Spotlight on: Senior Relationship Manager Luke Carter
How long have you been at Assetz and how did you get into business lending?
I joined the RBS graduate programme in Commercial Banking at the height of the financial crisis in 2008 and worked my way up into a Senior Relationship Management role, before leaving for the greener grass of Assetz in October 2018!
What does a normal day look like in your role?
There is no normal day – it is the variety that makes the role so interesting. Key areas include speaking with introducers and borrowers about ongoing deals and new proposals, writing credit papers and working with our Relationship Support Team to get deals drawn. The best part of the role is going out to see borrowers and their planned development schemes taking shape and becoming a reality.
What challenges have you faced during the last 18 months?
Like many colleagues, the lockdowns had their challenging moments but having a young daughter helped to keep me occupied!
Given the UK’s current construction material shortage, have your property developer clients had problems accessing such products to build and if so, what impact has it had on completing their developments?
We work closely with our appointed Monitoring Surveyors to assess potential impacts on projects on an ongoing basis. Where developers are able to safely store materials on site, some have reacted by ordering materials earlier than they would have done in the past. Due to the shortage of some materials, like timber, costs have increased, and some developers have looked to make some savings on other aspects of the project to reduce the cost impact. Otherwise, the project’s contingency fund can be used.
Since the return to normal lending conditions, have you noticed a difference in enquiry levels for different funding solutions, for example development finance and commercial mortgages?
In terms of commercial mortgages, there appears to have been a greater number of requests for refinances, where other lender’s appetites may have reduced or changed to focus on different sectors post-Covid. There is clearly a lot of demand for development finance, given the nationwide shortage of housing. There are however more lenders in the development funding space than ever before too so it’s important that borrowers look at who can deliver what they say to best service their needs.
What are you currently seeing in the lending market, and what do you predict for business growth prospects in the future – both for Assetz and for your clients?
The number of alternative lenders has increased over the last few years – including ourselves of course – and this trend has continued, with more niche lenders now entering the market. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in what is a competitive environment, and whether some of the new/smaller lenders have the liquidity to survive in the medium to longer term. Assetz’s mix of peer-to-peer and institutional funding should ensure we are well positioned to continue to grow and our decades of experience within the team mean that we can navigate through situations like the pandemic and come out in a strong position.
Borrowers’ growth prospects look good, as there appears to be a variety of funding sources available in the market, unlike pre-2010 when there were very few non-high street bank lenders.
What keeps you focused and motivated?
Quite simply: being able to see the direct positive impact our lending has upon a borrower. Seeing a development site come to life as new houses are built out of the ground and seeing a trading business acquiring new premises to help their business expand are both great examples of that.
What’s the best thing about working at Assetz Capital?
The great people that we work with across the different teams in Assetz: Credit, Relationship Support, Marketing, Finance – my colleagues are always happy to try and help and go the extra mile to deliver the best service we can for our clients.
What’s your favourite activity outside of work?
Getting out and about for a walk or run in the great British weather!
What is the one thing you can’t live without?
- October 14, 2021