The Bridger that's spread its wings

The Bridger that's spread its wings



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Yesterday the industry said goodbye to what has arguably become the bridging world’s biggest lender, Drawbridge Finance.

After less than eighteen months in the market, Jonathan Samuels and his team felt that their growth and development meant that the name was no longer fitting.

As of yesterday, Drawbridge evolved into Dragonfly Property Finance.

Jonathan Samuels, CEO of Dragonfly Property Finance, said: “In recent months, we increasingly felt the name ‘Drawbridge Finance’ didn’t really reflect what we do and how we work.

“The name suggested that we are exclusively about bridging, it pigeonholed us if you like, whereas the services we offer actually extend way beyond that into buy-to-let loans, second charges and development.”

Mr Samuels explained that the decision to rebrand was made around six months ago, at what appears to have been a ‘now or never’ point.

“Having discussed it with the team at length, we thought it was better to act immediately and rebrand now, while we’re still relatively young in the industry,”said Mr Samuels.

“The longer we waited, the more ingrained the Drawbridge brand would become and the harder it would be.”

Along with a new image comes a new identity for Dragonfly Property Finance, as the unveiling of the name also marks its formal launch into a fourth arena of lending, development and mezzanine finance.

Dragonfly’s new £250 million funding, which was announced last month as an addition to its existing capital, will no doubt help it to establish itself swiftly within the development finance sector.

James Bloom, CEO of Regentsmead, said: “As a well established market leading principal provider of development finance we welcome serious competition, it can only be good for the market and with the lack of funders in the market this should open up new opportunities for all lenders.

“Clearly the broker market wants longevity in their relationships and needs to know that they are serviced through good times and bad, hopefully other lenders will follow our lead and stay in the market through all types of economic climates rather than coming in and out.”

He added: “We welcome the addition of a new organisation and look forward to forming links with them as we have with a number of other lenders where we offer reciprocal business. This is a highly specialised area and we wish them every success.”

When asked why the company had chosen the name ‘Dragonfly’ to represent their new identity, Jonathan Samuels explained: “The dragonfly is a perfect representation of how we work as a business. We are agile, flexible in the way we assess applications, quick to react and very transparent in the way we operate. Also, we’re always striving to do things differently and to stand out from the crowd. We felt the dragonfly embodied all of these qualities and has a certain uniqueness about it.”

Lucy Barrett, Director of Vantage Finance, said: “Drawbridge Finance has gone from strength to strength in terms of their products and their team, the decision to rebrand shows their commitment to the products they have developed since starting out with just a bridging offering. 

“They have also shown that they still have a strong appetite to lend by further reducing their rates and streamlining their processes, and I wish them all the success as Dragonfly Property Finance.”

In order to celebrate the rebranding, and the official launch of Dragonfly Property Finance, the lender is reducing rates across its entire product range with one product’s rates as low as 0.75 per cent p/m. It is also offering a new streamlined ‘fast-track’ process, which reduces the number of documents required from 10 to 4.

Within this new fast-track process, an offer can be made in little more than an hour of the application being reviewed. Dragonfly report that all they need is a completed and signed application form, photo ID for each applicant, the valuation and, for over 50 per cent LTV loans, a copy of three month’s bank statement.

Mr Samuels concluded: “Our key partners have all now been informed of the rebrand and are familiar with our new products, rates and fast-track offer process. Like us, they’re really excited about the change and are keen to get funds into the market, which is what it’s all about.”

The team at Dragonfly were also keen to point out that they do not only make large loans within the M25. They are, in fact, willing and able to offer all sizes of loans, throughout the UK, and therefore can meet the demands of a broad spectrum of borrowers.

By Katie-Jill Rowland

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