Conrad Capital hopes to keep flowering by joining BLD
By David Craik -
It is unlikely that John Clifford will ever be asked on Gardeners’ World by presenter Monty Don, but he probably won’t mind if his real estate lending group Conrad Capital keeps blooming.
Clifford, Manging Director of the London based Real Estate Lender, which offers a range of bridging loans, secured against residential and commercial property, is now basking in the success of its maiden “Conrad Real Estate Lending Fund”.
Launched on October 1, investors, mainly high net worth individuals, are now able to invest in a portfolio of short-term bridging loans, with a minimum investment of £250,000. The Fund is managed by Guernsey based Fund Managers Obsidian and regulated by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission.
“The response has been remarkable,” Clifford says. “We set the investment entry point reasonably high as we have a simple philosophy of onboarding 20 people, rather than 2000. It’s like choosing to water only a few rather than whole acres of tomatoes. By being selective it means we can take the time to build up a good rapport. This has always resulted in them introducing similar clients to us.”
Clifford, a 12-year veteran of the bridging industry, has notched up 35 years in total in the property and lending arena in total, having also set up and still managing Central Bridging, a specialist short term bridging lender in 2010.
In 2017 he felt the opportunity to create a new brand. “We were involved in different lending scenarios back in 2016/2017, with different asset classes. We were also getting approached by private family offices wanting to fund us,” he explains. “We were already well known in the bridging industry, but this new name was more neutral and something we could apply to anything; hence Conrad Capital was born.
“We have had a busy four years since launch offering first & second charge loans on both residential and commercial properties to UK & overseas businesses, offshore companies, UK based solicitors, accountants, barristers, Queen’s Counsels, property developers & sports professionals. It is a very diverse borrower base.”
The minimum loan size is £250,000 and the maximum is £5million, with loan terms are from 3 to 24 months at variable interest rates.
With the further recent onboarding of substantial funding lines, Conrad can now offer loans from £10m to £25million, which Clifford believes will take the business into an exclusive lending space from 2022 onwards.
Clifford believes both bridging demand and the current property market are buoyant not just in London but around the country.
“After the financial crisis of 2008 property prices plunged by some 30%. People feared the same would happen after Brexit and then Covid, but it just hasn’t happened. Perhaps, we are getting better at handling these times of great uncertainty?” he says.
“For the foreseeable future we see a strong property market. We are receiving good feedback from valuers and early loan redemptions. We are also seeing enhanced sale values which itself is remarkable.”
A good time then for Conrad Capital to join Bridging Loan Directory.
“It has been really helpful in the past for Central Bridging, with advertising and newsletters helping to broaden our brand name and awareness.
We hope it will do the same for Conrad Capital,” Clifford says.
David Craik is a freelance journalist writing news, feature articles, blogs and guides for national newspapers and magazines. His main areas of interest include finance, property and investments.