From Finance to Viticulture: Making dreams happen
Simon Greenwood is the owner of The Mount Vineyard – a truly stunning hidden gem of a place in Sevenoaks, Kent. Here he tells us a little bit about his journey from financial markets to viticulture and how we were able to help make his dream a reality.
The dream of owning a vineyard
I have been in the financial industry for about 20 years, selling foreign exchange products. It has given me a lot of opportunity to travel, taste lots of wines but also sort of engage with lots of customers from all over the globe, so it has been quite a mix to come into viticulture. I’m a country boy at heart, I grew up in a very small hamlet up in Leicestershire and I think deep down I always knew I wanted to come back to the countryside.
What I did was very much, sort of make a list of things that were important to me and number ten, I guess, on my list, because I thought it was a joke, would be it would be nice to have a vineyard. This did come up, it was something I watched very closely. I saw the price come slowly, slowly down and begged borrowed and stole just enough to get it over the line and achieve my goal basically.
The reality check: Needing to raise capital
My personal circumstances changed, I had to approach where I was living in a slightly different way. Obviously, before it was a primary residence. When those circumstances changed, I had to look at the property as a bit of an asset and for that to happen I had to raise the capital.
The people at SK Financial are always willing to listen to what your issues are, which is sometimes one of the biggest problems. When you need finance or when you need help, you don’t always get the people to listen to what your core problem is. And having that ability was incredibly important to me because in effect I could basically say, these are all my issues, can you please go and sort it out.
Trust made it all happen
Right from the start there was a very proactive approach. They introduced me to several lenders, some of which I turned down and some of which I was turned down because I didn’t fit certain criteria. Clearly, it was a bit of a rollercoaster ride, but at no point did I feel like I wasn’t getting information. I never felt left out. And eventually, the guys at SK Financial were able to find the lender that fitted my profile and that is why I am sitting here today.
For me, the most important thing, and I have been in sales a long, long time, is trust. I know it is a cliché to say that it takes a lifetime to build trust and only a moment to break it, but that is why, in a nutshell, I will keep going back to SK, because I trust them.
You can watch the full story here.