The Five Minute Interview with Nik Phillips, Team Leader, Shawbrook Bank
Shawbrook is a specialist UK savings and lending bank founded in 2011 to serve the needs of SMEs and individuals in the UK with a range of lending and saving products. At 31 December 2016 their total lending reached more than £4.1 billion and they have now raised more than £3.9 billion in deposits since their launch.
Nik Phillips is the newly appointed Team Leader on Shawbrook’s Sales Desk, responsible for enhancing the service that both brokers and customers receive on contact with the Commercial Mortgages team.
What is the best thing about being in the bridging finance business?
Having worked in the sector for many years, it is incredibly refreshing to offer and have access to these products. I spent many years creating innovative solutions in the absence of regulated and mainstream bridging. Now it’s very simple and anyone can use these previously specialist investor products.
What keeps you focussed?
The requirement to stay on the edge of innovation. With a competitive market and the constant possibility of a downturn we have to continue to be ahead of the game.
What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?
Intelligence and independent thought.
Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
A realistic optimist!
What did you want to be as a child?
What will be the greatest challenge facing the bridging and development finance industry in the coming months?
It’s tough to name one specific challenge. Perhaps the over-saturation of apartment blocks in some areas will lead to a decline in lending. In a macro sense, we also don’t know how Brexit will affect student numbers coming to the UK and, with student accommodation development currently growing exponentially, we may see a decline in demand. However, there could well be an unexpected challenge that no one has predicted yet.
Who or what makes you laugh?
Lee Warne in our Sales Desk team.
Do you dread Monday mornings?
No. If you do, you’re in the wrong job.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I was born with an over-sized heart and brain, I would have these reduced to a more standard size to save myself trouble. Or my age – but there’s not much I can do about that one!
With whom would you most like to have dinner and why?
Hmmm… I should probably say Salma Hayek or some other gorgeous lady. But the truth is, it would be David Attenborough because the man has lived an amazing life, had a profound and positive impact on our planet and is one of the few people still alive whom I would say I admire.