The Five Minute Interview with Michael Dean, Co-founder, Avamore Capital

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Michael Dean

Avamore Capital is a special situations lender that provides loans to property traders, property developers, property investors, and other property entrepreneurs. Loan sizes are between £0.5m and £10m with larger loans possible in conjunction with its partners.

Avamore Capital provides a flexible approach, quick feedback and very fast drawdown, subject to due diligence.

We speak to co-founder Michael Dean:

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

The variety of people, sites and challenges we encounter. No two days are the same. It is very invigorating and fast-paced. There’s no such thing as “quiet”.

What keeps you focussed?

I am naturally highly-motivated but in the past have struggled to maintain focus on one area as I have chased too many business opportunities. That changed a couple of years ago just before I started Avamore with Zuhair and Nikolay. I discovered the mantra: ‘Follow One Course Until Successful and have put it into action’. Meditation has been a useful tool to help me keep focussed, although I could do with doing it a bit more. There’s a great book called “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown which I highly recommend people read if they find themselves too easily distracted.

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

First and foremost it is hunger and an entrepreneurial drive. They need to have professionalism and take pride in their work. Additionally, an outgoing and open personality combined with a good sense of humour is essential as we all have strong personalities in the team but also like to have fun.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

A realistic optimist. If you aren’t an optimist you can’t ever really invest in anything successfully because you’ll never be able to take any risks.

What did you want to be as a child?

At first I think it was a footballer, needless to say it didn’t happen! As a teenager it was doctor or lawyer but my academic grades weren’t quite good enough at the time- which is lucky because I would have hated being a lawyer.

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

Two things, firstly the wall of money still chasing the bridging space which is putting upward pressure on LTVs and downward pressure on pricing that at the prime end that really can’t get much cheaper. Secondly, a flagging housing market. Rising markets previously have bailed out some imperfect credit underwriting by bridgers but the current plateau (or falls in the case of prime London) may cause issues for some.

Who or what makes you laugh?

Peter Kay is brilliant. I also love the show Silicon Valley. My wife and kids are also pretty good at making me laugh too.

Do you dread Monday mornings?

No. Best day of the week.

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

I’d go to bed earlier. I don’t go to sleep early enough.

With whom would you most like to have dinner?

Elon Musk would be high on the list, as would Tim Ferriss and Gary Vaynerchuk. Lance Armstrong would be good value.