Alex Smith established a small single shop retail business in the Hilltown area of Dundee. This was immediately after the end of WW2 and there was poverty but great demand for goods and services.
The establishment of the business was followed by the acquisition of Methven Hyslop, a local furniture manufacturer.
From very humble and modest beginnings Alex Smith developed a chain of seven department stores in the East of Scotland employing around 400 staff and established The Glamis Property Company Limited to hold the retail stores and other property investments.
Robert Cable & Company Limited, an Aberdeen based retailer, and George Fairweather Limited, a furniture, joinery and funeral undertaker business, were acquired and a consumer finance company established providing hire purchase and revolving credit facilities to the retail customers.
During the 70s the retail business boomed on the back of consumer credit. Alex Smith commission and had printed and minted his own ‘in-store’ currency, branded Cable Cash, to allow department store customers to purchase goods in all his stores.
Cable also was a founding member of the Keycheck voucher organisation, selling vouchers on a pre-payment basis to consumers and to the corporate incentives market.
Ron Smith, Alex son, joined the business after university and an early career in investment banking.
The finance company was rebranded as Cable CashPoint and 30 branches were established throughout Scotland to provide consumer lending facilities.
A cheque cashing and money transmission service was added as an alternative to a person requiring to open and operate a bank account.
Ron was co-founder and Vice Chairperson of the British Cheque Cashing Association (BCCA) and a Chairperson of the Consumer Credit Association of the United Kingdom (CCAUK) in Scotland. He represented the finance industry in talks with government departments and banking associations.
CCA Mutual, a captive insurance business, was formed to offer payment protection insurance and extended warranties to finance customers.
Cable Asset Management Limited was established to provide asset finance (equipment leasing) facilities to businesses.
Ron invented and pioneered the PayDay Loan business in the U.K. recognising the high cost and inaccessibly of bank overdrafts. This service was established pre-internet and the PayDay business thereafter became widely accesses and highly successful after it became an ‘on-line’ finance product.
A further overdraft type product was established, branded Cash Reserve, which provided credit card type facilities.
The Glamis business also acquired a travel agency.
The consumer finance business was disposed of to two quoted financial companies; Cattles Plc and Park Group Plc.
Glamis Property was rebranded as Glamis Investments and started to provide subordinate (mezzanine) finance to property developers.
Glamis also established a fractional property ownership business for overseas holiday homes.
Recognising the risk of a property bubble and excessive bank lending, Ron reduced his exposure to property related finance prior to the recession of 2007/8.
Due to the recession-driven illiquidity and onerous terms from new regulation of mainstream banks, Ron established Provisio Capital group of protected cell companies on the Isle of Man. Provisio was an early-stage crowdfunding platform solely for seasoned investors.
Syndicates of investors now fund asset backed projects, primarily property development and investment projects. Provisio also offers funding for ‘high growth’ trading ventures.
Because Provisio Capital provides a very practical and ‘hands-on’ solution for entrepreneurs requiring high funding-to-value, the Provisio finance products are in demand and this is likely to continue for some time due to the lending constraints place on conventional banks.
The Provisio Capital ‘crowdfunding’ seasoned investors achieve a high but secure return on their equity and this has attracted a considerable number of participants and equity particularly form trust companies and pension schemes looking for a high yield but short term commitment.
Most Provisio lending transactions ‘turn-over’ within a 12 month term and produce a net return of between 12% and 18% per annum.
Participation in Provisio Capital is through introduction from an existing Provisio member.
Glamis Investments operates Provisio Funding in the U.K. to source and manage attractive investment opportunities on behalf of Provisio Capital syndicates.