Aldermore’s intermediary distribution head Nick Parker to depart
In a LinkedIn post, Parker said that he had been “incredibly honoured” to lead a “fantastic team full of some seriously talented colleagues across field, telephony and distribution”.
He added that the leadership team had been “outstanding” and demonstrated their “commitment” everyday to make Aldermore a great place to work, with the customer, colleague and broker at the heart of it all.
Parker continued to extend his thanks to distribution partners, who he said had been a “pleasure to engage with day in and day out”.
He added that he was “actively seeking a new opportunity” but would be spending time with his family and was “looking forward to a much needed holiday in the sun”.
He has worked at the firm for around three years, and before that was regional corporate sales manager at Bank of Ireland for nearly three years.
Before that he worked North View Group as an intermediary oversight manager for just under a year and before that was a senior technical decision maker at Barclays Wealth and Investment Management for just over two years.
Aldermore declined to comment.
Recognise Bank promotes James Meigh to business development director
In the role, he will oversee the bank’s regional hubs in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.
He has worked with the firm for around two years and before that he worked at Santander UK Corporate and Commercial for just over 11 years.
The lender gained its banking licence in November 2020, and provides commercial property loans, bridging loans, professional practice loans and SME working capital loans.
Recognise gained permissions to collect deposits from the Prudential Regulatory Authority in September and launched into professional buy-to-let market in November last year.
Earlier this year, the bank reached its £100m lending milestone as its founder chief executive Jason Oakley left the business.
Bryce Glover (pictured), chief executive of Recognise Bank, said: “James has been an important part of Recognise, even before we got our banking licence, and he has helped shape and drive the relationship model we have today.
“I am delighted that he now has the national role as I know he will continue to inspire his team and help grow our lending even further.”
Meigh said: “It’s been a fantastic start for Recognise, and it’s great to have such supportive partners in the brokers we work with.
“Having hit a major milestone with our £100m target, the team is really energised to build on that foundation for the future. The feedback we have had from brokers and borrowers alike has helped us fine tune our proposition, so we look forward to continuing to support Britain’s SMEs with their funding needs.”
OSB Group launches 10-strong office-based BDM team to support brokers
The team has been recruited internally and will be supported by 16 field-based BDMs who work across Precise Mortgages and Kent Reliance for Intermediaries.
It will be split between the Wolverhampton and Kent offices and the team will be under the direction of Simon Cockerill (pictured), head of intermediary sales development.
Team members include Nathan Chand, Joe Baxter, Carla Elwell, Jack Cope, Amit Vymar, Dhiraj Dhanda, Samantha Brain, Jignesh Mistry, George Williams and Vijay Badhan.
Their contact details can be found through the BDM finder page on each lender’s website.
The launch of the team followed a six-month pilot scheme in the North of England, and during the first six weeks the office-based BDMs made over 960 interactions with brokers, which included inbound and outbound calls and virtual meetings.
The company said that initial feedback showed an “increase in broker satisfaction” and “welcome support” for the field-based BDM team.
Cockerill said the firm was always looking at how it could best support brokers and the goal was to “ensure consistent levels of support could be accessed by brokers nationwide, regardless of location”.
“This is where we can really utilise our office-based BDMs, who complement our already very successful field-based team,” he said.
He added that the pilot had given the company “unique insight” as brokers felt office-based BDMs improved their experience and the results were “extremely promising”
“Rolling out this initiative nationally, so that the majority of postcodes have both a field and office BDM, means we can deliver on supporting brokers with their top requirement which is accessibility to answer pre-application enquiries,” Cockerill said.
‘Growth areas’ are second charge, bridging and commercial – Rainbird
Speaking to Specialist Lending Solutions, managing director of Truffle Specialist Finance James Rainbird (pictured), said that the firm had had a record quarter for second charges in its most recent three-month period.
He said it was “happy with its direction of travel” in the space, however, he said that the firm was looking to ensure it had the “right resource going forward to keep pace with demand”.
“There is strong, and growing demand in this product space, and it’s up to us to ensure we are effectively resourced to continue to meet that demand,” Rainbird noted.
Rainbird said that this is an area of growth as consumer awareness of the product increases and lenders continue to bring out new product offerings.
He also pointed to the withdrawal of further advances and remortgages as a potential “boost” to the second charge mortgage market.
Rainbird said that it could be “very difficult” for new businesses to enter the market without “real experience and lender relationships”, adding that lenders’ back-office teams could be “challenging”.
He said that the firm’s underwriters were “working tirelessly” chasing consents, redemptions and building society questionnaires, and that this could slow the process as a lot of bank staff were still working remotely.
“The volume the banks are receiving as well is high. You’ve got to have a good back-office team, good CRM systems in place to ensure that you’re getting those results then for the consumer and for the introducing brokers,” Rainbird noted.
He added that “strong working relationships” with lenders, surveyors and accountants were “absolutely key”.
Rainbird continued that bridging and commercial was a “key area of growth for the firm” and that locally it was looking to grows its first charge and protection division as it was “actively recruiting in that area”.
Based in Penarth, which is just outside of Cardiff, Rainbird said that several lenders had left the high street, which presented an opportunity for Truffle to fill the gap.
He said that Penarth was predominantly made up of over-40s, professionals and quite an affluent area, with many still wanting to have “face to face” meetings.
Rainbird said that whilst it was always looking for the “right candidates” to grow its advisory team, this had to be balanced with back-office support.
“You can write as much business as you want, but if you don’t have the back office support and relationships then you’re going to struggle. So yeah, there’s a balance for us between advisers and underwriting,” he said.
Investing in CRM system to give brokers ‘accountability and better reporting’
Rainbird said it was “investing substantial funds” into a new CRM back-office system, which will “help streamline our internal process” and give “brokers some accountability and better reporting, a case tracking system as well, where they can actually upload documents”.
He added that this would “minimise the amount of traffic” that’s coming into the office, such as emails and phone calls.
“Technology is hugely important for our business going forward and for our introducing brokers as well, if we can make it increasingly attractive for them. It helps in terms of reporting, incentives and client retention– if we have greater automation, it incentivises our introducing brokers to stay with us,” he explained.
Affordability challenge for consumers
Rainbird said that Truffle had seen an increase in applications across all product sectors but was not able to place a number of them due to affordability issues.
He cited several factors that were impacting affordability, including interest rate rises and cost of living increased.
“We’re often still able to find solutions for clients in those circumstances. That’s a positive in itself because we are saying to our introducers, who have those clients, that we are able to help them place those deals,” he noted.
The business offers specialist first charge residential, second charge, first and second charge buy-to-let, bridging, equity release, development finance, commercial finance and mortgage protection business.
“Affordability has always been an issue. But, thankfully, we’ve got lenders that are proactive, and they’re always looking at ways they can perhaps tweak their criteria in order for us to continue to write business and for consumers to have the right products.”
Rebrand has led to increase in new business
Rainbird said that there had been “incredible reception” from existing brokers, the media and local businesses following the rebrand to Truffle Specialist Finance.
He said that there had been a perception from local businesses that the firm only did second charges, unsecured and payday loans, however, this had now changed.
Rainbird said that it had seen an increase in new accounts since the change.
“I think from where the business was and has come from, to where we are today, certainly as an industry and as a business the word loans has become antiquated. If we have a look at the suite of products that we offer, the word loan is not used,” he said.
“I think it was perfect timing for us to just to bring the brand up to date and for it to also reflect on our time in the industry, our professionalism and our commitment to the industry as well.”
West One Loans’ Jack Gerasimov returns to Foundation as regional account manager
Gerasimov worked for Foundation for nearly 10 years, initially within internal teams then later as regional account manager. He moved to West One Loans in May last year, where he was the lender’s key account manager.
At Foundation, Gerasimov will report to national sales manager Nathan Goodridge. He will cover North and East London postcode areas as part of his role, as well as the wider South East region. He will engage with intermediaries operating in the specialist residential and buy-to-let (BTL) lending areas.
Gerasimov joins after the promotions of Keith Jones and Katie Quigley to senior regional account managers.
Grant Hendry, director of sales at Foundation Home Loans, said: “Jack was always a highly valued member of the Foundation sales team before his brief move away, so we are very pleased to welcome him back as an experienced regional account manager who I’m sure will provide real value and benefit to all advisory firms on his patch.
“There have been a number of changes recently to boost the sales team, both those who work out in the field and those who work internally, and we have developed a formidable array of experienced personnel to support intermediaries active in the specialist residential and BTL sectors. Jack is another piece in that puzzle and will no doubt play a vital role in delivering for advisers and their clients going forward.”
HTB appoints duo to intermediary distribution and new business head
Both will report to Louisa Sedgwick (pictured), who is HTB’s managing director for specialist mortgages. She joined the firm in October last year and was appointed to the new role in January.
Wright has worked at HTB since 2021 and was most recently its head of propositions for its specialist mortgages division.
She joined the firm from Vida Homeloans, where she worked for around five years in various roles including head of field sales and corporate sales manager. Before that she was national account manager at OneSavings Bank for around two years.
In her role, she will help broaden the bank’s distribution footprint and develop further relationships with larger distributors in the specialist finance space.
Glasgow joins from Glenhawk where she was national distribution manager. Prior to that she worked at HTB in various roles including business development director and business development manager (BDM).
Before that she worked at Castle Trust for around three years as a BDM and has also worked at Barclays for around eight years in various roles.
In her role, she will support existing and new brokers within its specialist lending arm, which covers buy to let, semi commercial and bridging finance.
Sedgwick said: “I am absolutely delighted to announce these new appointments. Sally and Andrea have excellent track records and I’m confident they will flourish in their new roles, galvanising the teams to meet the bank’s ambitious targets.
“HTB’s Specialist Mortgages division is undergoing significant growth and looks set to maintain and exceed its current trajectory in lending over the coming months. These appointments will support our growth plans for 2022 and beyond.”
The Tipton hires Andy Millard as intermediary distribution head
Millard will lead the business development team in England and Wales, focussing primarily on driving mortgage sales via intermediaries.
He joins from Accord Mortgages where he was corporate account manager for nearly three years. He has previously worked as an account development manager at Kensington Mortgages for five months, at the West Brom as regional key account manager for just over a year. He has also worked as a business development manager at Leeds Building Society and held roles at Nationwide and Santander UK Corporate and Commercial.
Millard (pictured) said: “It’s a great time to be joining the Tipton and I am very much looking forward to making my contribution to its continued success. The Tipton has a great reputation for niche lending, particularly later life and first-time buyers, which deliver great value to brokers and their clients.”
Jason Newsway, director of sales and marketing at the Tipton, said: “Andy brings with him great experience which will help us to enhance our relationships with brokers across the UK. His appointment also reinforces our commitment to actively invest in growing the society.”
Smoove appoints Michael Cress as CFO
Cress will take on the role from 3 May.
He was most recently finance director at My 1st Years, a personalised baby gift brand, for just over three years. Before that he was financial director at Thread Styling for around a year.
Before that he was chief financial officer at Kelkoo, a plus size women’s clothing brand, for nearly five years, and previously was financial director at The Digital Property Group for just over two years.
Jesper With-Fogstrup (pictured), Smoove’s chief executive, said: “We welcome Michael to the company, whose in-depth commercial knowledge and sector expertise will be critical to building on the very strong foundations laid by John.
“We thank John for his outstanding contribution to ULS, and wish him the very best in his future endeavours.”
Williams has been with the firm for just over 11 years, and during his tenure the company floated on the Alternative Investment Market.
Prior to that he worked at Stortext as finance director for just over five years and before that was finance director at FM Image Management for nearly four years.
Smoove rebranded from ULS Technology in April this year. At the time With-Fogstrup said the rebrand “reflects our ambition to simplify and revolutionise the home moving and ownership process”.
He added that over the last three years its platform had saved around 1,360 days’ worth of onboarding and admin time and to date it had helped over 850,000 home moving and refinancing transactions.
The Mortgage Lender promotes two to key account manager roles
They will both report to Chris Kirby (pictured), who is head of specialist director and key accounts, and in their roles their will work closely with broker and distribution partners.
Stack has been with the team since 2017, joining as a business development manager for the Midlands. Prior to that he was an event manager at Root Promotions for just under a year.
Mahmood has worked with the firm for just under three years, joining as a regional BDM covering the Northern Home Counties.
She previously worked as a BDM as Metro Bank for just under two years, and has also held roles at The New Homes Group and Alexander Hall.
Kirby said: “Charlie and Anum are valuable members of the team, and these promotions are testament to the hard work they have put in to enhance our relationships with the broker community.
“We’re committed to developing the skills and opportunities for all our people at TML and are pleased to support everyone in reaching their full potential. I very much look forward to working with both Charlie and Anum as they continue their development in their new roles.”
Kirby joined the lender recently from Kensington Mortgages, and in his role he will oversee specialist distributors and work with brokers, with special focus on new build and buy to let.
The lender has also hired Santander’s Sara Palmer as its distribution head.
Top 10 most read mortgage broker stories this week – 29/04/2022
This was followed by the news that Molo Finance had temporarily suspended its buy-to-let products. The lender cited capital market uncertainty and said that it would refund valuations that had been paid.
People moves also piqued readers interest, with former Bank of Ireland head Iain Smith going to State Bank of India and HSBC’s Amanda Fenner taking on the role of head of Halifax Intermediaries and Scottish Widows Bank.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak warns some mortgage payments could jump by £1,000 – reports
Molo Finance temporarily suspends buy-to-let products
Lloyds warns over inflation and braces for loan defaults
Almost half of UK property transactions down valued during pandemic – HBB Solutions
Former BoI intermediary head Iain Smith joins State Bank of India UK – exclusive
Starling Bank raises £130.5m for acquisition war chest with eye on mortgage lenders
Lloyds appoints HSBC’s Amanda Fenner as head of Halifax Intermediaries and Scottish Widows Bank
Santander lends £9.5bn of gross mortgages in Q1
Homes sell faster than ever as prices hit new high – Rightmove
Growing inheritance tax worries offer brokers opportunity ‒ analysis
Minority borrowers face hurdles when getting a mortgage – analysis