Following the success of this year’s ceremony, the B&C Awards — in association with United Trust Bank — return to The Hurlingham Club in Fulham to celebrate the success of specialist brokers and lenders across the sector.
Companies from the specialist finance market will be competing for 25 awards.
Next year, B&C is adding a new category: Regulated Bridging Broker of the Year, following a rise of activity in this area.
Online voting will open in early February.
We will announce the judging panels in the same month, with the shortlist published at the end of April.
Below is a list of next year’s B&C Awards categories and their descriptions.
The guidelines are intended to provide some clarity on how the awards are judged, but the list is not exhaustive.
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Best Bridging Newcomer — Broker
A firm which has entered bridging in the past two years and has had a remarkable impact on the sector in that time. This broker must observe principles of TCF, have a whole-of-market, customer-focused approach, display innovation and support industry evolution, have great relationships with lenders and professional service providers and true acumen when it comes to the product.
Best Bridging Newcomer — Lender
This lender must have entered bridging in the past two years and truly added value in what is a saturated market. Nominees must have a level of product innovation or development that sets them apart, or perhaps they have assembled an outstanding team, or invested in unique advances in technology and systems. Feedback from both the broker and borrower community must be exceptional and they need to be on the right side of industry evolution in bridging. Their standards and treatment of customers should be irreproachable.
Best Commercial Broker
Nominees in this category display a thorough understanding of the commercial mortgage sector and have excellent relationships with providers in the space. A penchant for the structuring of complex deals, identifying opportunities and working with lenders to progress products are all desirable attributes.
Specialist Product of the Year
An accolade for the lender which is best in class for a specific product. This could be something which is unique and offers a new solution for both brokers and borrowers, or simply the exceptional execution of a product which is more widely available. Who makes the provision of that product consistently seamless, efficient and a pleasure?
Development Lender of the Year — £10m-plus
A ground-up development lender which operates at the higher end of the market, funding schemes worth in excess of £10m.
Development Lender of the Year — up to £10m
A ground-up development lender which funds schemes worth up to £10m.
Mezzanine Lender of the Year
An outstanding provider in this niche tier of finance which collaborates keenly with senior lenders and brokers alike.
Bridging Funding Partner of the Year
Supporting the bridging market through wholesale, debt, equity and institutional funding, these drivers of risk and appetite, it can be said, are what really lies behind the phenomenal growth of the sector. This award is designed to honour the funding partner which has shown exceptional commitment to the sector and played a key part in accelerating its evolution.
Underwriter of the Year
Often relegated to behind the scenes, outstanding underwriters are critical to longevity in lending. These credit decision makers develop strong relationships with brokers and borrowers and ensure that cases are kept moving, displaying true understanding of their lender’s criteria, appetite and areas of expertise. Underwriters are responsible for finding solutions for customers and structuring alongside the broker/borrower with a view to the best possible outcome.
Marketing Partner of the Year
An award bestowed to the recipient by B&C rather than the judging panel, this honour is for the company which has excited us over the past 12 months through dynamic campaigns that are arresting, effective and shift perceptions in the market.
Best Bridging Broker
This is the broker who best exemplifies the expertise needed in placing and advising on bridging cases, observing the core hallmarks of speed, flexibility and great service. This broker maintains contact with the lender and borrower throughout the loan and always has one eye firmly on the exit. This firm should represent the direction in which we all, as an industry, should be moving.
Best Valuation Partner
The more we hear of valuation being an art and not a skill, the more important it becomes to highlight exceptional providers in this area of professional services. Firms in this category can be valuers, surveyors or panel managers.
Best Development Broker
Working with developers and finance providers, firms in this category understand the complexities of the debt stack and securing finance for projects and schemes. These brokers maintain a close relationship with all parties throughout the lifetime of the loan and its various tranches, managing expectations and progress to ensure a smooth path to completion and eventual sale.
Commercial Lender of the Year
Supporting the beating heart of our economy, commercial mortgage providers help finance the growth of UK enterprise. These lenders display outstanding service to brokers and borrowers, understand the various opportunities presented within the differing subsectors and are striving to innovate and develop their offering to serve more borrowers’ needs. Often still seen as the domain of the high street, we would like to seek out the new wave who are true specialists in this area.
Regulated Bridging Lender of the Year
Figures show that more and more regulated bridging deals are being done, equating to an increase in homeowner borrowers being serviced by the product. First charge residential bridging should still be fast, smooth and efficient, making that auction purchase, chain break or refurb opportunity a reality. This lender offers regulated short-term loans that are still personal and leave both the broker and borrower having had a great experience.
Service Excellence — Lenders
Nominees for this award must put service and communication with brokers and borrowers at the forefront of their lending principles. Do they stick to what they have agreed? Are rates and fees clear and transparent from day one? Is documentation streamlined? Do they employ the use of tech for a better user experience? Is their treatment of customers consistent with TCF principles and is borrower feedback positive? Do they listen to brokers and use this information to assist in innovating and developing their offering? Is the team knowledgeable, personable and available? How do they treat default and extension cases?
Service Excellence — Brokers
Nominees here will advocate for the client in all instances; display clear and consistent communication with all parties, including professional partners; work towards the seamless delivery of the deal in as short a time as possible; have the required relationships with lenders and other providers in the chain to achieve the clients’ objectives; be in support of the exit strategy and work with the client to ensure that their loan is repaid on time; operate whole of market and understand what is best and most suitable for borrowers at all times; and regularly contribute to the betterment of the wider industry by having open dialogue with providers, participating in events and media opportunities and supporting the community through initiatives that deliver progress.
Best Specialist Distributor
Taking the relationship side of things to another level, these firms understand lending criteria inside and out and work with introducers and lenders to create an unparalleled experience for all parties. These firms deliver packs that eliminate unnecessary back and forth and, crucially, they are experts at identifying problems and mitigating them in advance. As well as having access to volume, emphasis must also be firmly on the quality of these introductions and healthy success rates. Their solid relationships with mortgage and longer-term providers, as well as a thorough understanding of how the exit will manifest, ensures that deals are in safe hands.
Professional advice is paramount in this market and working with a legal firm which specialises in this sector can make or break the overall success of deals. Here, we are looking for solicitors who respect the timescales often at play in bridging, communicate effectively with the borrower’s representation, aid the swift flow of documentation and signing, and know what to look out for when it comes to the risks specific to short-term lending.
Regulated Bridging Broker of the Year
A new category for 2020, this brokerage has adopted bridging as a mainstream offering and knows how to deploy it intelligently within a regulated framework, understanding how consumer clients can benefit from the product. The prevalence of bridging in the homeowner market is becoming more pronounced, but who is doing it best?
Best Specialist Bank
Nominees for Best Specialist Bank are the ones which are truly challenging the products offered by the incumbent providers. Service, talent, innovation, technology, range of products and pricing are all factors that put this lot above the rest.
Lender Relationship Manager of the Year
It can be said that the right BDM, relationship director, head of sales and key account manager can alter how a business is seen. Those who are out in the field are representing the very best that the lenders have to offer, creating partnerships that are long term and fruitful for all concerned. Personality and a thorough understanding of what their lender can and can’t do is paramount for this category. Has this person changed how you work with the lender for the better and engendered you to work more with them?
Editor’s Choice Award
B&C relies on the support of sources and other trusted parties to continue to bring exclusive content to you, our readers. While many businesses lend their time, knowledge and advice, resulting in stories that are richer and more well-rounded, there are a few who deserve special mention for helping to drive us forward and giving us the confidence to push boundaries. This award is decided on by our editor-in-chief, Beth Fisher.
Bridging Lender of the Year
This lender may have dramatically changed their offering and service over the past 12 months, making them a stand-out contributor to all that is great about our industry and a beacon for its future. Or, it could be a lender which has stood the test of time, remains perennially supportive of brokers, has a solid offering and one which we could not imagine life without. You decide — but they must be the very best.
A B&C-decided award, we honour an individual who has worked in the market for a considerable amount of time and left/continues to leave their mark in more ways than one.
All sponsors of this year’s B&C Awards will be announced soon.
Tables are selling fast.
To book your spot, contact Caron Schreuder on 0203 818 0162 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.