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Obituary: Eddie Smith, early stalwart of BTL and broker distribution, dies aged 73

by: Colin Snowdon
  • 07/08/2020
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Obituary: Eddie Smith, early stalwart of BTL and broker distribution, dies aged 73
Eddie Smith spent more than 30 years working in the mortgage market and was perhaps best known as sales director of Verso the new intermediary lending subsidiary of Britannia Building Society.

 

He joined the broker and specialist lending centred Britannia initiative in 1997 as the early buy-to-let (BTL) market developed in the 1990s.

Verso’s products quickly gave the lender a regular top five BTL volume position.

Unfortunately, Britannia directors listened too much to regular tabloid speculation about the imminent meltdown of this market and insisted on culling BTL lending.

Perhaps Britannia would have been here today had it continued to back Verso, rather than focussing on sub-prime lending through its Platform subsidiary?

 

Building society career

Eddie started at Leicester Building Society in 1977.

After management roles there he joined National Home Loans in 1985, focussing on the rapidly developing intermediary market.

Regional management roles followed at Norwich and Peterborough, Bristol and West, and West Bromwich Building Societies, before his move to Britannia.

Subsequent career moves were to packager commercial groupings the Alliance of Mortgage Packagers and Distributors (AMPD), and the Professional Mortgage Packagers Alliance (PMPA), before retirement in 2009.

 

Ahead of his time

Eddie was a pioneer of professional sales management. He was ahead of his time in seeing the potential in broker distribution and the aggregation role packagers could play.

A great mentor who could be tough at times, he will be remembered for his humour, down to earth humanity and the twinkle in his eye.

Many of his business development managers (BDMs) have gone on to senior sales and relationship management roles.

He was a great socialiser and networker – many will have fond memories of the various events he hosted.

His contribution to the intermediary sector was considerable.

He died on 31 July aged 73 after a long and difficult struggle with Alzheimer’s and leaves wife June, twins Robert and Nichola and several grandchildren.

 

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