Dragonfly achieve an industry first in 2011

Dragonfly achieve an industry first in 2011


With the year coming to a close Bridging & Commercial wanted to find out how one of the leading lenders in the industry has found the last 12 months. Jonathan Samuels, CEO of Dragonfly Property Finance, told us more...

As 2011 draws to a close, and the Terry's Chocolate Oranges are broken out in offices around the UK (note to self: order some), it's time to reflect on what has been one hell of a year in the short-term finance sector.

There has been lots of innovation, lots of new entrants and competition, lots of deals, and, as I touched on in my Alessio Rastani speech at an expo recently, lots of opportunity.

The property and mainstream finance markets may be down but this is manna from heaven for the UK's professional property investors, who are aware we're in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity — and are making the most of it.

For everyone at Dragonfly, it's been a particularly hectic year given our rebrand from Drawbridge Finance back in the late spring. Poz still complains about a lack of sleep from the month running up to the rebrand, but looking forward into next year, I can't see him getting much time to catch up on it.

Anyway, the short-term pain of the rebrand is already translating into long-term gain, as we're seeing clear benefits to a brand that is about more than just bridging but medium-term loans, second charges and development and mezzanine finance.

This is what we wanted to achieve when we first discussed the idea of a rebrand and thankfully it is already paying off. Bridging, don't get me wrong, is still the core area of our business, but we do offer more than that.

In terms of the new entrants and the increased competition, we welcome it with open arms. It is a sign of a vibrant sector, although I do think that we are likely to see fewer short-term lenders come the end of 2012, through a mixture of withdrawal from the market and acquisition (watch this space). Right now, my feeling is that the sector is a little over served. 

But even though the market has become far more competitive, I'm pleased that we've managed to take quite a few of the best short-term/bridging lender gongs. In fact, at the risk of blowing our own trumpet, during 2011 we took all five awards at the four major industry events: NACFB Short Term Funder of the Year; Mortgage Strategy Best Short-Term/Bridging Lender; Business Moneyfacts Best Bridging Lender; Bridging & Commercial Lender of the Year; and Bridging & Commercial Best Product Range.

I'm told this is an industry first and am naturally as pleased as punch. Of course, without our key partners and the UK's brokers none of this would have been possible so thank you all — we owe it to you.

In 2012, we look forward to continuing to innovate, to continuing to offer some of the strongest products on the market, to continue to provide only the very best levels of service and, above all, to help your clients achieve their goals. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


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    In the spirit of fairness it would be remiss of me not to make the reader aware that Masthaven won the award for "Best service from a bridging finance provider" at the Business Moneyfacts event this year, thus preventing the true "Tiger slam" of awards.

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