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Rising Star: Ayondip Dam, MT Finance

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  • 07/05/2019
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This week’s rising star speaking to Specialist Lending Solutions is Ayondip Dam, underwriter at MT Finance.

 

What does your role entail and how long have you been doing it?

I assess the risks of properties and borrowers, checking whether we are able to lend on an asset. I also assist property lawyers in evaluating legal documents.

 

What attracted you to working in the property finance sector?

There isn’t a dull day in the office as we deal with all types of borrowers and properties, and an ever-changing market. It is rewarding helping people realise their property investment dream.

 

What were you doing in the five years before starting here? 

I was a property lawyer, advising people buying and selling residential and commercial property. I first came across MT Finance when working on a case and was impressed with how thorough they were.

 

What personal skill is most valuable in doing your job?

Initiative is vital when assessing a property and checking its suitability for funding. You have to judge the conditions, location, value and many other factors to make sure the lender gets its money back.

 

What personal talent would you most like to improve on?

Heavy refurbishment projects can be a challenge as you need to think ahead and foresee problems before they arise, so I would like to improve my ability to analyse these.

 

What is the most interesting case you’ve been involved in?

One of the most challenging was a large derelict house needing funding to transform it into ten one-bed apartments. There were lots of factors to assess including the borrower’s development history, gross development value (GDV), checking all the planning was in place, plus the borrower was international so we had a translator. We lent on the asset securely, the development was completed and we got our money back, so it worked well.

 

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

Leading a team of underwriters. With my legal knowledge and underwriting experience, I believe I can teach and grow a successful team.

 

If present-day you could go in time back and tell yourself something five years ago, what would it be?

That going to law school was not necessarily my only option. I enjoyed it but I could have focused on strengths such as assessing risk or making intuitive decisions at an early age instead. Yet if I had not qualified as solicitor, I might not have ended up here.

 

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve tackled so far in your career?

Switching from property solicitor to underwriter. I now take a more commercial view in order to get the deal done – a missing window certificate is not really going to affect a deal or our security, for example.

 

If you could have one super power, what would it be?

To fly – I could check all the properties around the country to ensure that the information we have been given is true.

 

And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?

Would I rather be rich and famous but sad or in my current role as underwriter and happy? Definitely the latter – happiness is key to a good life.

 

 

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