James Anderson | MT Finance
Deliveries got us through the pandemic. Uber Eats and Amazon are not conventional heroes it’s true (some would argue they are the villains), but individual delivery drivers who kept going to keep us going, leaving the safety of their home so we didn’t have to, literally drove us through the worst of the coronavirus crisis. One of those whizzing around the South East like a pandemic Postman Pat was the bridging sector’s very own James Anderson, MT Finance operations director.
Instead of delivering groceries he was dropping off the laptops that would ensure, despite the uncertainty and disruption, lender MT Finance could continue as a business while staff worked safely from home. Joshua Elash, director of MT Finance, says: “The biggest challenge, and our most immediate initial success, was setting up the entire team to work from home. We count ourselves fortunate that we had a robust business continuity plan in place which was rolled out to perfection by our operations director, James Anderson, who literally drove across the South East delivering laptops to the team.”
Not only did he help out colleagues, James sought to lift some of the pandemic-induced anxiety from strangers. He had just bought a house in a road where it turned out quite a lot of elderly people lived, who were extremely worried about shopping for fear of catching Covid. “We got quite used to doing the ‘big shops’ for a few of our neighbours and it was really nice to get to know the people around us better. I now know who buys all the pork pies.” He jokes, but his service would have been a lifeline for many.
BLD’s Diamonds all have initiative by the boatload. Given his penchant for problem solving, even if that means a personal delivery, it’s little wonder when asked what he loves most about bridging, James says its entrepreneurial approach, of which he is a master operator. “When we have an innovative idea at MT Finance, the question is never if we can do it, it’s how. When we want something done, we put our heads together, figure it out, get it done. Working with smart people, imagination is not a limiting factor in making things happen.”
James has been a key player in that entrepreneurial approach at MT Finance over the last 12 months. When the lender launched its regulated bridging arm late last year, he led the team who developed the loan origination platform from scratch, building the calculation engines and systems to produce all the regulated documentation in house. “It wasn’t always easy but it’s been a great success,” he says. Likewise the tech team, which falls under his remit, has doubled in the past year, creating new challenges for a manager that James reacted to by developing MT Finance’s our own development methodology and process, Agile MT, allowing the lender to increase delivery by three times what it was previously, and cut bugs and queries from users in half.
Vanishingly few managers can get the job done while still being a team player. But James isn’t afraid to take care of the little things that make office life a little sweeter. As well as all his other duties, recently he has taken on the semi-official position of MT Finance Director of Snacks. It’s a fairly low-tech role compared to what he’s used to, mostly limited to providing the staff with individually-wrapped biscuit-based goodies, the most Covid-safe snack he could find. But, like all things pandemic related, this role is braced for changes too. “Although they’re definitely popular, I’m not sure if it’s really contributed to overall health and wellness so we’re making the move to swap out at least half of these to fruit. I’m not sure how well it will be received at first but I’m sure it’ll catch on – eventually.”