Behind the Doors of Regentsmead

Behind the Doors of Regentsmead


Once again, B&C took to the road and this time we were invited to go to Edgware, Middlesex, to the offices of specialist development lender – Regentsmead Limited.

Regentsmead operates a team of about 20 members of staff with a lot of cross-over and unlike many other short-term lenders they lend their own money which is generated from investment income and retained profits. They have no external funders or backers unlike other lenders.

James Bloom, Chief Executive:

We first spoke to James Bloom to get a better understanding about the lender and what they have to offer.

James joined the group in 1987 and initially had a role within the property management division. When the short-term lending arm was established in the early 1990’s James moved across and quickly progressed to head up the division.

James’ favourite thing about working in the development finance sector is that every case is different. We found out that they have “very substantial funds to lend” and that he approves and signs off each case personally. He said: “We have never turned down a case due to lack of funds.”

He added: “Because we lend our own money we are incredibly careful about the cases we take on. We meet every single client and we rely on experience, track record, gut feeling and our knowledge of property.”

James, who will be marking his 25th year at the group in July, also explained that Regentsmead: “Does not use RICS Red Book valuations – instead we have a specific report. We use three to four main surveyors and valuers and these are firms that we have known for 20 years who we have built a close relationship with.” These are firms such as Duncan Bailey-Kennedy, based in High Wycombe, and Gaskell Construction Consultants from Nottingham.

B&C were told that James Moore and Jake Reza are integral parts of the sales team. They also have two Business Development Managers that travel around these areas meeting brokers, clients and valuers etc. They are David Winter and Barrie Santaub.

James Moore, Head of Sales:

We then spoke with James Moore, who has been with the company for three years, who informed us first of his role.

“I focus on sales primarily, and go out on the road once a week. I go to see brokers all around the geographical areas we cover to follow-up on initial introductions. Recently, we have been writing more and more business.”

Previously, James worked as a broker for 20 years – dealing with buy-to-let, commercial and residential mortgages and bridging. The company he worked for wrote £100 million of commercial mortgages in 12 months during the boom time but, after the credit crunch the firm ‘fell off a cliff’.

James advised that Regentsmead is expanding their ties with brokers and that 80% of their new business now comes via brokers. “Brokers enjoy dealing with us because we make their life so easy, we collect their fees for them with our commitment fee and we always pay repeat fees.”

James Moore told us what he thinks of the current situation regarding banks not lending. He said: “Banks don’t want to lend, and there is new legislation which means they must reduce their property portfolios.”

He said that around 45 per cent of banks’ balance sheets are property, and, because of liquidity problems, the banks have been told to reduce their debt down to 20-25 per cent.

James provided an example of a customer who, despite having a good relationship with one of the main high street banks, could not secure a loan even though he had been in the development trade for 42 years and had a wealth of experience behind him. James believes it will be another three years, at least, before banks start lending any significant level again.

B&C asked him what are the principles that Regentsmead operate on? James Moore highlighted three, speed, flexibility and service. They are unlike any other lender I have come across in my many years in the industry.

Nick Warren, Head of Lending:

Nick, who will mark his tenth year at the group next month, is responsible for ensuring deals proceed as quickly as possible and liaises with borrowers, brokers, valuers and solicitors alike.

He told us: “My role day-to-day involves speaking to all bodies involved with the loan to ensure everything goes to plan – I supervise day-to-day operations.

“The development finance sector has been desolate for four years and we’ve always been the prevailing lender.”

In terms of business, Nick said: “I think it is difficult to find a development lender that is comparable to us. We have seen some lenders dip in and out of the market, but we’ve been here all the way through it.

“Development lending is the foundation of our business. It is an area we know and we are very busy, but we would never say we wouldn’t branch out.”

We asked about the solicitors they use and Nick informed us, “We have two main firms of solicitors, who I speak with every day without fail - Butcher Burns LLP and Sylvester Amiel Lewin & Horne. We only deal with the partners directly in both firms.

“Relationships with solicitors are very important; they are probably the most important ingredient in the whole transaction, as a deal can be held up by a borrower’s solicitor extremely easily.”

Regentsmead has been involved in the property and finance industry since 1934 and was set up by Richard Ross’s father – Nathan Rosenbaum.

Regentsmead are Patrons of the NACFB and lend on developments in the South East, South West, Midlands and Wales, and pride themselves on their speed, flexibility, individual and personal service, and reliability.

We asked James Bloom for a final quote to round off our visit, he said “We have never been busier than we are now, this is clearly because the mainstream banks have all but deserted the small development lender and it is an area we are very comfortable in, we see the next few years as a fantastic opportunity for those with capital and we are making some fantastic new connections with brokers who may previously not have come to us. Hopefully by giving a 5 star service on every case we will continue these relationships for many years to come.”

We are delighted with the results of our close relationship with Bridging & Commercial which has contributed to us being named by the industry as Best Development Lender of the Year for the last two years, we look forward to expanding on this relationship over the coming years.”

For further details please contact the team on 020 8952 1414, e mail

[email protected]

or visit their site at


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