Shawbrook, Aspen, Castle Trust and Commercial Expert bolster teams

Shawbrook Bank, Aspen Bridging, Castle Trust Bank and Commercial Expert have hired new members for their specialist finance teams.

Shawbrook Bank

Shawbrook Bank has appointed Arthur Leung as chief product officer.

In the newly created role, he will be responsible for continuing to evolve and deliver the bank’s digital product strategy, working with and building the community of product and tech talent within the bank.

Arthur brings over 15 years of product and leadership expertise to Shawbrook, having previously worked in similar roles across various companies, including payment card specialist Curve and, most recently, Advent International.

He also founded an ed-tech start-up in 2015 to make learning Chinese more accessible and fun for children.

The appointment is part of the bank’s strategy to further invest in technology and talent — with plans to create 100 new digital vacancies by the end of 2022 — and the recent launch of new digital products and services.

Commenting on his appointment, Arthur said: “In many ways, Shawbrook offers the best of all worlds — scale and reach, combined with entrepreneurial spirit and a proven ability to innovate. 

“We’ve got a thriving product community in the UK fintech space and a lot of great talent building world-class products and services.  

“Everything I’ve seen so far tells me that Shawbrook values an insight-driven, outcome-focused approach to building, and it’s these principles that will continue to attract more of that talent to Shawbrook.   

“Enabling our customers to achieve their individual goals by building products that provide solutions to the challenges they face is our absolute priority.”

Marcelino Castrillo, CEO at Shawbrook Bank, added: “Arthur has phenomenal understanding and extensive experience across discovery, execution and scaling of products at different stages of business growth.  

“I’m delighted that he chose to join Shawbrook in the next step of his career, helping us build upon the diverse banking platform we have today that’s helping to create opportunities for our customers in entirely new ways. 

“Technology and data play a huge role in this ambition, but ultimately, our focus is to simply create brilliant customer experiences, and continuing to attract great talent like Arthur into the organisation is a priority for us.”

Aspen Bridging

Aspen Bridging has appointed Steve Gregory as its first BDM for the southern region.

Covering the South East and South West, as well as south London, he will be responsible for creating closer face-to-face relationships with his existing network and building new partnerships.

Steve joins from Castle Trust Bank, where he worked in various roles, most recently as a BDM.

Ian Miller-Hawes, head of sales at Aspen Bridging, said: “Steve comes with huge experience in the bridging and bridge-to-let sectors and has already built great relationships with intermediaries in the South.

“As a business, we have ambitious growth targets and now is the time to start putting professionals in regions who can service brokers locally, as well as boost our profile.

“Given his reputation for delivery he will be a massive asset over the coming years.”

In February, Aspen Bridging has revamped its bridging range and launched a new bridge-to-let proposition.

Castle Trust Bank

Castle Trust Bank has appointed Sammi Gilbank as a regional account manager for the South West and Wales.

In her new role, she will work with brokers in the two regions to help BTL investors and property developers access the finance they need to maximise their returns.

Sammi has over a decade of experience in the sector, having worked for a range of specialist lenders and brokers, including The Buy to Let Business, Interbay and, most recently, Hampshire Trust Bank.

“Castle Trust Bank has a strong reputation for providing brokers with a unique combination of flexibility and certainty and delivering innovative solutions to help property investors achieve their objectives,” said Sammi.

“I’m looking forward to working closely with brokers in the South West and Wales on structuring loans, delivering terms and raising awareness of propositions like bridge-to-let.”

Rob Oliver, sales director at Castle Trust Bank, commented: “We are delighted that Sammi has joined Castle Trust Bank to help us strengthen our sales team and grow our business.

“Sammi has a powerful combination of experience, having worked as both a lender and a broker, so she will be well placed to help identify and deliver the most effective finance solutions for landlord clients.”

Commercial Expert

Commercial Expert has appointed David Burford as an appointed representative (AR) for Cardiff.

In his new role, he will use his knowledge of property-related finance to support those in the local area to get the right level of funding.

David, who has over 20 years of experience working in the sector, joins from Barclays Bank, where he was a BDM responsible for over 200 IFA/mortgage broker firms and for overseeing an annual turnover exceeding £250m.

Commenting on his appointment, David said: “Coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic has presented additional challenges for businesses, especially from an access to fair and ethical finance perspective. 

“The property market remains buoyant, but with so many opportunities flying around, there’s a need for education on what type of finance is the right one for clients. 

“Getting the correct advice is more important than ever, and my new role at Commercial Expert gives me peace of mind that I will be a part of ensuring people receive that.

“When I first came across the AR roles at Commercial Expert, I jumped at the chance to chat. 

“It’s not just the freedom to run my own business, but also to be able to do so with the support of a highly-regarded network. 

“The model is like nothing I’ve seen before; it works well for introducers and clients alike as it gives a personal contact backed by an experienced and established network.

“The support really is second to none and this will result in an excellent experience for my customers.”

Mike Coates, director at Commercial Expert, added: “I am over the moon to have someone with David’s experience joining our team.

“Our support to businesses and the self-employed across the UK has increased massively over the last few years and his appointment will mean we are able to continue increasing that support.

“Our AR model was designed to give independent commercial finance experts the chance to build their business further by providing them with a network of support and access to better deals.

“It’s been a very effective way of ensuring more customers have better access to the right kind of finance.”

David is the third AR to join the Commercial Expert team in the last six months and reflects the firm’s growing presence across the UK.

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