought these skills to the considerable benefit of the S&U Group since his appointment to the Board in 2002.

Tarek Khlat MBA (Harvard) BA

Tarek co-founded Crossbridge Capital where he is currently group CEO. Prior to this he held leading financial services roles at Credit Suisse and JP Morgan and in journalism at CNN and Fox Television. Tarek holds a BA in Economics from Georgetown University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is a trustee of the NSPCC.


S&U plc,
2 Stratford Court
Cranmore Boulevard
B90 4QT

Telephone: 0121 705 77 77
Facsimile: 0121 705 78 78
Email: [email protected]


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