The Five Minute Interview with Jon Brooks, Financial Controller & Underwriter, Funding 365
Funding 365 delivers highly competitive bridging loans of up to £10 million at a speed that cannot be beaten. With no BDMs, brokers can speak directly to one of its decision-making underwriters for bespoke, credit-backed terms within just one hour.
We speak to Financial Controller & Underwriter, Jon Brooks:
What is the best thing about being in the bridging finance business?
It’s an interesting business to be in. Working on a wide variety of deal types, thinking about new products, and striving to be at the forefront of the sector keeps me on my toes.
What keeps you focused?
To maintain high standards of service and quality of work, focus is important. The office environment helps, working with both a supportive and knowledgeable team means that you never feel out of your depth. Personally, I like to feel as though each day I’ve improved on the last, and you can’t do that if you’re not focused.
What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?
We’re lucky to have a team who are all willing to work hard but also get on well and socialise outside of work. It’s important to respect each another enough to be able to provide constructive feedback and to be able to accept the same in return. In means that we have a truly co-operative team and our good internal communication allows us to work efficiently.
Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
An optimist. I can be a pessimist if required, but it’s usually just to play devil’s advocate. I think there’s something to be said for the idea of self-fulfilling prophecies. If you believe in an outcome, your expectation alters your behaviour and often the outcome follows.
What did you want to be as a child?
I think playing one too many games of Call of Duty meant that I quite fancied the idea of being in the military, and I quite liked the idea of grueling training and the great outdoors. However, in reality, I’m not sure that’s as fun as it sounds, and I much prefer the being office based and out of harm’s way.
What will be the greatest challenge facing the bridging finance industry in the coming months?
Falling house prices & low transactional volumes mean that it has become harder and harder for borrowers to get the sale prices they’re looking for and sometimes they’re holding out for too long and overrunning their redemption dates. As lenders pull out of the BTL space and the general market sentiment means that the lenders who remain are being less aggressive, it’s also becoming harder for borrowers to refinance. Both of those factors mean that it’s important for underwriting standards to remain high. Having said that, the opportunities to write high quality business remain and if anything, are expanding. Additionally, we’re expecting enquiry levels to increase post Brexit given that there is general feeling that now we’re within reaching distance of Brexit, some investors have opted to wait to see what happens post 29th March.
Who or what makes you laugh?
I spend a lot of free time socialising with friends and laughing at trivial things, so the bar’s not set particularly high!
Do you dread Monday mornings?
Not at all, I enjoy what we do, and I like our team, so Monday is just like any other day. One of my mantras in life is that no day should be better or worse than any other, in practice that doesn’t always work out: I’ve just got back from a week of skiing with friends, it would be hard for a standard Monday to match that.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would love to be better a golf. In my mind it’s an essential skill for networking and retirement so starting now gives me plenty of time to get to a competitive standard.
With whom would you most like to have dinner?
Mohamed Salah, just to thank him for all of his hard work over the last year and a half.