Recognise, Cambridge & Counties, Castle Trust and Lawrence Stephens bolster teams



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Recognise Bank, Cambridge & Counties Bank, Castle Trust Bank and Lawrence Stephens have welcomed new members to their teams.

Recognise Bank

Recognise Bank has appointed Gavin Keyte as head of credit.

Gavin has 28 years of experience in credit underwriting, policy, and regulatory compliance, having worked in senior positions at various lenders, including Lloyds Bank, Allied Irish Bank and, most recently, Allica Bank.

He also has a deep understanding of SME and corporate lending, including leveraged and asset finance.

“I’m delighted to be joining Recognise Bank; its focus on building real personal relationships with SMEs completely aligns with my views on how best to support the small business sector. 

“Every business is different, so it’s vital that lenders have people with experience of SMEs to understand both their challenges and opportunities.”

Mark Bampton, chief credit officer at Recognise Bank, added: “The UK’s SMEs are poorly served because so many of the mainstream banks have automated their lending and removed the people with real expert knowledge of business sectors and their financial needs.

“In Gavin, we have somebody with a huge amount of experience of lending to the SME sector and a great understanding of what makes them tick.”

In August, Recognise Bank announced a successful £14m capital raise, which will pave the way for the removal of deposit restrictions by the PRA, allowing the bank to offer personal and business savings accounts, which in turn will enable the business to provide more lending to the SME sector.

Cambridge & Counties Bank

Cambridge & Counties Bank has expanded its presence in Scotland with the appointment of Elaine Chandler as a BDM in its asset finance team. 

Based in Glasgow, she will report to Simon Hilyer, senior BDM, and focus on fulfilling demand from SMEs for asset finance solutions.

Elaine, who has almost 20 years of experience in finance and business development, joins the bank from Wells Fargo Commercial Distribution Finance, where she worked for over 10 years.

Commenting on her appointment, Elaine said: “Cambridge & Counties Bank has developed a strong presence in Scotland. 

“There are clear opportunities to expand the bank’s asset finance book in the market, given the highly competitive nature of the product suite and the bank’s deep commitment to customer excellence.”

Simon stated: “We’re absolutely delighted to be expanding in Scotland and to have hired someone of Elaine’s calibre and track record of success.” 

In 2020, the lender recorded a near 9% rise in loans and advances to customers to £828.4m.

Average staff numbers also increased by 11% to 165, with growth in the bank’s Leicester headquarters and areas such as Scotland.

Castle Trust Bank

Castle Trust Bank has recruited two new BDMs to enhance the sales support it provides brokers.

In their new positions, Leanne Arundell will cover north London and the Midlands, while Gary Maher will be responsible for the South.

Leanne brings with her over 24 years of experience in the mortgage industry, having previously held underwriting and business development roles at various lenders, including Accord Mortgages, Advantage Homeloans, and Leeds Building Society. 

Meanwhile, Gary, who has worked in financial services for 14 years, joins the bank from Harris Balcombe LLP.

“Castle Trust Bank has such a strong reputation for providing innovative solutions to help property investors achieve their objectives,” commented Leanne.

“I’m looking forward to helping deliver some of those solutions to a growing number of brokers.”

Gary added: “Over the past 14 years, I’ve learned that good business development is about open communication and proactive support, and I’m looking forward to applying my experience and skills to my new role with Castle Trust Bank.”

Rob Oliver, sales director at Castle Trust Bank, said: “The addition of Leanne and Gary enhances our already strong business development team, which is always on hand to help brokers find a solution for their tricky BTL cases. 

“We have always known that it’s important to give brokers a strong choice of options in how they choose to work with Castle Trust Bank, and the last two years have only reinforced the importance of providing both excellent face-to-face and remote BDM support.”

Lawrence Stephens 

Lawrence Stephens has hired three new solicitors to meet increasing demand for legal services.

Kimberley Clift is joining the real estate finance and banking department as an associate, while Rosalin Gautam and Raphaela Kohs will work as solicitors for the dispute resolution and family departments, respectively.

Kimberley Clift has five years of post-qualified experience in real estate finance matters, advising a variety of lender clients, including well known banks and boutique lenders.

She specialises in bridging finance, particularly in advising on residential and mixed-use property refinances and large-scale ground-up developments.

Meanwhile, Rosalin has significant knowledge in commercial litigation and professional liability disputes, having worked for a range of clients, including insurers, companies, and private individuals on professional negligence claims, and contractual and shareholder disputes.

Lastly, Raphaela is experienced in working on international, cross-jurisdictional cases on both contentious and non-contentious family law matters. 

Steven Bernstein, senior director at Lawrence Stephens, said: “Since early 2021, we have seen unprecedented demand for our legal services across the board and, as a result, we have been hiring highly talented, experienced lawyers to meet our clients’ needs. 

“We’re delighted to welcome Kimberley, Rosalin and Raphaela to our team and we’re certain that the breadth of their experience will considerably enhance our service offering and enable us to continue delivering commercially focused, marketing leading legal advice.”

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