The Five Minute Interview with Caroline Barlow, Director of Credit Risk, Oblix Capital
Oblix Capital provides bespoke short-term bridging and development finance, for both residential and commercial properties, throughout England and Wales.
Their aim is to make quick decisions, whilst remaining approachable, flexible and completely transparent.
We speak to director of credit risk, Caroline Barlow:
What is the best thing about being in the bridging & development finance business?
Working with experienced people who can adapt proposals and find solutions. It is rewarding to be able to step in to find a way to support a good opportunity.
What keeps you focused?
Knowing that what I do makes a big difference.
What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?
Flexibility; enthusiasm; willingness to challenge; genuinely valuing other people; diversity of thought (group-think is dangerous!)
Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
Definitely an optimist. Opportunities come from change, solutions can usually be found by thinking differently, and worrying doesn’t fix anything.
What did you want to be as a child?
I would like to say something spectacular, but really I wanted to be an accountant.
What will be the greatest challenge facing the bridging & development finance industry in the coming months?
The market we are lending in will always go through peaks and troughs. People see Real Estate as a safe sector long term – if you wait long enough the market will come back. But assets need to be funded through the cycle, and businesses fail because they run out of cash.
It is easy to forget this in a competitive market. The greatest challenge is to achieve growth without taking on unacceptable levels of risk. Lend an appropriate amount of money, back the right customers, and make sure the asset is suitable for the area.
Who or what makes you laugh?
Do you dread Monday mornings?
No. We spend most of our life at work, so we have to enjoy what we are doing.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I always try to fit too much into a short space of time. It’s important to focus on the big things which will make the most difference, and not get caught up in little things.
With whom would you most like to have dinner?
There is nothing better than having dinner with friends and family.