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Hersch hands baton to Jannels in final ASTL speech

  • 21/11/2019
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Hersch hands baton to Jannels in final ASTL speech
Benson Hersch, outgoing chief executive of the Association of Short Term Lenders (ASTL), tasked his successor Vic Jannels with the job of increasing the membership of the trade body as he said farewell to the bridging sector.


In his final speech at the annual ASTL conference in Painters Hall, London, Hersch (pictured) said: “I have really enjoyed playing a part in this industry, which is blessed by so many wonderful people which I am happy to call my friends.”

Hersch said since 2012, when the volume of lending for the year reached the £1bn mark, annual completions had increased four-fold and this year lending was estimated to be between £6bn and £8bn.

But over that time the number of members had stayed almost the same, said Hersch.

“We’ve been extremely fortunate in persuading Vic to take over the baton from me. Vic is well known and well respected in the sector and has over 50 years’ experience which dwarfs my 20 year plus.

“I look to him to build on the past and to take the ASTL to even greater heights.”

Addressing the conference, Jannels, who takes over the reins in January, said ten or 12 years ago bridging was not a “well-favoured” form of finance as interest rates reached levels as high as 18 per cent a year. But over the last decade competition had driven rates down and service up as more lenders joined the short-term lending market.

He congratulated Hersch for the “sterling” work he had done in the sector.


Regulation a necessity

Jannels has held senior roles within lenders, packagers and broker firms. He is currently executive chairman at Impact Specialist Finance, where he leads the bridging and commercial specialist team, and a director at One Mortgage System. He has also served on the board of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries.

Jannels said he would bring his personal mantra to the role of ASTL chief executive.

He said: “[My mantra is always] to consider the requirements of only one person, the end user. What is it that we can all do, be it the regulator, lender, or broker to make the journey good, simple and easy and not too expensive for the end user because at the end of the day they pay our salaries.”

On regulation, Jannels said: “I believe in it, I applaud it, and I think it is an absolute necessity [but] what I do feel is that occasionally it might be intrusive. It might lead to more detailed information requirements and needs and actually slows the journey down and perhaps that is an area I might have a look at.”

He added: “I have a desire to do a great job for the association.”


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