Leading
the way in a changing market

Annual Report and Accounts 2017

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We are Alfa

We bring clarity to the complex


We relentlessly push boundaries to provide smarter, faster and more efficient solutions that meet the needs of clients and customers worldwide.

Highlights

  • Total revenue

    £87.8m

    20% increase on 2016

  • Adjusted EBIT margin

    47%
    Profit for the period before taxation, interest income, share-based compensation and other exceptional, unusual or generally non-recurring items as a proportion of revenue.

    up from 45% in 2016

  • Operating profit

    £33.8m

    in comparison to £16.6 million in 2016

  • Alfa team

    329employees
    Based on closing headcount.

    Net increase of 60 from December 2016

  • Completed software
    implementations

    5

    Delivered in 2017

All data is for the year ended 31 December 2017

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Strategy in action

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  • We prefer personal,
    not general

  • Flexibility not
    rigidity

  • We bring character,
    not robots

  • We always pioneer,
    never follow

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We prefer personal, not general

PEAC Finance is an independent pan-European asset finance leasing company.

Working together with partners and brokers alike, they deliver innovative financial solutions funding a wide range of asset classes, from office technology and software to manufacturing and plant equipment.

How Alfa helped

Following PEAC’s acquisition by HPS Investment Partners in January 2016, PEAC needed to meet a challenging deadline of less than a year to identify, build and deliver a new contract management platform. The integration of Alfa Systems ensured PEAC’s unique business requirements ran effectively whilst eliminating several historical processes and technical system silos.

Over the course of the year-long project, a team of 12 Alfa staff worked in partnership with PEAC on site to design, configure, develop, test and implement its new asset finance platform.

Together Alfa and PEAC sought to understand how each of their core systems should integrate and function with the aim of streamlining PEAC’s business processes and delivering fast, efficient finance at point of sale for PEAC’s external partners.

Impact

Since go-live in May 2017, Alfa and PEAC have continued to work closely together to further develop a platform that works for PEAC’s ongoing needs. Alfa Systems seamlessly consolidated seven different operating systems with multiple logons into a single platform, with only one login required. Alfa supports all aspects of the PEAC contract lifecycle: on-boarding, operations and processing, as well as finance and analytics. Crucially, many of PEAC’s partners now use the same system as the internal sales support team to submit proposals via Alfa’s front-end Point of Sale system. This has not only made the originations process faster and more efficient, but has enabled external partners to receive credit decisions on-line within a matter of seconds.

Flexibility not rigidity

Regulatory compliance at Societe Generale Equipment Finance UK (SGEF)

The accounting standard IFRS 9, published by the IASB, sets out the requirements for recognising and measuring financial assets and financial liabilities. The deadline for IFRS 9 compliance is 1 January 2018.

How Alfa helped

Alfa Systems is a fundamental component of SGEF UK’s IT landscape. There was a requirement to update this core system, as well as specific operational processes, in order to reflect the new IFRS 9 obligations. We worked with SGEF to gather requirements, suggest suitable system changes, and assist with the analysis and redesign of Finance and Collections processes to ensure timely compliance.

Although IFRS 9 was the initial driver for this particular project, SGEF also wanted to take the opportunity to automate the system’s provisions processing features, and enhance Alfa’s accounting functionality to reduce unwelcome manual work required at the end of each reporting month. Over the course of the project, a team of Alfa consultants worked closely with SGEF, providing regulatory advice as well as technical design, development and implementation support.

Impact

This project was delivered in two phases, with the first completed in February 2017 and the second in December 2017, well within the required deadline. Through the implementation of new automation, SGEF benefited immediately from more robust and efficient processes for the Finance and Collections teams. Alfa continues to provide on-site support, responding to IFRS 9 queries as SGEF adjusts to the new processes following the successful go-live.

We bring character, not robots

Energy, teamwork and fun

These attributes describe how we work at Alfa; they inform how we work with each other and our customers. Delivering the best for our customers is our number one priority, but we make sure success is delivered within an environment conducive to respect, collaboration and creativity. We believe that an inclusive and supportive internal environment internally makes day-to-day life easier for the Alfa team and this positive spirit is carried through to our clients. Listen to Hannah describe her working day in the office and on client site.

We always pioneer, never follow

Cultivating innovation at Alfa

The markets our customers operate in are constantly changing. Our goal is to help our customers remain relevant by continually enhancing, developing and innovating our software in order to support their growth ambitions.

How we develop

Our rigorous development protocol includes robust processes and ensures quality output. To prepare regular releases and deliver on our quality promise we employ an agile methodology process that is built around four-weekly time boxes. Every four weeks (this is a period well in excess of 1,000 man days) new code is committed to the code base. The four week period is supported by a robust software development lifecycle using test driven development techniques and automated regression testing. Suites of tests are executed after every commit and every day, including for performance testing and using a variety of representative configurations. This gives our customers confidence that future releases will continue to work for them.

Collaboration and innovation

As well as developing new features that our customers need, we’re continually investigating and implementing new technologies. In FY17 we had our first go-lives on the MySQL database platform, in addition to the more common Oracle database, and we added support for the NuoDB database, from which, we believe, our customers will derive significant benefits. In FY18 we expect to fully productionise our support for Docker, which will reduce the installation time of our software to a matter of minutes for those customers who don’t adopt our cloud offering.

How we cultivate continued innovation

New ideas are actively welcomed from all the Alfa team. We firmly believe that innovation is not achieved through top-down diktats; we actively encourage participation and the generation of new ideas from everyone.

Teams are given the freedom to explore and develop their ideas. Our development community works in small streams of six to eight people who have ownership of the areas in which they specialise. This approach not only encourages continuous improvement, it allows for the big ideas to grow and develop. We also run formal innovation programmes such as our Hackathons, during which the whole company works together in a highly energetic and innovative environment to put new ideas into action. The Hackathons run in 2017 have produced more than ten active projects or initiatives.

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Flexibility not rigidity

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We bring character, not robots

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We always pioneer, never follow

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We prefer personal, not general