Holly Andrews

KIS Finance eyes sale or merger




Small independent bridging and development finance brokerage KIS Finance has exclusively revealed to Bridging & Commercial that it is currently looking to sell or merge with another broker or lender.

Since launching into bridging finance approximately seven years ago, KIS Finance has arranged around £400m of bridging business and worked closely with around a dozen bridging lenders during this time.

Last year, it completed approximately £100m in bridging finance, in addition to development finance deals, and also referred secured loans, mortgages, buy-to-lets and equity release business.

The business-to-consumer company — which originates its business online and is not set up to deal with introducers — is now looking to either sell or offer an equity stake to a company that wishes to acquire it.

In an interview with Holly Andrews, managing director at KIS Finance (pictured above), she explained that the brokerage considers a sale or merger to be its best option in order to grow further.

Holly claimed that an increasing number of brokerages had acquired or set up their own separate lenders, which she believed made sense because, as a brokerage, it was finding the clients and passing them over to lenders who were then making “huge profits”.

“In addition, more and more lenders are advertising direct for business — basically trying to cut brokers out whenever they can,” she added.

“I can understand lenders trying to intercept business as it not only avoids having to pay brokers commission, but more importantly it takes away the control of the broker to decide which lender they send the deal to.”

Holly claimed that some lenders would also try to cut the introducing broker out of any repeat business they did for customers.

“Many of our customers are developers, so complete multiple facilities with us.

“When providing an existing customer with a new facility, we often find ourselves competing against the lender who we introduced the client to in the first place.

“Lenders seem to be developing their after-sales teams in order to develop their relationships with customers, preventing many clients from finding their way back to their brokers.”

Despite this, Holly admitted that to set up its own lender now would be a task that she and her team don’t have the particular skills or time for.

“We know where our talents lie and would like to put these skills to better use and develop them further, which can best be achieved by combining with a larger brokerage or lender.

“We would like to take the next step and feel this would be better achieved with the right partner.”

It is looking to do a deal that is either a sale, or will involve some, or all, of the current team going forward.

“We are flexible and looking for a deal that is right for everyone.

“We are very keen to get involved with a lender, but ultimately our aim is to help the business develop and grow.”

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