The Five Minute Interview with Jon Salisbury, Managing Director, Ortus Secured Finance

JonOrtus Secured Finance are a secured lender providing short-term facilities in the commercial and unregulated residential sectors.  Ortus Secured Finance will consider a wide variety of secured facilities for customers with good asset cover.

Ortus Secured Finance also have experience and involvement in the pub sector and are therefore able to consider loans involving leisure assets such as pubs, hotels and restaurants.

We speak to managing director, Jon Salisbury:

 

What is the best thing about being in the bridging finance business?

I enjoy the demanding and fast-paced environment.  There are also some great individuals and firms to learn from.  However, the most satisfying thing is designing products which make a real difference.  For example, our early-stage pub finance product has helped numerous people fulfil their dream of becoming a pub owner.  And our Northern Ireland bridging product has given clients an option which simply didn’t exist beforehand.

What keeps you focussed?

As a firm we have high-level quarterly objectives.  They remind us what we need to achieve and this ensures we focus attention and resources in the right areas and avoid being side-tracked.

On an individual basis I stay focussed by being organised … probably bordering on OCD.  I write everything down and make sure every email has been dealt with or diarised by the end of each day. Having a clear idea of the work which needs to be done is a great way of staying focussed.  However, it’s not easy when my colleagues are drunk and emailing me at 3am … and I find myself replying.

What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?

Honesty and integrity are imperative – nothing else matters without them.  Given the urgency of most of our deals, I also really value colleagues who can drive a project forward … finding reasons to complete rather than defer tasks.  Finally, I look for people with a sense of fun who don’t take themselves too seriously.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

I try to be a realist.

What did you want to be as a child?

I wanted to a dustman and hang off the back of the dustbin lorry.

What will be the greatest challenge facing the bridging finance industry in the coming months?

The regulatory changes are going to be a challenge.  However, having experienced the start of the MCOB regime in 2004 and the subsequent changes in 2009, I think the real challenge will be in the years following the regulatory changes.  Over time, Regulators may stop giving lenders sets of rules to check their conduct against and instead impose requirements covering the “spirit of the rules” and the fair treatment of clients.

Who or what makes you laugh?

My sense of humour isn’t very sophisticated.  I laugh at the same things as my 5-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son … people falling in puddles etc.

Do you dread Monday mornings?

This is when I’m supposed to say “no I adore Monday morning … it’s such a relief to finish the weekend and get back to work”.  Well the truth is I’m not a morning person so I dread Monday morning along with all mornings.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would be a bit calmer.

With whom would you most like to have dinner?

Thomas Cromwell … and I would have said that before Wolf Hall.

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