The Five Minute Interview with Seema Kavi, Director, Quivira Capital
Quivira Capital is a privately owned, principal lending service. They provide classic bridging finance, structured commercial finance and also development finance. Quivira Capital operate throughout England, and are open to 1st, 2nd and 3rd charge lending. Their max LTVs and loan terms vary as they look each situation on a case-by-case basis.
We speak to director, Seema Kavi:
What is the best thing about being in the bridging finance business?
The bridging industry combined with the way we do things at Quivira Capital gives you the best of both ends of the business spectrum. The nature of the industry means that it is very transactional, similar to what you might find in an M&A department of an investment bank; fast-paced, pressurised and complex. However, you also have the opportunity to build up strong, long-term relationships with your clients and colleagues across the industry.
What keeps you focussed?
Watching Quivira Capital grow from a loan book of under £100,000 to over £30m in three years has taught me what hard work and teamwork can achieve. We have a fantastic team and we keep each other on track, and focussed on short-term and long-term goals.
What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?
There are three qualities that I look for before I make a hire; honesty, integrity and a team player attitude. Your staff are an extension of you and are your representatives when they are interacting with external individuals. You have to see a bit of yourself in the person you are looking to hire, to know whether they will fit into your company culture.
Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
An optimist for sure. A positive mind-set is one of the most important qualities to have in business. In our industry, lenders are problem-solvers and a constructive attitude is needed to find solutions and to generate business.
What did you want to be as a child?
By the age of 4, I had decided that I wanted to be a Barrister. I ended up reading Law at Oxford University and then completely changing career paths. I now work in the Finance and Property industries, and am studying towards my CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) qualification.
What will be the greatest challenge facing the bridging finance industry in the coming months?
As a lender, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to differentiate yourself within the bridging finance industry. I think this is natural progression though, as bridging begins to edge out of the alternative finance sphere and starts to be recognised as a mainstream finance option. The challenge for lenders to differentiate themselves from one another isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it should help to increase levels of customer service throughout the industry and widen product offerings.
Who or what makes you laugh?
My husband, MD of Quivira Capital. He has an infectious laugh and a never-ending collection of terrible bridging finance puns such as: ‘why did the residential property feel like it was running out of power? It needed a second charge’. Absolutely terrible but it makes me laugh every time.
Do you dread Monday mornings?
No. How can you dread Mondays when you do what you love, and you love what you do? Running a business and developing my skills isn’t something that I think of as work. Quivira Capital is a passion of mine, and putting time and effort into it isn’t laborious.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would take more risks. My legal background has made me quite cautious and risk averse, which is a fantastic trait for a lawyer. However, as a Director of a growing business, it is necessary to consider taking calculated risks and stepping outside of your comfort zone from time to time.
With whom would you most like to have dinner?
David Beckham. He is a true inspiration, a childhood hero of mine, and the only reason I know anything about sport whatsoever. I even spent time learning what the off-side rule was just so I could have a conversation with him about it, in case we ever crossed paths.