10 Questions with...Richard Deacon, Masthaven BDM

10 Questions with...Richard Deacon, Masthaven BDM



10 Questions with Richard Deacon, Business Development Manager at Masthaven


1.Who do you fancy off the telly?

Kirsty Allsop, I know I probably shouldn’t, but I do – she fascinates me, oh and Tanya off the Channel 4 racing and Helen Chamberlain before she chopped her hair off.

2. Hmm okay, so how long have you been at Masthaven? And where did you come from before that?

Nearly two years now. Before Masthaven I worked as a mortgage packager. (B&C: maybe that’s why you fancy Kirsty Allsop?)

Those were the good old days of sub-prime and self-cert lending, buy-to-let packages with big pay outs... We went abroad on business quite a lot back then – it was lovely...

Before that I was a branch manager of a high street building society, I’ve certainly been round the financial merry-go-round a few times!

3. What’s the best thing about being a BDM?

Well I’m a relationship person, and as a former boss once told me, “people buy from people.” So if you’ve got a product that is fairly similar to others on the market, you need to sell it through the bonds you make with people.

I like to think, and I might be bigging myself up a little here, but I like to think that people often buy our products because I’m the selling them.

It’s about building relationships and listening to people, that’s how I’ve cemented our relationship with many of the industry’s leading players. We’re on their lending panels now and I think that’s down to me and my ability to establish common ground. I get people talking about what makes them passionate first, then I talk about Masthaven and they soon realise I’m passionate about what I do and that’s when they want to do business with me.

4. What’s the worst thing about being a BDM?

Probably the miles to be honest, you go to where the accounts are. You leave your house at 5am, you’re in the car, the radio’s boring, and you’re dying for a wee at the next services...

But I think it concentrates the mind too – it spurs you on, by the time you arrive at your 9am meeting you’re determined to make it worthwhile and I think brokers appreciate that.

5. Where would you be now if you weren’t at Masthaven?

I’d be selling ladies’ underwear in Debenhams! Ha! No seriously, I used to be a sales manager, before I got into finance, so I suppose I’d be working in retail still.

6. What did you want to be when you were little?

Well, like a lot of little boys, I wanted to be a spaceman. Space fascinated me and it still does. I’ll never forget a time at school, I was only about six or seven , everyone got called into the assembly room to watch the first ever space shuttle take off – or was it land? I’m not sure, I think it was land, and I thought wow! That’s amazing!

7. What trends within the industry have you noticed in the last 12 months?

Fraud, and lots of it. There’s been a massive increase in fraud activity all over the industry, and I think the reasons are two-fold. First off, people are desperate, they’ve seen their incomes drop – I’ve seen brokers change careers altogether... People are just desperate. But it’s not only that, the FSA have also become better at detecting fraud, so it’s more out in the open, more fraud cases are coming to light than ever before....

8. What do you predict will happen in the bridging loans market over the next 12 months?

More players will come into the market, we’ve seen new players come in and we’ve watched Mathon and Excel go out, but I think the emphasis will soon be on people coming in rather than going out...

I wouldn’t be surprised if lots of ‘new’ companies reappear with fresh lending lines, but I’m sure they won’t make the same mistakes as before...

9. OK, so to those new ones coming in what do you have to say?

A loan that seems too good to be true is. Watch out!

10. What’s your favourite film and why?

Honestly? Star Wars, the original, 1977. Even now you watch Avatar and there are so many references and you can draw so many comparisons, you think – hang on, they nicked that from Star Wars – it redefined the sci-fi genre.

I also like Quentin Tarantino a lot, particularly Pulp Fiction, it reminds me of my youth...you know going out, the music...

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