The real story behind Masthaven's new funding

The real story behind Masthaven's new funding


This month Masthaven announced that it had obtained not only additional funding but also a new board member.

The William Pears Group (WPG) have taken a direct stake in the bridging lender, and Michael Baker, Director of Joint Ventures for WPG, has joined Masthaven’s board as a Non-Executive Director.

Masthaven’s strategic partnership with the ultra high-net worth and family owned company, WPG, will give them the opportunity to take full advantage of their newly obtained regulated status, and will also enable them to benefit from Michael Baker’s considerable property experience.

Yet surprisingly, the seeds of the partnership were planted over a football match, and not in a board room.

Andrew Bloom, Managing Director of Masthaven, was at a friend’s house watching the football World Cup last summer when he was sharing a couple of beers with a business colleague of a close advisor to Mark Pears. After finding out further information about Masthaven’s line of work, the man in question decided to introduce Andrew to Mark.

The relationship developed from there and Mark Pears, along with other members of WPG, realised the potential in making an investment into the bridging lender.

Numerous talks and meetings followed and six months later, a strategic and mutually beneficial partnership had been made between WPG and Masthaven.

Speaking earlier this month, Mark Pears, of WPG, said: “Masthaven has been one of the few bridging finance lenders to successfully weather the recent economic storms, Andrew and his team has impressed me with their professionalism and commitment to grow the business.”

The ‘chance’ meeting is even more extraordinary when one understands the history of the WPG, and its position in the market as a highly powerful yet somewhat private property giant.

WPG was formed in 1952 by Bernard Pears and his son Clive, and is still 100 per cent family-owned and managed. The current directors took over the management of the Group in 1984 following the death of Clive Pears (aged 49). The Company is now owed and run by Mark Pears and his two brothers, Trevor and David.

The Group’s original activity was commercial property development, but it expanded into property investment in the mid-1960s. The Group’s policy has always been long term growth with conservative borrowings. Accordingly, from the early years the Group has participated in joint ventures.

Andrew Bloom, Managing Director of Masthaven states, “For the last 18 months Masthaven has been looking for a strategic partner to assist in our growth plans. Our decision to partner with the William Pears Group is not just because of their deep pockets but also their extensive knowledge of the property market,”

Today, the Pears family are thought to have a net wealth of around £1.6 billion, and were number 26 on the Sunday Times’ Rich list in 2010. They are certainly have the financial backing to allow them to carefully consider and select the companies which they wish to invest in.

By Katie-Jill Rowland


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