OakNorth Bank and Lawrence Stephens

OakNorth and Lawrence Stephens strengthen teams with new hires and promotions




OakNorth Bank and Lawrence Stephens have made changes to their teams, including new appointments and promotions.

OakNorth Bank

OakNorth Bank has added three new members to its lending teams in the North West, Yorkshire and East Anglia.

Dan Hewitt and Tom Jessop have been appointed as associate directors of debt finance, joining the East Anglia and Manchester teams, respectively.

For the bank’s office in Yorkshire, Matthew Gudgeon has been named as an associate of debt finance.

Previously, Dan spent the past five years at Virgin Money as a commercial bank manager.

Meanwhile, Tom joins OakNorth from Allied Irish Bank, where he worked as a relationship manager, while Matthew joins from Christie Finance, where he was a finance consultant.

In 2020, OakNorth lent £1.1bn to the ‘missing middle’, despite the challenges posed by Covid-19.

So far this year, the specialist bank has closed approximately £550m worth of new deals.

Ben Barbanel, head of debt finance at OakNorth, said: “Given the challenges of the pandemic on society and the economy over the last year, our mission — to empower the ‘missing middle’ — has never been more important. 

“We have continued to lend, supporting hundreds of businesses across the UK from a variety of sectors.

“The hiring of Dan, Tom and Matthew will enable us to continue providing on-the-ground, local support with people who are familiar with the region and the unique challenges and opportunities facing it.”

Lawrence Stephens

Lawrence Stephens has promoted senior associate Nisha Saigal to director of its real estate finance department.

Nisha has over 12 years of experience in commercial property and focuses on real estate finance, acting for commercial, bridging and digital mortgage lenders. 

She also works across a variety of matters including acquisitions, landlord and tenants, residential and commercial investments.

Despite the considerable challenges posed to the market over the past year, Nisha has achieved significant results for the firm, closing on transactions with a total value of £31.5m in 2020.

Nisha was also one of the 40 people selected for the B&C Magazine Power List.

“I am thrilled to have been made director at Lawrence Stephens,” said Nisha.

“Since joining the firm in 2015, not only have I been continually inspired and challenged to exceed targets and expectations, but I have also truly felt like one of the family. 

“I am very much looking forward to contributing to the firm’s continued success and expansion in my new role.”

Gregory Palos, head of real estate finance at Lawrence Stephens, commented: “Since joining Lawrence Stephens as a four-year post qualified experience (PQE) associate six years ago, Nisha has become an indispensable member of the Lawrence Stephens team. 

“We are delighted to see Nisha promoted to director and we look forward to seeing her continue to thrive in this exciting next step in her career.”

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