Relendex hires CIO to step up to chief executive role in months

Relendex hires CIO to step up to chief executive role in months

Shayle is expected to step into the role of chief executive in the coming months.

His most recent role was head of real estate debt (EMEA) at UBS in the asset management division from 2009 to March 2020.

Shayle said: “I am looking forward to working with the rest of the team to ensure that we can continue to provide competitive, flexible and efficient services to both lenders and borrowers through this period of uncertainty and be in a position to take advantage of opportunities once economic activity improves.”

Shayle said as the peer to peer business expanded he wanted to bring on board different types of lenders including institutional investors.

Relendex appoints BDM for North East

Relendex appoints BDM for North East

Hodgson has joined from Assetz Capital, where he was underwriter director. He previously spent more than two decades at Yorkshire Bank where he held a variety of roles, before taking the post of commercial real estate manager at National Australia Bank.

Relendex suggested that Hodgson’s long career in the sector meant that he has a “significant portfolio” of broker contacts.

Paul Sonabend, executive chairman at Relendex, said the lender was “growing fast” and always looking for talented professionals.

He continued: “James impressed us with his wealth of expertise as well as his strong sector relationships and track record in building and converting leads – all of which were key in our decision to bring James onboard.”

Hodgson said that Relendex was a “forward-thinking” lender, adding: “I am looking forward to using my knowledge, experience and interpersonal skills to play my part in the next stage of Relendex’s development as a leading peer-to-peer lender.”

Relendex targets doubling of lending in Q2

Relendex targets doubling of lending in Q2


As a result, Relendex expects to meet its £100m lending commitment target for the year to 31 January 2020.

In the first three months of the year enquiries broke £125m, growing at about £10m a week from the beginning of January.

Chairman Paul Sonabend (pictured) clarified that in three months up to March the lender completed about 12 deals, reaching a maximum deal size of over £6m.

Looking at the future, in terms of mean loan size, Sonabend said that the increase in capacity means that the peer-to-peer lender is considering loans up to £7m.

He added: “A small number of high value loans will result in our average loan size exceeding £1m.

“In terms of new areas, with the increase in our business development manger (BDM) network and their associated broker relationships, Relendex can comfortably cover loans throughout Great Britain.

“We have considered loans in Northern Ireland too but have yet to complete one.”

This comes after the appointment of Martin Whitworth as BDM covering the North West region in April.

As part of its growth plans, in January Relendex also appointed Fintan O’Riordan as director of lending, joining from Paragon Bank where he worked as head of development finance.


Two sides of business

Sonabend told Specialist Lending Solutions that this growth is driven by a partnership that Relendex signed in September 2018 with a debt fund with unlimited budget.

The executive chairman declined to reveal its name for confidentiality purposes.

He added: “Relendex provides two sides of business. We finance loans on the platform, with a capacity of about £4m a month, and we also have the side where we can originate loans by our debt partner.

“Finances come from a US company, one of the largest equity loan companies in the world, wishing to be in the UK bridging refinancing market.”

He concluded that within the £100m that the peer-to-peer lender is expecting to originate, it is likely that about half will go to the debt fund and the other half to the platform.


Know Your BDM: Danny McMurdo, Relendex

Know Your BDM: Danny McMurdo, Relendex


How many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?

More than I can remember and I am constantly on the look-out for new introducers, especially across the South West.


How do you successfully organise and deal with business on a daily basis?

I am a big believer in getting things done today and one thing at a time, as getting it right first time is where I always aim to be.


What issues come up time and time again?

As a new lender in this growing market across the South West I am working hard to establish Relendex. While we are already seeing people sit up and take notice of what we do it is key to keep spreading the message.


What do you wish brokers understood about your job?

Most brokers know what it takes to bring a proposal together and how long it takes to get through the information provided, so I find the brokers I deal with understand my job and the part I play in the process.


What do you think is the most important attribute of a good BDM?

You need to like people as you spend so much time meeting new and interesting people. Listening is a key component as well as being a proactive, accessible and responsive.


When you’re unavailable to be contacted by telephone, what’s the second-best way for brokers to get in touch?

Email. I always check my voicemails then emails as soon as I’ve finished a meeting or appointment, so I’d get back to anyone who’d contacted me as soon as possible, and I am also on LinkedIn.


If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?

Given I specialise in commercial mortgages I tend not to get involved with regulated FCA issues. However, I would start working closer with the individuals on the front line of the institutions who end up implementing the rules. My experience is that the rules are put together by those who have never walked the floor and as the front line we are not asked our opinions enough before a new policy comes into place, but we are expected to carry it out. Close co-operation is key to all success.


What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?

Fun. I started off in financial services in the back offices and moved into credit and underwriting before front office, so have experienced most of what commercial lending has to offer. It became obvious that my skill set, positive attitude, and ability to think outside the box are a perfect fit for the BDM role which makes it fun to do my job.


How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?

Like any other relationship they take time to build. Trust building is key and keeping in constant contact elevates your personal brand with them. Also, the growing reputation and visibility of Relendex across the UK is making it easier to cement these relationships. The occasional coffee or lunch doesn’t hurt either.


And how do you establish and maintain good relationships internally?

I work hard on this as it makes my job far easier if I know the right people to go to when I need help. Any relationship is a two-way street and should benefit both parties so I am always happy to assist where I can as well.


What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?

Have you ever chased a cow? While at a meeting with a potential client on his farm some of his cows got loose and we had to chase them down and I helped herd them back to the correct field.


And finally, what did you want to be growing up?

A professional football player as I’m a lifelong Liverpool fan. Up until I was 13 it was all I was going to do. Then I started playing rugby and that all changed.


Relendex appoints director of lending

Relendex appoints director of lending


He joins the peer-to-peer (p2p) lender from Paragon Bank, where he was head of development finance.

O’Riordan (pictured) previously spent a decade at Nationwide and held senior lending roles at Bardford & Bingley, and Barclays.

During his time at Paragon, O’Riordan was responsible for driving growth and helped enhance the firm’s reach in the Midlands and the North.

The appointment is the latest in a series of new hires at Relendex.

Commercial director Paul Sonabend recently joined the lender, as well as new business development managers and a new underwriter.

Relendex is aiming to lend £100m in new loans in 2019.

Michael Lynn, chief executive at Relendex, said: “At Relendex, we are always looking for ways to take the company into the next stage of its growth.

“Fintan’s appointment is a clear demonstration of this.

“Fintan has an impressive track record and brings with him strong leadership qualities together with a wealth of experience, which will be key factors in helping us towards our ambitious 2019 target.”

O’Riordan added: “I am delighted to join Relendex during this exciting period of growth, as the firm looks to significantly increase the level of its loans this year.

“I am passionate about this market, and particularly admire how Relendex has stayed true to traditional property values in combination with embracing p2p technology.

“I am confident that my experience and know-how will help the firm achieve the ambitious growth it is targeting.”

Relendex adds BDMs and underwriter

Relendex adds BDMs and underwriter


The peer-to-peer lender also confirmed that Peter Thomson, who passed away earlier this month, had been appointed as a BDM for it in the Midlands.

“Unfortunately, Peter passed away shortly after taking the position and we send our deepest condolences to his family,” the lender said.


New hires

Rick Davey and Danny McMurdo will fill the BDM positions covering the North West and South West respectively.

Davey joins following more than two years at Together Money and also had almost a decade of experience at Santander.

The lender said he has a strong history of working in the financial services industry across a number of sectors including mortgages, commercial, residential and bridging, and will be responsible for growing business in the Greater Manchester area and beyond.

McMurdo joins from fellow peer-to-peer firm Folk 2 Folk. Prior to this he worked with several building societies and knowledge of the South West and Bristol areas.


Underwriting expansion

George Petrou takes the position of underwriting manager with experience of bridging finance.

The lender said his role would allow business developers to give potential borrowers the speedy preliminary decisions they need.

Relendex CEO Michael Lynn (pictured) said the new BDMs would enable it to source loans across the country.

“Over the last six months, Relendex has put in place the structure that will allow the company to grow exponentially,” he said.

“We are now positioning ourselves to meet our ambitious loan target of £100m in 2019.”

Lynn added that he wanted to “continue to build a team of highly experienced property and financial service professionals who thoroughly understand the UK property market.”




Relendex secures £72m funding from US investor

Relendex secures £72m funding from US investor


A minimum of £3m per month will be provided by the US-based investor to fund loans secured on property in England and Wales.

Relendex said the partnership would allow it to lend up to £10m per project and that it was increasingly confident of achieving its lending target of £100m in 2019.

“The new partnership is even more gratifying as it was only achieved after an intensive period of due diligence into Relendex’s underwriting and lending practices,” it said.

“This should be a source of great comfort to the lenders on the platform.”


Validation of systems

Earlier this year chief operating officer Max Lehrain outlined the firm’s growth plans and explained its approach to the projects it will invest in.

This includes smaller conversions, ecological developments and modular housing, rather than marquee projects.

CEO Michael Lynn said this latest backing was a step change in the business.

“This investment is a validation of the six years hard work that has gone into building a company that can make a significant difference to the funding of UK property,” he said.

Commercial director Paul Sonabend added: “This new partnership is an enormous boost to our whole team.

“It means that our other lenders can invest with us in confidence, knowing that the systems we have put into place to evaluate and protect their investments meet the most exacting standards.”


Roma Finance hires trio of BDMs as Relendex adds commercial director – roundup

Roma Finance hires trio of BDMs as Relendex adds commercial director – roundup


Paul Sonabend (pictured) is a serial entrepreneur, having established his own businesses and invested as a business angel in many others.

He has also worked as a chief financial officer in companies as diverse as food packaging, airline catering, health diagnostics, commercial translation and market research.

Michael Lynn, CEO at Relendex, said: “At Relendex, we are always looking for ways to take the company into the next stage of its growth. Paul’s appointment is a clear demonstration of this.

“Paul has a wealth of experience and his strong expertise and deep understanding of lenders’ needs will be vital as we continue to expand the business.”

Sonabend added he was excited to play a part with Relendex in tackling the housing shortage.

Roma Finance

Roma Finance has strengthened its underwriting and sales teams, with the addition of experienced specialist staff who will be able to assist introducers and their customers with cases from initial enquiry to completion and manage transactions and offer updates.

The three new business development managers are Sohail Akram, Tom Hill and Will Sterio. Meanwhile, Rachel Pollock, George Tuffin and Danielle Nugent join the underwriting team.

Internal promotions have also taken place with Simon Micklethwaite becoming a senior business development manager and Daniel Hill promoted to divisional sales manager.

Tracey Martin, head of sales at Roma Finance, said: “With our lending increasing significantly now that we are seeing the positive impact of our fast track process and high service levels, our strategic plans are quickly becoming a reality. These high calibre appointments put the business in a very good position to move forward with exciting new products and sales initiatives.”

Roma Finance recently reported an 80% increase in H1 lending and introduced new processes to be able to complete most cases within just fifteen days.

Relendex increases maximum loan size to hit lending target

Relendex increases maximum loan size to hit lending target


The lender said that this represents a significant step towards hitting its lending target of £100m in the next calendar year.

Loans will be available across the bridging, redevelopment and new-build residential sectors as well as commercial and industrial assets where circumstances allow.

Michael Lynn, CEO of Relendex, said its lending target is three times the total it has lent to date and showed how quickly and effectively the business was growing.

He added: “We remain focused on the traditional property underwriting values that have allowed us to grow to this point and pride ourselves on our competitive terms, efficient and flexible processes as well as direct access to decision makers for borrowers.

“The UK housing crisis presents a real opportunity for property developers and house builders, as long as they have access to finance.”

Speaking to Specialist Lending Solutions in August, chief operating officer Max Lehrain said the firm takes a cautious approach to the projects it will invest in, not wanting to be caught up in expensive marquee developments.

Instead it would rather be funding a smaller conversion into a house of multiple occupation (HMO) or multiple units.

It also likes working with experienced developers and SME builders where there is a level of confidence in how the project will play out.


FCA regulation could ‘close some peer-to-peer lenders, but there will be benefits’ – Specialist Solutions Marketwatch

FCA regulation could ‘close some peer-to-peer lenders, but there will be benefits’ – Specialist Solutions Marketwatch


Specialist Lending Solutions asked this week’s marketwatch panel for their views on the proposals and how the plans will affect the sector.



Damien Druce, director of Assetz Capital


As a business peer-to-peer (P2P) lender that works extensively in property, we can see that restricting retail investors’ access to peer-to-peer products could have a significant negative impact on the assistance that P2P lenders could provide housebuilding.

While overall government policy is to support SME house builders, these proposals will categorically reduce the funding available for those who rely heavily on alternative finance.

The peer-to-peer industry as a whole will have reduced access to retail cash making it necessary to raise more institutional funding.

While we could just replace retail funding with institutional money, most small platforms will struggle to do this in all likelihood and will be funding far less housing construction as a result.

It may even lead to some platforms closing. We believe that this change would impede the democratisation of finance.

On a positive note, while the proposals around credit risk and management may be challenging for smaller platforms to comply with, and some may close as a result, there will be a net benefit overall to the quality of credit offered by the platforms and investor confidence.

In a broad sense, and prior to our detailed response to the consultation, we welcome the proposed tightening of credit quality requirements within the sector.



Jo BreedenJo Breedon, MD of Crystal Specialist Finance


Regulation – as with the majority of the finance sector – can only be a positive step if considered and implemented correctly.

We do need to be careful though that it does not adversely affect customer choice and the flexibility on lending decisions that can lead to the many positive customer outcomes that we currently see.

As of today we have not utilised any straight peer-to-peer lending, but that does not mean we will not if it is the best possible solution for an individual application.

To do so we would need to be convinced about their own ability to make the right lending decisions and stick to them, because we have heard of agreements being made and then reneged upon.

Ultimately we are wary about working with lenders who are funded in certain ways, not just P2P, but we will use them if we are confident and have a relationship that ensures any agreement is seen through to its ultimate conclusion.



Relendex chief operating officer Max Lehrain


Peer-to-peer is now a prominent part of the lending landscape and the FCA proposals are a very good move to recognise this.

Those who have been involved in this sector for some time are used to regulatory change as it has grown, having moved from no regulations to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to interim FCA permissions to full permissions.

I think the concerns raised by the FCA are legitimate.

One of highlights for me is the regulator’s desire to have people know what they are getting into.

If the object of this exercise is for people to manage their own finances they should and deserve to get better information from lenders on what they are investing in.

If people are investing into a property ISA with some firms they don’t know what they are lending against.

I think the FCA is concerned that it is a bit of a black box for investor transparency.

Sometimes the FCA does go too far, but in general this is a positive step.