The Five Minute Interview with Lucy Hodge, Director, Vantage Finance
Vantage Finance is one of the UK’s leading specialist packagers. Established in 2004, its expert team offers secured loans, buy-to-let mortgages, commercial finance, short term loans (bridging loans) and development finance for intermediaries.
We speak to Director, Lucy Hodge:
What is the best thing about being in the bridging finance business?
Every day is different, which makes my role really interesting. Working with a multitude of businesses, with varying proposals and requirements, is something I enjoy. I love the problem solving element of my role, and the positive results we secure for brokers and clients at the end of everyone’s hard work.
What keeps you focused?
Being busy. I work well under pressure and always have, and that drive has never failed to keep me focused on the job in hand. As a packager, Vantage works with a lot of brokers on complex cases which are often challenging. We fight for every deal we work on and will always get to the heart of a complex case. The positive feeling you get when a difficult case is completed is one that never fades, and this feel good factor – when I know I’ve done the best for brokers – is what keeps me going.
What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?
No matter how talented people are, I always look for those who are dedicated and committed. I’ve always felt that if someone doesn’t have the right attitude and work ethic, they won’t be right for the team. Everyone at Vantage Finance has these qualities and I couldn’t wish to work with a better group. Our can-do attitude and expert knowledge gets results for brokers and intermediaries. We understand the time pressures faced by brokers and intermediaries. From the moment we receive an enquiry, our team works thoroughly and efficiently.
Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
Neither, as I’d position myself firmly in the realist category. I never look at things with rose tinted spectacles, but neither will I view everything negatively. I think taking a balanced approach is always the best bet. The entire team takes this approach. We are realistic with our brokers and clients – if we don’t think a deal will work we will be honest with them. If we do, we will put all our energy in to making it happen.
What did you want to be as a child?
At school I was quite interested in law and thought about undertaking a criminology course at university. However, at the age of 17 I started working in the industry purely by chance. I’ve never looked back.
What will be the greatest challenge facing the bridging finance industry in the coming months?
The market is showing signs of recovery but we’re still a long way off seeing the levels of business generated before the economic downturn. However, things are moving in the right direction. Some of the bigger banks and lenders are exiting the sector which could lead to underservicing, but specialist lenders are helping to fill the gap and it will be interesting to see how the sector will grow this year.
Who or what makes you laugh?
My friends, family and colleagues – particularly the latter. I know that when things get really hectic in the office, someone can come out with a witty quip or joke to lift the mood of the entire team.
Do you dread Monday mornings?
No, I love Monday mornings. I’ll spend the weekend thinking about what I’ve got to get done the following week and come into work raring to go.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’d love to be a bit more patient.
With whom would you most like to have dinner?
Zara Phillips, as I love horses and have ridden all of my life. She is a successful equestrian and seems very down to earth despite being part of the Royal family. Russell Brand would be good as he would make me laugh. Rupert Murdoch would complete the quartet. He’s a self-made man who’s hard-working, something I admire greatly. He’s been involved in a few scandals over the years and would have plenty of interesting stories to tell at the dinner table.