Published: 17th March 2021
Hermina joined SASC in February 2018, as Portfolio Manager, and was promoted to Portfolio Director in early 2020. Here she shares her reflections on 3 years with SASC.
I joined SASC in 2018 when SASC had invested a total of £47.2m into 17 organisations. 3 of these organisations were based in Hull (Child Dynamix, Hull Women’s Network and Giroscope) and I remember my visits to the city fondly. Throughout my time at SASC, a highlight of my work was getting to meet these incredible organisations and their staff. Each visit I saw firsthand the impact they were having in local communities.
These visits inspired my approach to managing a growing portfolio of borrower organisations. Part of the responsibility as a social investor is not only to offer bespoke, flexible finance but also to be a long-term partner. This meant that a lot of our most important work happened after the loan was made. A key part of my role was to develop this long-term relationship and be a trusted partner who enabled the organisations to develop.
SASC’s goal was to understand how different forms of financing could be adapted to support the needs of organisations over the long term. During my time at SASC, the portfolio almost doubled in size, with an increasing number of follow-on loans to existing borrowers. Once we had a good working relationship with a charity, we continued to support them to scale their impactful work.
It wasn’t just the borrowers we worked with. The portfolio team had to navigate the complexities of the wider sector in which the borrowers work. We engaged with many different types of stakeholders including social and commercial investors, policy bodies, local authorities and other government bodies who all are interested in the progress of the portfolio organisations.
A lot of SASC’s success to date has come out of those close relationships with borrower organisations. Because these relationships require great care and attention beyond just monitoring the investment, I believe that portfolio management is a crucial role in the social investment sector. The SASC portfolio team’s work is proof that it is hugely beneficial to loan management, as well as to the broader success of the third sector. I hope that my work and SASC’s continued focus on portfolio management will encourage other investors to do the same.
Hermina’s work has been vital to the expansion and success of SASC’s operation since she joined in 2018. On behalf of everyone at SASC and all the borrowers that worked with Hermina over the past few years, we’d like to thank her for her commitment and drive, and wish her every success for the future.