Glenhawk expands finance team

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Guy Harrington Glenhawk

Glenhawk, the fast-growing UK challenger lender, announces the appointments of Andrew Townsend as Chief Financial Officer and Ryan Benton as Finance Director, further strengthening the Group’s finance function.

Despite the challenging market backdrop, Glenhawk has continued to grow the loan book and generate consistent levels of new borrower enquiries since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic.

With uncertainty around valuations receding and following the introduction of the stamp duty holiday on 8 July, coupled with the end of lockdown on 4 July, Glenhawk originated £232 million of new loan enquiries in July and August, including a record £178 million in the latter.

Andrew Townsend, who will report directly to Chief Executive Officer Guy Harrington, will join the senior management team with responsibility for devising and implementing the Group’s financial strategy.

Andrew brings over 35 years’ experience in finance, treasury, risk & compliance and client facing & support function operations in the FCA regulated financial services/banking sector, with particular specialisation in mortgage and consumer finance lending.

He was most recently Chief Financial Officer at DSG Group’s lending division, Unity Auto Finance, where he oversaw the expansion of DSG Group’s activities into auto finance lending.

Previous roles include Co- Founder, Finance Director & Managing Director at The Beacon Group, where he was instrumental in the origination of a £2 billion residential and buy to let mortgage book, Finance Director at SPML where he led the successful sale of the business to Lehman Brothers and Finance & Commercial Director at Abbey National-owned First National Bank’s consumer finance division.

Ryan Benton joins Glenhawk from Close Brothers, where he was Senior Finance Business Partner for the £110 million turnover Property Finance division.

Ryan will support Andrew, overseeing the day-to-day operational Finance function. Ryan is a highly experienced finance executive, having previously held senior roles at Aldermore Bank and Legal & General Investment Management.

In March Glenhawk announced it had agreed a senior funding line with J.P. Morgan, the first time that J.P. Morgan had invested in a private securitisation backed by UK bridging loans.

The new structure increases the maximum loan size that Glenhawk can write from £3 million to £5 million and will support its imminent entry into the c. £70 billion per annum UK homeowner mortgage market.

Guy Harrington, pictured, Chief Executive Officer, commented:

“Despite the market volatility caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, we have continued to maintain our upward loan book growth trajectory, reflecting both the strength of our offering and the ongoing appeal of real estate as an asset class.

Andrew and Ryan, two highly experienced finance professionals, join us a critical juncture, giving us important capabilities as we move closer to delivering on our product expansion plans, putting to work the funds secured via the JP Morgan line.

Whilst we remain highly disciplined in our lending strategy and vigilant to the impact of further economic distress, we have seen a significant uptick in borrower enquiries in recent weeks, as the market stabilises and with the stamp duty holiday energising the residential sector.

Longer-term, the continued retrenchment of traditional financing sources and paucity of suitable products for borrowers gives us huge confidence moving forward.”

Andrew Townsend added:

“Having admired Glenhawk’s rise from afar, it’s hugely exciting to be joining Guy and the team to support with the next phase of the business’s growth.

The market opportunity for alternative lenders has continued to grow during 2020, and with the support of JP Morgan, Glenhawk is ideally placed to maintain its recent momentum.”