Air hires senior business development consultant to spearhead proposition

Air hires senior business development consultant to spearhead proposition

In her role, she will engage with potential and existing partner firms and advisers to examine how they use Air products. This includes Air Club, Air Sourcing and Air Academy.

Palmer most recently worked at Canada Life for nearly three years, latterly as a key account manager.

She won best business development manager at the Equity Release Awards earlier this year.

Prior to that she was a mortgage arrears specialist at Capital Home Loans for just over a year and has also worked at RBS and John Charcol.

Jon Tweed, distribution director at Air, said: “Nicola is a great addition to the team and I am looking forward to working closely with her.

“Air is committed to supporting all brokers and lenders operating in the later life lending sector, no matter how large or small and Nicola will be an integral part of strengthening and deepening our relationships with both new and existing contacts moving forward.”

Palmer added: “I am thrilled to be joining Air at such an interesting time for the business. Air recently relaunched its proposition at the National Later Life Conference as well as revamped its adviser CPD training programme via Air Academy.

“There are lots more exciting developments happening behind the scenes at Air and I can’t wait to get out there and discuss these propositions with new and existing contacts.”

Hinckley and Rugby hires Barry Carter as COO

Hinckley and Rugby hires Barry Carter as COO


Carter joined the mutual on 4 July from HSBC Private Bank where he was chief operating officer for nearly three years.

In his role he will oversee day-to-day operations and transformational change at the mutual.

Carter had worked at HSBC in various senior roles since 2013, including around a year as chief administration officer. Before that he worked at RBS Wealth for around six years.

Colin Fyfe, chief executive of Hinckley and Rugby said: “I am delighted to welcome Barry to the society and excited to see what he can bring to the business. He has gathered the knowledge, skills and experience throughout his career to support us in developing our exciting transformation and enable us to continue to provide a high standard of service to our customers.

“As chief operating officer, I am sure that our members and colleagues are at the forefront of his thoughts, ensuring we continue to put people first.”

Carter added that it was a privilege to join the society as chief operating officer. He continued: “I am joining at an exciting time as the society looks to streamline its mortgage process, take steps forward in its digital presence and continue its improvement of day-to-day performance.”

UTB appoints Adam Ware to structured property finance team

UTB appoints Adam Ware to structured property finance team

In his role, Ware will report to divisional head Gerard Morgan Jackson, and focus on expanding UTB’s lending in Central London and South England.

Ware joins from Hilltop Credit Partners, where he worked for around a year as vice president and head of origination.

Prior to that he worked at Octane Capital for around three years, initially as an internal business development manager and then as a senior internal sales manager.

Before that he worked at Commercial Acceptances for just over three years in various roles including assistant lending manager and lending assistant.

According to UTB, Ware has “considerable experience” across commercial and residential real estate finance, including structured, pre-development, property investment finance and complex bridging.

He has also worked with high net worth individuals and corporate clients as well as off-shore entities and family offices providing “multi-million bespoke facilities”.

Jackson said: “Adam brings a great deal of experience to the team and most importantly he shares our passion for delivering bespoke solutions outside of a traditional criteria led framework. Our goal is to create long term relationships which extend beyond single transactions.

“We assist our customers in the growth of their businesses, tailoring the funding we provide to meet their changing needs and evolution. We create true partnerships enabling our clients to prosper however uncertain the economic climate may be.”

Ware added: “UTB have established a great reputation as an innovative lender which quickly delivers the creative, bespoke funding more commonly found at privately backed lenders, but with the robust and reliable funding of a successful retail bank.

“I enjoy working offering a solutions led approach to lending, structuring the product around the client’s needs and I’m looking forward to working with Gerard and the UTB team as they continue to grow and expand their offering to customers delivering the very highest levels of personal service.”

UTB said its structured property finance team has written a record volume of new business in the first half of the year and developed its commercial lending proposition.

Assetz Capital hires relationship director

Assetz Capital hires relationship director

McDonnell previously worked at Aldermore for around six years, most recently as client relationship manager.

Prior to that he started his own business, Stamford Financial Services, and grew it to 35 employees over a seven-year period.

Before that he worked at Freedom Finance for around eight years as a business development manager (BDM).

Andrew Fraser, regional director for UK North at Assetz Capital, said: “I am delighted to be welcoming John to our team. His top-class CV boasts high quality experience in development funding, and as we target record levels of lending with our improved development finance, his appointment comes at the perfect time.”

McDonnell said: “Assetz mirrors my ambitions completely in its relationship-driven approach. My experience is mostly in development funding, so to be working with a market leader in that space is an exciting prospect. I can’t wait to take the ‘real world’ lending approach to market.”

Assetz Capital has made a number of key hires, including Andrew Charnley as managing director, Jason Way as business development director and Irene Thomas as its lending operations director.

It has also grown its loan origination team with James Evans and Paul Williams, who cover Merseyside and South Wales respectively.

Aros Kapital has pledged to invest £750m in the business over the next three years to help it grow its lending capabilities.

Investec hires trio to mortgage intermediary team

Investec hires trio to mortgage intermediary team

The firm said the appointments were part of its plans to grow the team to meet continued demand for its services and reach growth strategy targets.

Watts will take on the role of business development manager (BDM) and joins from Cynergy Bank, where he was relationship director.

Prior to that he worked at Butterfield Mortgages for around four years, and before that he was at Harrods Bank for around six years.

Emmanuel has been appointed associate BDM and has worked with Investec’s private client lending operations team since 2019 when he graduated university.

Islam will be apprentice BDM, the first one for around 18 months. He previously went to Nottingham Trent University and before joining Investec, worked as a sales specialist at Apple.

Peter Izard, head of intermediary business development at Investec, said: “This is an exciting time to be working for Investec Bank. The mortgage intermediary business development team, in particular, is seeing high demand for our services, and we needed to bolster the team to continue to meet our growth plans.

“We are pleased that Chris and Zulfi are joining the business and to announce our promotion of Kieran within the team. We are committed to focusing on developing our people and helping them to progress their careers which we believe demonstrates the career progression opportunities within the business.”

Skipton BS appoints Stuart Haire as group chief executive

Skipton BS appoints Stuart Haire as group chief executive

He will join the mutual at the end of the year, subject to regulatory approval, and takes over from Ian Cornelius who took on the role on an interim basis in April. Cornelius will stay in the role until 31 December.

Haire has worked in financial services for over 20 years and was at HSBC since 2017. He became head of wealth and personal banking in 2020, and before that held senior roles in its retail baking and wealth management division.

He also worked at Royal Bank of Scotland for nearly a decade in several senior roles, most recently as managing director for direct bank, where he oversaw digital and telephony banking services.

Gwyn Burr, chair of Skipton Building Society, said he was delighted to welcome Haire to Skipton in its 170th year and “his leadership and vision is exactly what we need for the next chapter of our long and proud history”.

Burr added: “Stuart will be joining Skipton, a financially strong and well run mutual, and the parent organisation to a significant group which includes the UK’s largest estate agency Connells. As a business we have consistently been here, supporting our members through the good times and the less so.

“As we face into the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, our priority will always remain our members and meeting their financial needs. It is this accountability that makes working for a mutual so special – and I’m pleased to welcome Stuart and his vast skills and experience to the team.”

He also thanked Cornelius for his “first-rate stewardship of the business over the past few months and through to the end of the year”.

Haire said: “I am hugely excited and humbled to take on this role at a very important time for the Society. Skipton contains a fabulous group of businesses and a proud mutual status.

“My job will be to continue the work to modernise the businesses and make it even more relevant for existing and new members as they consider their longer-term financial needs and aspirations. I’m very much looking forward to joining the Society, meeting the teams, and leading the group through this exciting new phase.”

Hampshire Trust Bank appoints development finance lending director

Hampshire Trust Bank appoints development finance lending director


He brings over 10 years’ experience in the development finance sector, having started his career at Natwest.

Dignum joined Natwest in Manchester as a graduate in 2009, where he had numerous roles within the real estate business. His most recent role was as a director, covering the wider North West market but with a focus on Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Merseyside.

In his new role Dignum will work on attracting new development finance business for HTB and developing client relationships into longer-term partnerships.

Dignum said: “I’m excited to have joined HTB at what is the start of its next phase of growth. HTB has a fantastic development finance product which is continuously evolving and improving.

“The North West is a market which offers so much opportunity for developers and we are well placed to help both existing and new clients deliver on their plans.”

He added: “The demand for high quality, sustainable homes across the North West has never been higher and HTB can play a really key role in supporting the large number of SME housebuilders operating across the region.”

Alex Upton, managing director of development finance at HTB, said: “It’s great to welcome Andrew on board. He will play a key role in our growth strategy; his extensive knowledge of more niche sectors such as PBSA and pre-let commercial will allow us to create new products and solutions for our developers who specialise in these markets.

“Our growth strategy is based around partnering with brokers through education, engagement and feedback in order to create solutions for their developer clients. No one should be in any doubt about our appetite for new development finance business.”

Access Financial Services reaches 100 broker milestone in five years

Access Financial Services reaches 100 broker milestone in five years

The broker has doubled its revenues in the last financial year compared to the year before and it is aiming to double the number of brokers over the next 12 months. It also aims to double the earnings of its brokers.

It said that it would do this by expanding the number of products brokers can offer and would provide brokers with business growth support and training.

Access said that it wanted to help its advisers earn six-figure sums by helping them “implement bespoke strategies into their own core business”.

The firm added that a number of brokers join through the company’s academy, which helps them take CeMAP exams, and it takes people who used to work in banks but want to become mortgage brokers.

The company said that half the brokers specialise in protection and the other half advise on both mortgages and protection. Access also has general insurance permissions.

Karl Wilkinson (pictured), chief executive and founder of Access FS, said: “It’s a great achievement that we have managed to attract one hundred advisers to join us in just five years from a complete standing start.

“We try to do things a little differently from other broker firms, creating a collaborative environment for brokers to help each other rather than competing with each other. There really is plenty of business out there to go round.”

He said that protecting the customer and providing best advice was its number one priority, so its compliance standards were “high but with a common-sense approach”.

Wilkinson added: “Many of our brokers who have worked at networks and other broker firms report that the way Access FS works is like a breath of fresh air compared to what they have known previously. Our ambitions now are to continue to grow and to double in size in the next twelve months”

Sirius hires Ashley Elkin as senior associate and secures exclusive development exit proposition

Sirius hires Ashley Elkin as senior associate and secures exclusive development exit proposition


Elkin has more than seven years’ experience in the property sector, including five years in property finance. 

His previous roles include a seven-year tenure at LSH Commercial Property Consultants, where he joined as a chartered surveyor and was most recently a broker. 

At Sirius, Elkin will have the responsibility of advising developers and investors in the private sector and SMEs, focusing primarily on residential development across London, the South East and the North West. 

He will also assist the public sector through consultancy across the UK. 

Nicholas Christofi, co-founder at Sirius Property Finance, said: “I’m really delighted to welcome Ashley to Sirius. He has a very impressive track record and his background as a surveyor adds an extra perspective and skillset to the Sirius team.  

“We have deliberately built a team of advisers who have extensive property experience from a variety of angles, which gives them a deeper understanding of developer and investor needs in addition to just the finance side of things. Ashley is an excellent example of this in action and it’s great to have him on board.” 

Elkin added: “I’m delighted to join the fantastic team at Sirius Property Finance. As I was previously a chartered surveyor, I have a good understanding of the wider property market, analysing developments, local rents, sales prices and yields, which can prove invaluable for clients. It also helps when arguing with valuers.  

“I genuinely enjoy providing advice to clients who find themselves in difficult situations, whether they have been let down by a lender, a broker or have fallen into hardship. I also take pleasure in structuring high leverage development finance using a combination of senior, stretch senior, mezzanine and equity finance to push a client’s return on equity to astronomical levels. I can’t wait to get started working with clients at Sirius.” 


Exclusive development exit solution

The firm also announced it launched a funding line for property developers by gaining exclusive access to a finance solution.

The product is a development exit to term product at 80 per cent loan to value (LTV). Experienced developers can access senior and mezzanine finance at a blended rate of 9.95 per cent. The product has a two per cent completion fee and loans are available on a nine-month term. When that ends, there is a guaranteed term facility up to 75 per cent LTV, with rates starting from 4.45 per cent.

The term part of the product offers loans between £5m and £30m on newly completed schemes but is not available on permitted development schemes.

Sirius did not disclose which lender would be providing the loan when asked by Specialist Lending Solutions.

Christofi said: “At Sirius, we pride ourselves on championing the SME developer and we are seeing far too many good schemes fail due to slight shortfalls in funds. So, we are proud to be able to offer this as a potential solution solely for Sirius clients. It’s perfect for those developers who have experienced delays and cost overruns, want the flexibility to sell more units, or the security of longer-term finance that is pre-underwritten at the outset.”

SoMo strengthens sale team by appointing Jade Keval as director

SoMo strengthens sale team by appointing Jade Keval as director

SoMo said Keval is helping the firm meet a lending total target of £75m before the close of 2022, and was looking to strengthen the sales team’s relationship with its broker network.

Keval has been at SoMo for five years. She started at the firm as a business development manager and later moved to a role as head of sales.

The sales director role is a new position, which SoMo said was in response to its growth over the last 18 months.

Keval said: “I’m delighted to take on the new sales director role. SoMo is experiencing phenomenal growth at the moment and I’m proud to lead such a high-performing sales team. Everyone has a can-do attitude and wants to fulfil our reputation of being a solutions-based lender. 

“I’ve been in the financial services industry since I was 17, but SoMo is like nowhere else I’ve ever worked. When I started at SoMo five years ago we were a team of five and we are now 80, so looking back I feel really proud of how the business has grown. What’s impressive is that we’ve maintained our family values, welcoming atmosphere and hunger to help clients get a deal over the line. Right now I can’t imagine working anywhere else.”

Louis Alexander, chief executive of SoMo said: “Jade is a huge asset to SoMo and she thoroughly deserves this promotion. We’re lending more year on year thanks to our popular Valuation Only product and market-leading Second Charge rates; Jade has been integral in fuelling this growth through innovative thinking and a passion for the success of the company. Myself and the team look forward to seeing what this role brings for Jade and SoMo alike. We’re certain that she’s the right person to drive us forward and lead our hardworking sales team as we enter a volatile economy.”