How long have you been at Assetz Capital and how did you get into business lending?
I joined AC in April 2017 having previously worked in the banking industry since 1997. It now seems bizarre that I saw an advert in the local job centre offering a role as a trainee bank manager. After 3 years or so of working in personal banking I made the move across to business banking and progressed from that point.
What does a normal day look like in your role?
My role involves working alongside new and existing introducers to generate new lending opportunities for the benefit of both Assetz Capital and the borrower. No two days are ever alike which is a real plus in the role that I undertake. The day usually starts with a review of the previous days then the formulation of a ‘to-do list’ (which invariably changes as the days progress). That largely dictates how the day will play out, but typically, I’ll be reviewing new business opportunities, undertaking borrower and introducer meetings, visiting existing sites under development, and preparing credit papers for consideration. A key part of my role is managing workflows and being responsible for ensuring that deals progress in line with borrower expectations.
What are your key areas of lending, and why?
My key areas of lending are currently in the Commercial Mortgage and Development space. Commercial Mortgages are an important function to assist borrowers who are not able to secure funding from their own Bankers (which can be for various reasons), and I am currently seeing strong demand from those operators in the care sector. The Development sector is a key part of our offering as it provides the opportunity to assist those developers (both local and regional) with funding solutions so they can progress to building much needed housing stock.
Have you seen a difference in the way you work with brokers and borrowers in the last 12 months?
The last 12 months has seen less face to face meetings and more teams/online appointments. I quite like this approach as it allows me to complete more meetings given my introducer base is nationwide. Face to face meetings and regular introducer interactions remain key though and helps to cement relationships.
What are you currently seeing in the lending market, and what do you predict for business growth prospects in the future – both for Assetz Capital and your clients?
My introducer base and that of my colleagues still appears to be really active though like any lending business, we are monitoring our offering, so it is reflective of the current economic dynamics. Interest rate rises have added further pressure on affordability, and this looks likely to continue into 2023 and beyond. A continued sensible approach to reviewing each opportunity on its own merits will ensure that I can give a quick confirmation of whether we have appetite to progress an opportunity.
What keeps you focused and motivated?
A duty to my introducer base and the borrower given they have had the courtesy of introducing potential lending opportunities, followed by a fear of failure. My two daughters help to keep me focused too given I want them to have the best start in life.
What’s the best thing about working at Assetz Capital and working in lending?
Every day is different, and we treasure the ability to review each opportunity on its own merits. The people I work with make it a great place to work, and despite being home based, I feel part of the collective team.
What’s your favourite activity outside of work?
Cooking. I am not the spring chicken I once was so slightly less strenuous activities these days! That said, my two girls keep me active, and we like to get away camping and exploring Devon and Cornwall.
What is the one thing you can’t live without?
Vegetable stock cubes! I used to think using these things were ‘cheating’ when cooking, but they are an amazing invention.