This is Guernsey Business
by Guernsey Press and Star
Barney Drakes company y3s Loans, which
he owns with business partner Matt Cottle, won
the crown at the National Business Awards.
Sir Trevor McDonald presented the award to the pair at a ceremony in front of 1,200 business leaders, VIPs and press at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.
‘The most important thing that any company has is its staff.
‘If you do not look after them and at least meet their expectations then you can’t rely on that employee to work hard for you,’ said Mr Drake, 32.
‘The success we have generated has been solely down to the commitment that every member of staff has given this company.
‘In order to get that we have to provide the very best of working conditions.
‘We understand that every employee has a different lifestyle and we have done something about it to make sure it’s as easy as possible for them to work for us.
‘We make sure the changes are implemented.’
The company provides fully-packaged residential and secured loan enquiries on behalf of independent financial advisers and mortgage brokers throughout the UK.
Edwina McQueen of the City & Guilds Business Unit said this year’s finalists were all strong but that y3s stood out by a mile.
She said the company showed clear generosity and benevolence towards its employees, going above and beyond the norm.
‘The presentation was made by their head of operations, who convinced all of us with his passion and enthusiasm for the company,’ said Mrs McQueen.
‘He was proof of how y3s’ genuine concern for the well-being of its workers has such a positive impact on morale.
‘Our own research indicates employees put “being appreciated” as a major contributor to how fulfilled they feel at work.
‘They need to feel employers recognise and appreciate the contribution they make.’
Just some of the examples she highlighted included paying for homesick staff to fly home and see their loved ones or changing working hours from full to part-time without reducing pay for a worker after returning from sick leave.
Mr Drake moved to Guernsey with his family when he was four and attended Vale Private School before going to boarding school.
He then undertook health studies at the Guernsey College of Further Education prior to going to university in Cardiff.
He finished university and went into finance before identifying an opportunity in the market for a national provider of secured loans.
Along with Mr Cottle he launched y3s on 13 September 2001 with just one other member of staff.
However, every year since, the company has trebled its turnover, profit and staffing number, which is now 88.
‘We only operate from one office.
‘I like the hands-on approach and I like being in a position where I know every member of staff who works in the company.’
Mr Drake owns a home in Guernsey and tries to return home as much as he can.
‘I know I only moved to Guernsey when I was four but I still class it as my home.
‘It’s where I grew up.’