Ampla’s on the up! 5 minutes with Steve Gauke, Director of Business Development
To mark the upcoming one-year anniversary of the launch of Legacy, we sat down with our Director of Business Development, Steve Gauke, to delve a little deeper into his plans for the business, catch up on his first 6 months and find out more about what firms and clients can expect to see from Legacy as it enters its second year.
Q: What attracted you to join Ampla Finance? What interested you about the business?
Steve: In my career I’ve worked for large and small entities, but for my next move I was really keen to return to a smaller, more agile and close-knit team. I could immediately see the business and market opportunity, and the chance to grow and shape a cutting-edge new product – particularly one that’s defining a new market – was an exciting prospect.
I’m also a real believer in the product and what it can offer individuals at a difficult period in their personal life. Whilst ours is a commercial – as opposed to noble – cause, it is rewarding to know that our product can help take some of the edge off at a stressful and emotional time.
Q: What has been your best moment in the job so far?
Steve: Part of the beauty of taking a new product to market is that there are lots of ‘firsts’ to enjoy, from getting our first enquiry, to writing our first beneficiary loan and receiving our first client testimonial. It’s also been great to see law firms really engaging with the product, many of whom have commented on the value-add it provides in terms of enhancing their client offering.
For the wider business, we’ve also had a fair few stand-out moments over the past 6 months: we’ve taken up new office space in London, increased the number of staff in both customer-facing and back-office roles, and strengthened the management team. All of these mini-milestones will go a long way in helping support our growth aspirations.
Q: What challenges have you faced during your first months?
Steve: As with defining any new market, the first year will always be one of learning lessons and adapting – especially so when operating in such unusual circumstances! The key challenge is one of education – ensuring people know the product exists and what it can do for them.
Interestingly, while we expected the response from the legal market to be positive, we’ve been really surprised by the number of enquiries coming to us direct from individuals.
What are your goals for Ampla Legacy over the next year?
Steve: One of the main things we’re keen to achieve is to continue to educate the market on the length and complexity of the probate process, and build awareness that, for those who need quick access to the funds, waiting is not the only option.
We’re ambitious and are keen to grow the business as quickly and as sustainably as possible – in other words expanding the reach of our services, but without doing so at the expense of quality customer service. This is even more critical in our particular line of work, given the client base we serve are going through some of the most difficult life events.
Experiences of divorce and bereavement are naturally deeply personal and unique, so as we expand, building flexibility into our processes so that we can provide bespoke solutions to each and every individual that seeks our help will be key to helping as many people as we possibly can.
Q: What do you do to relax?
Steve: Much like everyone else, not much over the past year (!), though diving into a new role during peak lockdown was definitely a welcome distraction.
Prior to 2020, I considered myself somewhat of an avid cricketer, chairing and playing for Copdock and Old Ipswichian Cricket Club for many years now. I’m definitely looking forward to dusting off my bowling and batting skills this summer, and hopefully soon will be knocking it out the park both on the pitch and in the Ampla office!