10 Questions With... Danny Waters, CEO of Enterprise Finance

10 Questions With... Danny Waters, CEO of Enterprise Finance




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1. What would you put in Room 101 if you had the chance?

 

It depends really... I know this is going to sound really terrible, but you know when you’re on a long haul flight and you’ve got a screaming baby next to you? Well I’m about to have my first baby so I guess I’ll be able to empathise soon, but yeah, I’d put screaming babies.

B&C: You would put babies in Room 101?

No just screaming ones on airplanes...

B&C: Frowning, when’s your baby due?

January

2. OK, when did you start working as a master broker and what were you doing before that?

 

I started in 2003 and joined in an entry level position; I’ve grown up with the business and experienced both the good times and the more difficult. Before that I was at college, Enterprise was expected to be a gap year for me, something to do whilst I saved money to go away travelling for a year before university. But the market started to become very buoyant and Enterprise Finance started to establish itself as a market leader and before I was due to leave, work became too attractive... I rolled a dice and stayed, thankfully it’s worked out quite well for me

3. What did you want to be when you were a kid?

Well it’s very very clichéd, but I always enjoyed sports, I wanted to play football. Then, in my teens I realised that I was not quite good enough to make the grade so I thought about getting involved in the commercial side of sport as an agent, as a kid it also seemed quite a glamorous career and this was at the time when the premier league was really starting to take off. I also had a loose interest in law mainly because I always felt that I was capable of arguing a case, a skill that I perfected often in detention at school. Although on a serious note I don’t think at that age you really know what you’re going to do, you usually end up falling into a career

4. What would you be doing now if you weren’t at working at Enterprise?

I’m sure I’d be involved in something related to financial services – property, finance it seems to be my bag and it is what I am passionate about – I am sure I would have fallen into something like that, especially in London where property/financial services was one of the biggest employers when I was first job hunting

B&C: If you could do anything in the world?

 I think I’d probably be the Prime Minister. It would be very rewarding, although it doesn’t pay much given the responsibility, there is no bigger job in this country and I am an ambitious guy. I would also find it interesting to know what really goes on behind closed doors.

B&C: Are you into politics?

Am I into politics? No, I’m not really, I’m just opinionated!

5. What’s the best and worst thing about your job?

The best is probably the people; whether it is the introducers, lenders or borrowers. The industry has lots of interesting characters and many of them become friends, which is great.

The worst thing about my job is I find it difficult to switch off, which often frustrates my partner as I will regularly take phone calls and send emails when I am supposed to be spending quality time with her.

6.   What trends have you noticed within the bridging industry over the last 12 months?

Competition has returned to the market, there have been new entrants and this has spiced things up a bit. Distribution is more valuable for lenders again; I believe that lenders who were trading prior to the crunch, and continue to trade, have resolved a lot of their legacy issues, stability has returned to the property market, which allows them to lend with less fear and more understanding of the value of the asset. Key partnerships have also developed and I suspect this strategy will continue over the next 12 months.

7. And what trends do you predict over the next 12 months?

I think it’s a crowded space at the moment, I don’t believe the market needs more entrants, unless they bring something innovative and incremental with them. Personally, I believe lenders will compete with each other on pricing and commercial rewards for introducers and less so on LTV’s but I don’t think there will be exponential growth in the sector over the next 12 months, rather, the market will remain stable and hopefully grow organically.

However, with bridging in particular, a lot depends on what happens in the broader economy. If the banks loosen their purse strings things could change, demand for bridging may initially suffer. I believe the current level of bridging activity has spiked due to the lack of appetite and liquidity in the mainstream markets; however, the flip side of the coin is if there is increased activity in the economy, the volume of conventional property transactions will increase and that should mean we will avoid a significant contraction in the bridging space.

8. Who do you fancy off the telly?

Megan Fox and Kelly Brook, is she off the telly or is she just in the papers?

9. What’s your favourite film?

Goodfellas, it’s a classic.

10. What’s one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?

Err... I’m struggling with that one, I’m quite an open book really... I don’t have secrets in the closet...

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