The Five Minute Interview with Marieke Eskens, Head of Case Management, Fiduciam
Fiduciam is a pension-fund owned bridging and marketplace lender to entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises. Granting business bridge loans to provide working capital or to finance expansion plans, standard rental loans to landlords who wish to extend their real estate portfolio and permitted development loans, to contractors and developers for straightforward construction projects. With its flexible, efficient and competitive approach to lending it helps small and medium sized businesses grow and prosper.
We speak to Head of Case Management, Marieke Eskens:
What is the best thing about being in the bridging finance business?
It constantly requires you to be creative; I like the way you are challenged in every single transaction. The dynamic nature of the business is a constant drive to reinvent and improve.
What keeps you focused?
Receiving questions and feedback from my colleagues. As a manager I try to encourage my team to be critical, inventive and to speak up which eventually assists us to adapt rapidly to this fast-changing market and stay one step ahead. Speaking to our borrowers directly is inspiring too; hearing them talk passionately about their businesses is a massive drive for me.
What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?
Pragmatism and proactiveness.
Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
Optimist. Although one may think conservative underwriters should have a pessimistic approach, I feel that ultimately, they should be optimists by nature to find solutions and ways to mitigate a loan’s credit risks.
What did you want to be as a child?
Fashion designer or artist.
What will be the greatest challenge facing the bridging finance industry in the coming months?
To enable sustainable growth, the main challenge will be to attract and maintain talent. I believe that because of the bespoke nature of Fiduciam’s products, staff will always be a key factor of our business. Although new technology is fantastic for increasing efficiency and transparency, I don’t believe any artificial intelligence within the next few years, will be able to replace human analysis and decision-making when it comes to credit risk assessment.
Who or what makes you laugh?
An unexpected and sharp joke from the quietest person in the room.
Do you dread Monday mornings?
As long as nothing prevents me from going on my 6.30am run I’ll happily pick up any challenge – yes, also on Monday at 9am.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Being less impatient and perfectionist. The other day I found someone’s document on the printer, and found myself correcting a typo on it.
With whom would you most like to have dinner?
That quiet person in the room that cracked a hilarious joke. I’m not fussy with people but if it’s someone unpredictable and intellectually challenging I don’t even mind what food I’m being served. Wine is important though.