Francesca Woodhouse leaves Avamore Capital to join Octane


Avamore Capital, the bridging and development lender that specialises in smaller developments and office-to-resi conversions, has announced a change in its origination process and hiring strategy in line with the timely confirmed departure of Senior Business Development Manager, Francesca Woodhouse, pictured.

Avamore will move to a “cradle to grave” Relationship Management approach to origination which will enable each relationship manager to originate, underwrite, execute and asset manage each transaction from start to finish.

Zuhair Mirza, Principal and Head of Origination at Avamore commented:

“We have found that brokers and customers have preferred dealing with our team members that have also continued to manage their case beyond the initial enquiry stage. As many of our cases deal with a degree of complexity or challenge, having a single point of contact with some underwriting clout or decision-making influence at a credit level has resulted in a smoother journey for our customers. The BDM model works well in many bridging lenders, particularly those dealing with vanilla cases, but perhaps isn’t as well suited to ourselves where we provide a more bespoke solution.”

Avamore has quickly gained a reputation for providing high-leverage or innovative solutions for complex bridge loans and for funding smaller developments and residential conversions, even for inexperienced developers.

Avamore is in advanced discussions with a number of senior bridging and development professionals to join at Principal level. In addition, new hires at Junior Relationship Manager level will be announced within the coming weeks, following the recent hiring of Chloe Stidston-Lewis as Loan Servicing Manager.

Ms Woodhouse strengthens Avamore’s reputation of talent development as she moves to join Octane, and continues the tradition of Avamore’s alumni, who have previously gone onto the likes of Rothschild, Savills, HFF and Puma Investments. Ms Woodhouse, who joined Avamore in June 2017 after almost 15 years in HSBC and Clydesdale Bank, will start with Octane in mid-February.

Avamore’s Co-Founder and Principal Michael Dean praised Ms. Woodhouse’s efforts:

“Francesca’s new appointment at Octane is testament to her hard work and skill as a salesperson. I take great personal pride and satisfaction that we are gaining a reputation for developing talent as Francesca’s rapid progress has shown. Francesca came to us as an outsider to the industry with no contacts or relationships and almost overnight consistently generated tens of millions of quality enquiries each month, she was a great asset to the team. We wish her the very best for the future.”

“Our new origination strategy is very exciting and is going to generate efficiencies and improved outcomes. With a direct line to credit members or underwriters, our brokers and borrowers will be able to achieve an even faster answer on their cases and an enhanced level of service from us from start to finish. Rather than the sales team acting as the first interaction with the customer and then being handed over to an underwriter that doesn’t always understand their needs, a dedicated team member will maintain contact throughout the duration of the loan, from underwriting to redemption. Furthermore, all of the team will have ‘Relationship Manager’ role from now on, meaning the entire team will have the opportunity to originate business and develop customer relationships for the long term. From a hiring perspective, as we look to build the team, we will continue to seek rounded individuals who can make a contribution across multiple disciplines within the business. We have an exceptionally high calibre of team members and we expect that to continue. “