The Five Minute Interview with John Shevlane, Director of Advisory, Pilot Fish
Pilot Fish is an established commercial broker who raise finance for businesses and property developers. Our advisors are former Finance Directors, Accountants and Bankers with a deep understanding of the commercial markets. We value our relationships and stand for responsiveness, transparency and client satisfaction. The Pilot Fish Private Investors Club sources further funding for development over and above what is available from property lenders.
We speak to director of advisory, John Shevlane:
What is the best thing about being in the bridging & development finance business?
The enjoyment of being able to apply to specialist knowledge from multiple lenders and products to come up with creative solutions for clients. Every day is different to the last
What keeps you focused?
My young family – ensuring I get to spend quality time with them at the end of the day keeps me on track.
What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?
An outgoing personality. In our industry you have to build a strong relationship with the client and gain their trust. This alongside a creative and technically gifted individual is the recipe for success in my opinion.
Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
I worked as an FD for several years and witnessed first-hand where operators would be too optimistic in their forecasts.
Projects that I have seen work in the past are those where risks have been identified upfront, with mitigating solutions in place. Good operators understand this and allow sufficient headroom at the outset.
Working with Business owners and Property Developers has given me a different perspective. I’ve seen where clients have taken greater risks and been rewarded with significant returns. So, I now take a balanced view.
I see it as our responsibility as a professional brokerage to give the client an understanding of both the opportunities and the risks, enabling the client to make a commercial assessment.
What did you want to be as a child?
My first memory of considering a career was when I was 14 and I saw my uncle drive his brand-new Mercedes Benz convertible. I asked my Dad what he did for a living as I wanted to follow in his footsteps. He was a qualified accountant and worked in the City.
This was my “Show me the money” moment where I thought getting into finance was the thing to do. I always had a thing for figures so a career in Finance seemed like a natural step.
What will be the greatest challenge facing the bridging & development finance industry in the coming months?
Uncertainty in the market and its impact on valuations.
Who or what makes you laugh?
My kids, they’re always playing practical jokes. My daughter recently asked me to show her my best floss – little did I know she caught my attempts on the Go Pro!
The office comes a close second – we have a good level of banter with the team.
Do you dread Monday mornings?
No, I truly enjoy what we do. No Monday morning blues here!
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
More confidence to shout about what we do well – I’m naturally a reserved person and rarely put myself out there.
With whom would you most like to have dinner?
Everyone gets a free pass with their partners and mine would be Kate Beckinsale 😊