The Five Minute Interview with Brian Levin, Underwriting & Operations Manager, Masthaven
Masthaven Bridging Finance is an FSA regulated multi award winning lender that paid out its first loan in 1983. In that time Masthaven has become a regular port of call for brokers, intermediaries and IFA’s alike wishing to place first and second charge bridging loans along with renovation and refurbishment deals. With backing from the William Pears Group and Saffron Building Society amongst others Masthaven is one of the true leading lights in the bridging finance arena.
We speak to underwriting & operations manager, Brian Levin:
What is the best thing about being in the bridging finance business?
It’s a dynamic ever evolving industry, that’s creating its own niche. The credit crunch has created the void in financing that has allowed the bridging to industry to further evolve and become more main stream. I like the fact we can offer finance to people that otherwise would not be able to transact, but more than that we recognise that due to the ever changing landscape we cannot rest on our laurels but need to come up with innovative products to meet the needs of borrowers.
What keeps you focussed?
I take all the cases I work on personally. The transactions most borrowers are undertaking have a significant impact on their lives. Whether it is for chain breaking, renovating a new home, downsizing or developing a site, it represents a big financial and personal implication in each borrower’s life. It is therefore very important that I keep focused and work with our borrowers and introducers to achieve the goals as quickly as possible.
What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?
I look for hard working people that I can trust and rely upon. I feel it is important to work with people that you can have a laugh with but at the same who will roll up their sleeves and do a good job in all circumstances.
Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
Optimist, as every year I say that it will be a nice long hot summer! A positive outlook is very important in my view, why bother getting out of bed if everything ia all doom and gloom.
What did you want to be as a child?
A really good sportsman, I really enjoyed playing sport but unfortunately never reached the pinnacles I aspired to.
What will be the greatest challenge facing the bridging finance industry in the coming months?
As the industry grows and more borrowers use bridging finance we still need to be mindful of the fact we are still in very difficult and turbulent economic times. This could have an impact on all element of the industry and more specifically borrowers abilities to exit the bridges, which could have far reaching consequences.
Who or what makes you laugh?
Anything silly or childish as at heart I am still a kid.
Do you dread Monday mornings?
Not at all! In previous lives I did but since entering the bridging world Monday mornings blue’s are a thing of the past.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’d love to turn my barrel into a six pack.
With whom would you most like to have dinner?
Nelson Mandela, I know it’s a bit clichéd but having grown up in South Africa and living through all the history he relay is a truly inspiring and phenomenal human being who we could all learn a great deal from.