Most notably, we saw Boris Johnson sign the withdrawal agreement which he said finally “brings to an end far too many years of argument and division”. We also witnessed an unsuccessful fundraising campaign to get Big Ben to bong for Brexit (although, excellent news, the funds were donated to Help for Heroes), and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex step back as working members of the royal family. But that’s not what you read Bridging & Commercial for.
Looking at what’s been going on recently in our specialist arena, we can see that the market is actively addressing the talent shortage we covered extensively last year. Last month, we were inundated with appointment news and ambitious expansion plans from brokers and lenders alike. To promote the benefits of attracting new blood, we decided that this issue’s Bridging & Commercial Magazine cover story would focus on those under the age of 35 who we believe have made the biggest impact at their respective companies and on the wider industry [p42]. We were incredibly surprised by the number of achievements that flooded in, so hats off to everyone who made the Power List (you should be proud as we had to whittle it down twice due to the number of submissions).
Elsewhere in this issue, we interviewed Alex Upton and Charles McDowell about how they have helped to double HTB’s specialist mortgages loan book [p14], Alan Cleary on creating a major lender—without anyone noticing [p71], and Vic Jannels and Adam Tyler discuss an association’s place in an ever-evolving market [p58].
We have also provided you with a glimpse into the receivership process [p76] after claims that the bridging market is seeing a surge in receivers being appointed, and an overview on how specialist finance could support the rising demand in the assisted and supported living sector [p28].
Will the bridging market experience more of a shake-up going forward? Signs point to yes. In 2019, the industry cried out for much-needed M&A activity to no avail. Yet, already this year, we have seen the first PE-backed MBO of a bridging lender. Will developments, ideas and initiatives that were toyed with in our previous issues finally come to fruition? While I don’t think the bridging sector in 2020 is going to be quite as ‘roaring’ as our country was a century ago, I do believe that, with a bit more certainty since 31st January, it will be much more interesting than the past 12 months. And we can’t wait to cover it.
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