Recently the Harrogate Advertiser invited our CEO, Andy King, to take part in a sit-down discussion, covering topics from Andy’s impressive career background, to Apollo’s sky-high ambitions.
Name: Andy King
Birthplace: Nottingham, moved to Reading & London and living in Harrogate since 2005
Job title: CEO
Company name: Apollo Capital Group Ltd
Company address: The Lenz, Hornbeam Park, Harrogate HG2 0LE
Website address: www.ApolloCapitalGroup.co.uk
Company founded: 2020
Lending: £250million since formation
Number of staff: 12
1. In a nutshell, what does your company do and how did it start?
Apollo Capital, formed in 2020, is a luxury & supercar finance broker financing cars typically from £50,000 up to £5m. Working with successful private clients and businesses, we are also in partnership with high-value motor dealers, offering our services for their clients.
2. What’s the most surprising thing about it?
How quickly I re-established our business in three years as a major player in the market. I am extremely fortunate to operate in a small but elite high net-worth market and with 25 years of experience, clients want to deal with an expert who can offer the right product and best deal for them. Every client enquiry is a bespoke challenge that I always strive to deliver on. I absolutely love what I do.
3. What do you do?
I am very much hands on, looking after Apollo’s top clients, car collectors and our high-value car division, overviewing business strategy and our major motor dealers, lenders and brand ambassadors. My business partner and managing director David Moss, also vastly experienced, oversees the Apollo team and our systems, also client, dealer and lender relationships.
4. How did you end up here? (i.e. what’s your career background?)
I have worked in finance for over 25 years and love cars, having financed some of the best cars in the world for many very successful clients. I was at Lombard for nine years, working with Natwest, RBS & Coutts on the corporate ladder, learning the trade and was fortunate to work back then with colleagues who are now leaders of major banks. I set up my first finance brokerage in 2005 in Harrogate, latterly Knaresborough and sold my stake in the business in 2016. After a four-year non-compete lock-out I launched Apollo Capital with a ten-year goal of being the undisputed No1 finance broker for high value cars in the UK.
5. If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing? (i.e. in your career)
If I had taken the other the fork in the road at the age of 20, that wasn’t the business and university path, then I would have certainly hoped for a sport-related career. Perhaps becoming a pro footballer, as that was my other strong talent as a sporty youngster.
6. What motivates you?
Seeing my family happy and providing them with stability, great memories and the best start in life that I can. I also thrive on business success, new challenges, meeting and working with like-minded people who are at the top of their game.
7. What one thing do you wish you had known when you started out in business?
Surround yourself with the best people, you simply cannot replace experience. The hurdles and challenges I have faced and overcome across the years have made me a better decision maker and stronger person today.
8. What excites you about business?
Business growth and delivering an exemplary service to new and current clients buying some of the best cars in the world is a real thrill. Achieving client satisfaction feedback and gaining new personal recommendations which then open doors to contacts that no other media or advertising will also gives you that sense of excitement.
9. What is your pet hate in business?
Poor service, I cannot stand it. Good service should be paramount in any business. Naturally, my patience has also grown shorter with age and increased expectation, so I push my team to be the best in what they do and always put the clients’ experience first.
10. What advice would you give to people just starting their careers?
Work hard, really hard. Learn, network, be professional, adaptable, focused on your goal, stay humble and kind and ultimately be the best at what you do.
11. Who in business do you most admire, and why?
Richard Branson. The Virgin empire he has built, the challenges and success of his business story and career is truly inspiring.
12. What moments of your career so far stand out?
Starting Apollo in 2020 and seeing it go from strength-to-strength. I have worked tirelessly over the years to build my reputation and contacts in the car finance world. Naturally, selling a previous business is a very fortunate position to be in, but building it all again, and better, second time around is even more satisfying.
13. What sets your company apart from the competition?
Several aspects including customer service and client experience, 25 years in the industry, specialist lenders and my black book of excellent industry contacts and motor dealer connections.
14. What is the most difficult challenge your company has faced? And what challenges are you experiencing at the moment?
Starting the business during the Covid pandemic after coming back from a four-year lockout was always going to be tough. Whether challenges are Covid, Brexit, credit crunch or general economic factors like interest rates or car supply and demand volatility, when you know the luxury and super car finance industry inside out like me, I always keep a steely positive focus, work harder and even smarter to get the results.
15. Have you got a five-year plan for the company?
Yes, double our lending, double our team, double-digit growth, all focusing on staff satisfaction, absolute client experience and providing an overall first-class offering.
16. Why is it good to do business from Harrogate?
It’s a fantastic town and business community. I have been fortunate enough to do a lot of business locally over the years, so pretty much every private car reg plate in Harrogate I recognise in some form whether they are a friend, client, future prospect or any combination of these three.