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Ying Tan joins Habito as CEO and secures stake in business

  • 02/06/2023
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Ying Tan joins Habito as CEO and secures stake in business
Mortgage sector entrepreneur Ying Tan (pictured) has been appointed CEO of digital mortgage broker firm Habito following its latest round of funding.

Tan led the funding round supported by Habito’s existing investors Augmentum Fintech, SBI Investment, Volution and Bootstrap Europe. He has also acquired share in the company to make him a significant stareholder. 

Tan’s position as CEO is subject to approval from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). 

Founder and former CEO Daniel Hegarty will be stepping down after seven years with the business and plans to focus on his advisory roles, investment portfolio and a new fintech start-up going forward. 

The firm said he would “continue to be supportive of the company and its strategy”. He will be a minority shareholder but will no longer sit on the board.

Hegarty said: “Over the past seven years, we’ve been on a mission to make the process of owning and financing a home easier. Habito has helped more than half a million people with their mortgage needs and has doubled down on customer service during a period of great change and uncertainty in the UK housing market.  

“Leading such a passionate, skilled and dedicated team during this time has been an honour. I’m tremendously proud of all that we’ve achieved together and I’m excited for all that the future holds for Habito. Ying is a mortgage industry titan and a phenomenal operator and I can’t think of a leader better suited to the role.” 

Tan added: “Dan has led Habito with creativity and vision. I share his enormous passion for innovation, technology and commitment to solving real-world problems for customers. I am super proud to take the baton and turbocharge Habito’s growth for the next stage of its journey.” 


Digital first

Habito was launched in 2016 with a view to digitalise the mortgage advice process. 

It has submitted more than £10bn in mortgages since its launch and during the first quarter of 2023, said it experienced “strong volumes” of business despite the challenging market.

In 2020, it launched its homebuying service Habito Plus which brought the whole house purchase process together, from obtaining a loan, conducting a property survey to conveyancing. 

It also entered the buy-to-let lending space in 2020 and Dynamo, the company founded by Tan, was the first mortgage club to join its panel. 


Admiration from afar

Habito has undergone a strategic review over the last year and in September it raised £5m to develop its technology and the Habito Plus.

Tan said: “I’ve admired Habito from afar since its launch in 2016 and I’m beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to take the company to the next level. With the cost of living biting, energy prices sky-rocketing and interest rates at historic highs, it’s more important than ever for UK mortgage-holders and first-time homeowners to have access to the very best mortgage and homebuying advice.  

“I’ve spent nearly 20 years in the industry and am passionate about delivering stellar customer outcomes and driving positive change within the mortgage market. 2023 is going to be another milestone year for Habito’s brokerage and I’m excited for all that’s to come.” 

Tan founded Dynamo in 2006, and the company expanded to 200 staff by the time he exited in 2021 when the firm was bought out by Connells. Tan has since invested in a number of fintech firms such as property data platform Propflo and Knowledge Bank. 

Penny Desborough, who was executive assistant to Tan at Dymano, will also join Habito as VP of operations. 

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