10 Questions with Bob Sturges of Omni Capital

10 Questions with Bob Sturges of Omni Capital


He would love to travel back in time and he can't stand prima donna footballers. Brendan Simpson spoke to Bob Sturges, Head of Communications at Omni Capital...

1. How long have you been in the industry and how did you get to where you are now?

I’ve worked in the financial services sector for over 30 years, principally on the mortgage lending side. I joined Omni Capital very recently at the invitation of its chief executive, Colin Sanders. Colin and I have known each other for many years, and I was his head of communications at specialist lenders Money Partners and GE Money Home Lending.

2. What is the most significant difference you see between your first and most recent days in bridging?

As a newcomer to bridging, it’s too early to say. But I was immediately struck by the vibrancy of the sector and the interest it’s generating, not least from the trade media. I realise now why this is the case, and expect it to continue so long as mainstream funding remains rationed.

3. Which sports team do you support, if any, and why?

I’m not a big sports fan but am impressed, and not a little surprised, at just how good the England cricket team has become. As a keen skier, I tend to follow the fortunes of the Swiss downhill and slalom teams each winter season. Not very patriotic, perhaps, but where’s Eddie the Eagle when you need him?

4. If you could change one thing about the sector, what would it be?

Bridging is at a pivotal point in its evolution. There are great opportunities for the right type of business and individual. But I wish we could get away from comparisons with the sub-prime boom of the Noughties. Bridging cannot ever reach the same size or scale, so far better to focus on the issues we can influence.

5. If you could have one superpower, what would you choose and why?

I fancy myself as a bit of an amateur historian, so I’d love to be able to travel back in time. It would be fascinating to see the past first-hand. 

6. What was the last film you saw and what did you think of it?

A digitally-remastered version of the Ealing Studios black comedy ‘Kind Hearts and Coronets.’ It’s showing in selected cinemas now, and is a masterpiece of British post-war film-making. Go and see it and weep for what we were once capable of.

7. What would you put in room 101 if you had the chance?

Prima donna footballers. They’re one of the reasons why I’ve lost interest in most sport and sum up the worse aspects of modern life: shallow, seedy, self-obsessed, pampered and greedy.

8. What’s your favourite book?

‘The 39 Steps’ by John Buchan. It’s a timeless classic that inspired writers and film-makers alike, and is the grand-daddy of the action-thriller-innocent man-chase genre.

9. What do you expect to happen in the bridging finance industry over the next 12 months?

It will continue to do well as it partially fills the void left by the retreat of mainstream funding. It will also become better understood. Increased competition will encourage greater transparency and lead to better product and process design. Inevitably, some of the more opportunistic entrants will fall away. I expect regulation and TCF (‘Treating Customers Fairly’) to become key considerations.

10. If you could do anything you wanted this Sunday, what would it be?

Just what I always do – a good breakfast, a trawl through the papers, a pint at the local at lunchtime and a relaxed supper at the local pizzeria.

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