10 Questions With... Nigel Alexander, Director at Fincorp

10 Questions With... Nigel Alexander, Director at Fincorp





1. When did you start working in bridging and what were you doing before that?

I joined Fincorp in 2003, before that I had been a director in the City, working for the merchant bank, Wintrust, for 17 years – whilst there I went from lending clerk to director.  At that time I worked with Daniel Hertz, now a director at Commercial Acceptances, it was he who introduced me to Ronnie Natas – the MD at Fincorp who gave me a job.

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

I originally wanted to be an accountant.

B&C: Really?

Well yes, once you get to secondary school you start thinking about what you want to do as a career... If I wasn’t at Fincorp I’m sure I’d still be involved in banking somehow.

If I could do anything in the world though, I’d be a professional tennis coach.

B&C: Who would you most like to coach? Tim Henman?

Err no, because he’s retired, I’d coach the pretty ones.

B&C: [A bit embarrassed about expressing such tennis ignorance] Anna Kournikova then?

Err no, Maria Sharipova.

B&C: Right.

3. What’s the best thing about your job?

The ability to make decisions on my own, without too much interference from our investors. It’s a simple business model and it works. Small is beautiful as they say... I like being a big fish in a small pond.

It’s like a family business here – we have a team of eight, and everyone’s been here quite a long time...

4. The worst thing?

Well it’s cleaning up the defaults, it’s unpalatable but necessary. The lending part is easy, but sometimes it's more difficult to get it back...

5. What trends have you noticed within the bridging industry over the last 12 months? And what trends do you predict over the next 12?

Well there’s been a period of consolidation, all the established lenders are back at it, and all the ones that grew very quickly from nowhere have now disappeared as quickly as they came...

You have to distinguish between good and bad... you need a number of years; it takes a lot to grow organically...

I think the competition is going to get fiercer, as the high street remains unwilling to lend people will be forced to look to alternative forms of funding.

At the Mortgage Business Expo recently I spoke to a lot of our competition, it was good. There’s enough business to go round and I rarely find us competing on deals – it’s not dog eat dog, it’s a big market, there are lots of players, but enough business to go round.

B&C: You don’t fear a double dip then?

I think we’re in one already, at least with regards to property; housing sales are going down, rents going up... But London is London; people will always want to live here.

I think it’s important the government starts talking our economy up, we need to get confidence growing in it again...

6. Who do you fancy off the telly?

Well I had to clear this with Mrs Alexander first and we agreed on Kylie. Everyone else I named is far too young for me and I can’t go about looking like a dirty old man...

B&C: Did you see her on the X Factor?

Well I’ve got an eight-year-old so yes, and she was brilliant.

B&C: And who are you supporting?

Well it’s got to be Matt Cardle hasn’t it?

B&C: No, what about Rebecca?


B&C: [Incredulous] What? You don’t like Rebecca? Everyone likes Rebecca...

7. OK, let’s see if we can agree on this, what’s your favourite film?

Raiders of the Lost Ark.

B&C: Agreed, it’s a fantastic film. What about your favourite book?

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I studied it at school and it was the first time I looked beyond the text as it were... I did an A Level in English Literature; it put me off reading for life!

8. What would you put in room 101?

My bankers. Stress. Banks give you stress

9. If you could have a super power for one day what would it be and why?

I’m a diabetic, so a cure for diabetes I suppose.

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

That I actually have a heart. That’s what my wife told me, ‘you’re not all bad’ she said, and she said that without any prompting, which is a bit worrying...

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