Tom Conlon joined Harbour in May 2019 as Sales Planning & Business Development Manager to support the Investment Management team. Now that he’s had a chance to settle in for the past few months, we asked him more about his role and how he is enjoying it.
Tom, tell me why you decided on Harbour?
Of course, Harbour are a leader in a rapidly growing area and a great set of people – no brainer! I’m really enjoying getting stuck in.
Can you describe your role?
My job is to understand Harbour’s market position and to develop plans to enhance that position and to develop more business. Part of that is about together agreeing business development plans. Its then about working with each team member to deliver on these plans, developing client conversations and profile-raising activity to support these plans and in turn to build our brand and reputation. In time, I may also get involved on the investor relationships and fundraising side of the business.
What is your background and what do you bring to the role?
I led the clients, sectors and markets business development team at Freshfields and before that raised third party capital for private equity at Probitas and Deloitte. Litigation funding brings these two worlds together because we get a lot of our cases from law firms and our capital is third party.
What I bring is the ability to think creatively about how to develop relationships and win new business – the common thread of my roles has been working with sales people on developing client relationships, making more of an impact with client conversations and structuring and organising business development activities.
How did you get to know Harbour?
I was introduced to Harbour by a former colleague and friend with whom I used to work. I got acquainted with you and the team and we spent time evolving and developing a role together – I was really excited about where the business was going and really glad we got there.
Can you tell me what you think the biggest challenges are for third party funding?
Simplistically, our clients could see us as people who just provide capital, just like law firm clients could view lawyers as people who just review contracts. This would significantly underplay our value and contribution. Funders face a dual challenge of on the one hand educating the market on the value they can bring and on the other hand developing broader relationships with existing clients to work with those clients across the whole risk management spectrum.
What’s Harbour like to work at?
High quality people, working at speed, communicating openly and honestly …. with sparkling water on tap!