The Meeting Place

Last year United Trust Bank merged its specialist mortgage and bridging teams to create a new Mortgages & Bridging division providing brokers and customers with a range of long and short term property funding solutions. As well as offering more choice, the Sales Team, now six strong including Head of Sales Mike Walters, supports brokers across most of Great Britain.

The decision to deploy multi-skilled BDMs far and wide combined with product and service enhancements has certainly paid off. The team supports nearly 1000 brokers and introducers between them, with that number increasing daily. There was an 45% increase in bridging originations in 2018 compared to 2017 with significant volumes of bridging business generated outside of the traditional London/South East hot spots. Mortgage business has also seen strong growth, propelling UTB to become the leading second charge lender in the UK prime market, a claim supported by the team’s frequent award wins now numbering ten to date.

Mike Walters, Head of Sales – Mortgages & Bridging, joined UTB in April 2017 as a BDM covering Wales and the South West and was promoted a year later. Mike lives in South Wales and is keen to maintain the strong broker relationships he’s formed over the years. However, his focus now is managing the national BDM team and developing and delivering the sales strategy with a view to extending the Bank’s reach to brokers and introducers across England, Wales and Scotland. With so much activity planned for 2019, it’s up to Mike and his team to ensure brokers know exactly what UTB can do for them and their clients. “I’m really excited about this year.” He says. “It’s the next chapter of UTB’s mortgage and bridging story and there are more new products and service enhancements coming soon. The Mortgages & Bridging team is still growing and now reads like a Who’s Who of some of the best people in the industry. And although our position in the Second Charge sector is already well established and our bridging proposition now more popular than ever, we’re just getting started!”

Nick Warren serves brokers in London and the South East and says he’s never lost that ‘buzz’ of doing deals. “From the age of 17 when I worked part time selling new homes, I knew business development was the career for me. Even now I get excited when the mobile rings and it’s a new  case to review. I think I’m one of those people who are wired to thrive on prospecting and then closing deals”. Nick’s background has gained him valuable experience in the field of development finance as well as bridging and now specialist mortgages. “One of the many advantages UTB has over its competitors is the broad spread of property finance knowledge, skills and capability it offers. We work closely with the Development Finance team, for example assisting developers with bridging finance to enable them to acquire sites and opportunities before they’re ready for a fully worked up development finance proposal. And with the Bank having a dedicated Structured Finance division as well, we can work collaboratively providing solutions to clients with complex requirements when other lenders either don’t have the skills or the inclination to do so.”

Paul Mansell is based in the North East with a patch stretching from Doncaster to Inverness. Although he’s already providing support to brokers in Scotland, he’s excited about UTB soon offering bridging loans secured on properties across the border. “There’s been a really positive reaction to UTB’s mortgage offering and for our bridging service. However, to date we’ve only been able to provide bridging loans to borrowers in Scotland if they’ve been secured against properties located in England. Developing our bridging service so that we can offer loans on Scottish properties gives as new market to tap into. I’m expecting an equally positive response to that”, he says. “Brokers like the way we do things. We offer quick and straightforward applications, common sense underwriting, outstanding service and a strong focus on great outcomes for the customer. What’s not to like?”

With around 250 brokers and introducers to look after, Kerry Bradley knows that the key to doing her role well is be organised. “I like to book three broker meetings a day and as they can be anywhere from Cambridge to Norwich and down into Kent, staying on top of my diary and letting everyone know where I am and how to get hold of me is really important. I wish I could do more short notice meetings but it’s not easy when I plan so far in advance. I’m not averse to getting together out of normal office hours if I need to though. Getting a deal over the line sometimes means going the extra mile, or extra 50 or so miles in my case!”

Paul Delmonte joined the team last year and is now busy introducing brokers in the North West and Midlands to UTB’s products and service offering. It’s another large area stretching from around Blackpool to Manchester, Birmingham and Leicester. Paul’s career has included various roles with specialist lenders and an eleven-year stint with a high street bank. “I prefer the diversity of what I do now compared to my time in the mainstream sector”, says Paul. “But something which was ingrained in me when I was just starting out in financial services has stayed with me”, he says. “To build and maintain a great relationship with a broker or any other professional you must first understand what makes them tick and then you must understand their business. Everything else can be based on that. My underwriting experience also serves me well when brokers are looking for a swift indication on a deal. A quick ‘no’ is always appreciated.”

Owen Bentley is the newest member of the Mortgages & Bridging sales team having joined in April this year. Owen’s 12 years in the mortgage industry have been spent mostly on the broking side of property finance but moved to lending two years ago with Precise Bridging. He now covers the M4 corridor, South West England and South Wales for UTB. “My broking experience stands me in great stead when discussing deals as I’m able to see and communicate deals their way”, says Owen. “I love being involved in deals and being able to find and model a solution. These are exciting times for UTB with lots of new products being developed. Hopefully my broad range of experience in everything from residential to BTL, commercial and bridging will enable me to help maximise opportunities for brokers. I’m looking forward to the challenge!”