FINANCE; A Round-Up of News from the Region's Finance Sector in the Past Week

The Birmingham Post (England), December 13, 2012 | Go to article overview

FINANCE; A Round-Up of News from the Region's Finance Sector in the Past Week


Son follows in father's footsteps with new cafe The son of a long-standing Coventry businessman has followed in his father's footsteps by establishing a new venture in the city centre.

Bally Bhambra has opened a new cafe called Kahawa (meaning coffee in Swahili), which is situated in the old job centre building on New Union Street.

Mr Bhambra, aged 28, from Radford, has worked in banking and recruitment since leaving university but always had the desire to go into self-employment.

Having learned from his father and uncles who have all managed retail businesses in Coventry and own Bodyfuel in the city arcade, he decided to open a cafe business with financial support from his family.

He said: "When I was in recruitment, I used a number of coffee shops as my 'mobile office' so grew to understand what facilities I would like to see. Here at Kahawa, I have tried to create an environment that is suitable for business people who need free Wi-Fi access, need space and a relaxed environment in which to work. In addition, the layout of the cafe is very user-friendly for parents with pushchairs."

The cafe, which has 46 covers but can cater for 60, has taken on two new full time staff - a number that is set to increase as the business grows.

The refurbishment work at the cafe was supported financially by Barclays.

Local business manager Narinder Singh said: "I have worked with the Bhambra family for a number of years as they have grown their business empire. I am delighted to see Bally following in his father's footsteps and have enjoyed watching the development of Kahawa over recent months which is now open in the form of a very smart cafe and wish him every success for the future."

New faces at Duff & Phelps Global financial advisory and investment banking firm, Duff & Phelps has expanded its Birmingham office with the appointment of two senior managers.

Its Birmingham restructuring team has been joined by Jonathan Lamb and Richard Voice, who have both worked within 'big four' firms in the Midlands prior to joining Duff & Phelps.

Mr Lamb worked in a business advisory role within restructuring for more than eight years and subsequently worked as an investment manager in a mid-market private equity firm in the Midlands, where he was responsible for reviewing both new investment opportunities and portfolio company performance. He then spent time in industry, most recently as the commercial director of a national retailer.

He is now engaged in delivering the business consulting and advisory side of projects undertaking business reviews, options analysis and cash management assignments.

Mr Voice has been working in the Midlands restructuring market for more than 25 years and in addition to his portfolio of formal insolvency assignments has in depth experience in option reviews for all types of stakeholders including early options analysis, AMA transactions, distressed equity investing and balance sheet restructurings. Duff & Phelps partner John Whitfield said: "We are delighted to welcome both Jonathan and Richard into the team here in Birmingham. They bring with them excellent practical experience and their individual skill sets will be a welcome complement to the team that we have already established."

PS11m finance for transport provider Rotala, the Birmingham-based transport provider, has received PS11 million from the Royal Bank of Scotland Corporate & Institutional Banking.

The finance will support Rotala's aim of continuing to grow both organically and by acquisition.

Headquartered in Long Acre, Rotala is a regional operator of scheduled bus services and provider of private bus networks for corporates.

It operates from a network of six depots across the West Midlands, North West, South West and Heathrow and carries around 35 million passengers each year under a variety of brands including Diamond Bus, Wessex Connect, Flights Hallmark and Preston Bus. …

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