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Dental duo turn to Wesleyan for their commercial and personal finance needs

Dental duo turn to Wesleyan for their commercial and personal finance needs


Sonu and Rose Thomas acquire established NHS practice and invest in surgery revamp

The business

The Surgery dental practice in Blackpool has been established since the 1930s and today has approximately 7,000 patients. The mixed practice is predominantly NHS but also undertakes some private work.

Dr Sonu Thomas is an experienced general dental practitioner and qualified from the University of Kerala, India in 2000 before completing his postgraduate degree in Paediatric Dentistry. In 2006, Sonu Thomas moved to the UK with his wife, Rose Thomas, who is also a dentist, and he joined The Surgery practice in 2007 as an associate.

Sonu Thomas has subsequently completed a postgraduate certificate course in Cosmetic Restorative Dentistry, as well as successfully passing examinations administered by the respected Membership of the Joint Dental Faculties (MJDF) and the Membership of the Faculty of Dental Surgery (MFDS) professional bodies.

Rose Thomas has gained an MSc qualification in Endodontology and works as a GDP and part-time post graduate clinical supervisor at the University of Central Lancashire.

The challenge

Sonu Thomas had been considering purchasing a dental practice for two years, however his attempts were hindered by the competitive nature of the marketplace and high practice valuations. But when Dr K Nantheesan, the owner and principal dentist at The Surgery practice since 1988 expressed his intention to retire, the perfect opportunity presented itself.

After initially approaching a leading high street financial lender to discuss his options, Sonu subsequently turned to Wesleyan, a specialist provider of commercial and personal finance solutions to dentists.

"Rose and I had enjoyed a good relationship with Wesleyan for over eight years. An experienced financial consultant arranged our home insurance cover when we purchased our residential property. Wesleyan also provided sound advice to us when discussing our investment and savings solutions - including stocks Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) - which offered us a tax efficient way to save money," explains Sonu Thomas.

"When we expressed our desire to purchase The Surgery practice, our Wesleyan Financial Consultant arranged for us to speak with a dedicated point of contact at Wesleyan Bank for further guidance.Regional Healthcare Relationship Manager Raj Patel was able to immediately put us at ease with his knowledge of the dental sector and we felt reassured that Wesleyan Bank possessed a willingness to help us achieve our goals," he continues.

The solution

Part of the Wesleyan Group of companies, Wesleyan Bank provides flexible short-term cash flow centric solutions and long-term products to enable dental professionals to spread the cost of their investments over time.

These include loans to facilitate dental practice acquisitions, commercial mortgages, partner buy-ins and buy-outs, the purchase of new assets (IT software and hardware, specialist dental equipment etc), as well as surgery building refurbishments and relocations.

"The difference in service quality from Wesleyan was very apparent. They were quick to respond to my queries and very thorough in outlining the step-by-step approach I would need to follow to purchase the practice.In contrast, the high street lender I contacted was slow to come back and it was clear that Wesleyan could offer a more value-added service to us which felt like a genuine partnership," says Sonu Thomas.

Wesleyan Bank was able to provide six-figure loan over a period of 20 years with competitive monthly repayments to enable Sonu and Rose Thomas to purchase 'The Surgery' Dental practice as joint owners.

As a result, Sonu Thomas has attained his ambition to become the principal dentist of his own practice and he is ably assisted by Rose on a part-time basis as she divides her time between her other working commitments.

"Purchasing a dental practice can be a very complicated process but Wesleyan Bank made it as simple as possible and kept us fully informed from start to finish. As specialist finance providers to dentists, they are experienced in overcoming any challenge and ensured the purchase of the practice remained on track.

"Wesleyan Bank's underwriting team arranged to visit the practice and meet us in person to clearly explain what information we would need to provide, and when.Their input, together with the help of my accountant, enabled us to formulate a comprehensive business plan that assisted us to buy the practice but also ensure the business would continue to flourish after the sale was completed," comments Sonu Thomas.

The Thomas' Wesleyan financial consultant subsequently arranged their life assurance cover and building insurance cover for The Surgery's practice building came via Wesleyan's General Insurance division, who carefully chose an appropriate policy from a selected range of providers.

In the event of the unexpected, thanks to Wesleyan the Thomas' have peace of mind that they are able to protect their loved ones as well as the investment in their business.

Furthermore, Wesleyan Bank has provided an unsecured loan facility to enable the Thomas' to invest in specialist dental equipment and refurbishment works to modernise the practice and offer enhanced services to patients, to include the possibility of offering additional private work in the coming years.

The results and benefits

Sonu and Rose Thomas' decision to turn to Wesleyan has been fully vindicated as they approach the future with confidence and optimism.

"Wesleyan was able to offer us a trusted and single source for all of our personal and professional financial needs. It's reassuring to know that everything is in one place and that I can rely on the knowledge and financial support from a trusted specialist who is willing to support us to achieve our career and business growth ambitions," says Sonu Thomas.

"The feedback from our patients has been overwhelmingly positive and they are appreciative of the improvements we have made to the practice since taking over. This wouldn't have been possible without Wesleyan's willingness to embrace our future vision and we would definitely recommend them to other dental professionals," adds Sonu.

'WESLEYAN’ is a trading name of the Wesleyan Group of companies.

Wesleyan Assurance Society and Wesleyan Bank Ltd are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Wesleyan Financial Services Ltd, Wesleyan Unit Trust Managers Ltd, Practice Plan Ltd and DPAS Ltd are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  Advice about investments, insurance and mortgages is provided by Wesleyan Financial Services Ltd.

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