The Five Minute Interview with Dawn Trustam, Head of Sales, The Bridging Group

Dawn Trustam

The Bridging Group has recently launched with the sole reason to provide bespoke, non-regulated short-term finance for the UK property market.  Set up by Managing Directors Tarlochan Garcha (previously at Kuflink) and Jagtar Sethi.  Their funding is via their own private finance as well as institutional funds.  Using their own funds gives them an edge and shows that they are happy to put their own commitment into the deals they are lending on.

We speak to Head of Sales, Dawn Trustam

What is the best thing about being in the bridging finance business?

There are two great things about bridging.  The variance in deals and who is doing what is so interesting.  I am sure that sounds really sad to some people, but I love it!  Keeps me on my toes trying to get a deal that may be slightly quirky to work for all involved.  The second thing is the people.  Over the time I have been in this industry I have met some really lovely people, that are not just colleagues but friends now.   Would not want to work anywhere else now.

What keeps you focused?

With The Bridging Group being in its early stages, focus is absolutely key.  We have had an amazing response to our launch so it shows that there is clearly room for the right type of new entrant, into a very crowded marketplace.  I am very proud to be a part of this company and I can honestly say that we have a great mindset when it comes to the business we want to do.  We are not here to take over the world, but we want to grow, slow and steady with the outlook of longevity and doing the right thing by all involved in a case.  We want to be a lender of choice to brokers and the only thing that will make that happen is keeping our eye fully on the market and adapting effectively to what is thrown at us.  Providing what our brokers want and making sure we keep our promises is the focus I need to make sure The Bridging Group will be here to stay.

I also have teenage girls (twins), who hate finance and do not want to consider working in this industry.  I find that really sad and disappointing as more young people need to see finance as a great sector to be in.  If they don’t want to be in the industry that is fine, but at least look into it.  You may be pleasantly surprised what you find.

What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?

Decency is key.  Bizarrely I was talking to one of my MD’s about this the other day.  Unfortunately our world is filling with people who think they are entitled and will do whatever and run over whoever to get it.  There is nothing wrong with having drive but be decent, have respect and the reward will be there.  I have tried my best to always be a decent person in and out of work and I am lucky to have decent people around me.

Sense of humour also is at the top of my list as I love a giggle (although I have been told my laugh is like Grotbags, if your old enough to remember her, so they need to cope with my terrible laugh as well.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

Totally optimistic!  In sales you have to be due to the number of knocks that you get on the way, If you had an element of pessimism in you it would make you not want to come back!

What did you want to be as a child?

I knew finance of some sort was where I wanted to be from the age of 16 when I started a Business and Finance course.  Prior to this, I think I went through every other option, from dancer to teacher and astronaut and vet!

It has amazed me to see what my daughters choices have been as they were so different to mine. They went from pop star (obviously), to vet, to gymnast, to vlogger (had to look that one up when they said it) to stunt woman.  In hindsight the stunt woman sounds great!

What will be the greatest challenge facing the bridging finance industry in the coming months?

I hate to say it but Brexit.  Will we, wont we? How it will effect as no one can really say.  I see this as an opportunity as well.  The UK has gone through so much, world wars, recessions, and so on.  We have always bounced back, it may bounce us in a different direction but we make the most of it.  Yes it will be difficult, but it will also make us all rise to a new challenge.

Also, the bridging sector is very crowded and I hate to see people leave the industry but I can only see this continuing into quarter two and maybe even three.

Who or what makes you laugh?

Lots of things, my husband who thinks he is hysterical (although it is debatable at times), my daughters do have a wicked sense of humour and I have to laugh with the comments they make as they are funny.  Have you ever tried to be serious while telling off a teenager when you actually think what has happened is hysterical.  It’s a skill!

I also think Micky Flanagan is so funny.  Went to see him last year at the O2 and laughed my head off most of the night with his jokes.

Do you dread Monday mornings?

Not at all.  There have been times in my career when I have, but with the launch of The Bridging Group I look forward to them.Although if we could have a day in between Saturday and Sunday I would look forward to Mondays much more.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I wish I could look at myself more favourably.  We all have things we want to change and I am no different, but to walk out the front door feeling positive about what I am wearing or how I look, would be great.

With whom would you most like to have dinner?

So many to choose from!  I would have to say Helen Mirren as I think she is a fabulous actress and looks amazing all the time.  Holly Willoughby as I love her style and she is an absolute giggler like me! Mary Berry as at least I know it would be a nice dinner as I would make her cook and I know she is also a lover of a dram or two and would be a hoot.  Finally Jason Momoa and Micky Flanagan.  One for the laughs and one for the …. Conversation.

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