• The new business unit has been operating since the beginning of the year with a team of 40 people and already manages a loan portfolio of over EUR 3 billion, which it hopes to increase in the short term
  • The new unit combines an extensive territorial presence and coverage to respond to the granular nature of the SME segment with a differential technology developed by Altamira doValue Group

Altamira doValue Group, a servicer 85%-controlled by doValue, has today announced the appointment of Patricia García Barrios to head up its new business unit specialising in the management of loans to small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). This unit has been operating since January of this year and already manages a loan portfolio of over EUR 3 billion, with a team of 40 people at present and using a differential technology with Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools. Altamira doValue Group expects to achieve significant growth in this segment, which is part of its “core business”.

“The start-up of the new SME unit is part of the Transformation Plan that we launched a year ago and the Strategic Plan 2022-2024 that we approved early this year with a view to holding our own in the new competitive environment of the servicer industry”, recalled Francesc Noguera, CEO of Altamira doValue Group in Spain and Portugal.

“Our foresight and the work we have been doing over the past year have given us a competitive edge over others in the sector, as we were the first to invest clearly in a unit specialising in SMEs, which we expect to grow exponentially given the new economic environment,” he explained.

“The present macroeconomic situation, the rising interest rates -already happening- and the announced shift towards a more restrictive monetary policy to control the soaring inflation levels all contribute to form an increasingly complex backdrop for the management of bank loans to SMEs that Altamira has been anticipating for many months,” he added.

Altamira doValue Group set up this business unit at the beginning of this year, under the coordination of Patricia García Barrios, who was also responsible for the regional coordination of the financial assets business (NPLs).

Specialisation in business management

As head of the new SME management unit, she will from now on focus all her attention on this business, which is key to the growth and development of Altamira doValue Group. She has an initial team of 40 people, which will grow in line with the volume of assets under management in this segment.

Thanks to Altamira doValue Group’s foresight and vision in creating this service, “ we have been able to build a highly specialised unit, firmly rooted in the territory and with ample coverage, which are key factors for adequate management of this kind of assets, owing to the typical characteristics of the SME segment,” explained Patricia García Barrios.

“We are backed by our technological strength and use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, in which the company has also been investing over the past year within its Transformation Plan,” she added.

ICO loans and doValue know how

Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) has granted COVID19-related aids of around EUR 150 billion to some 500,000 enterprises throughout Spain. Although certain details regarding moratoriums and timelines have yet to be defined, against a backdrop of considerable uncertainty, Altamira doValue Group estimates that at least 10% of this total volume of aids -around EUR 15 billion- will become non-performing loans that will have to be managed by specialised units, such as the one our company already has up and running.

The doValue group, the principal shareholder of Altamira with 85% of the capital, has extensive experience in SME management in the other markets in which it operates (Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Portugal), as well as in Spain.

doValue’s know how in the SME business is undoubtedly another factor that differentiates us from the rest of the servicer industry in Spain to respond to the needs of banks and investment funds in this segment that is so specific and specialised.

Unlike other servicers operating in the Spanish market, Altamira doValue Group’s controlling shareholder is doValue, a company listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, which aims to lead the servicer market in southern Europe with a medium and long-term industrial vision.

Patricia, more than 20 years’ experience in the financial system

Patricia García Barrios, Head of SME Loan Management Unit

Patricia García Barrios has more than 20 years’ professional experience in the financial and debt-recovery sector. She began her career in Banco Pastor and Catalunya Caixa, with management duties and leading commercial and debt recovery teams in all segments: developers, individuals and companies.

In 2015, she moved to Servihabitat as Chief National Financial Asset Management Officer, managing the SAREB portfolio and other investor portfolios (Atalaya, Carlit and Eloise) and participating in the investment advice given to Goldman Sachs.

In 2017 she joined Solvia as Head of the Financial Asset Management (REDs) team, leading the NPL Loan Management team promoting SAREB and performing Portfolio Management duties. During that time, she also participated in processes to improve and implement technological tools for loan assessment and management.

In 2019, she joined Altamira as Chief NPL Territorial Management Officer, directing execution of the strategy, promoting and directly monitoring debt recovery management through our territorial network for different clients, portfolios and segments. Since the beginning of this year she has also been coordinating the new SME unit, of which she has now been appointed manager.