The Five Minute Interview with Matthew Gammond, Commercial Manager, Stretton Capital
By Tony Sanchez -
Stretton Capital, formerly known as Chantler Capital, was set up in November 2016 and has since lent over £20 million across the United Kingdom, including Scotland.
Specialising in bridging and development finance, they pride themselves on their professionalism, speed of delivery and the individual attention given to every deal they receive.
Stretton Capital don’t let a computer crunch the numbers and give them an answer, they judge every deal on its own merits and aim to have a decision in principal sent to the borrower within 24 hours.
We speak to commercial manager, Matthew Gammond:
What is the best thing about being in the bridging finance business?
It’s a cliché for sure, but every day is different. I love processes – and we’ve got a lot of those – but I’m no good with routines and when I sit down at 08:30 I have no idea what the day will bring.
The people you speak to, the sites you visit and the lives you change – it all adds up.
What keeps you focused?
Knowing that there’s so much on the line for my clients, but also the desire to make Stretton Capital as successful as possible.
I want us to fund the best proposals; a lot of lenders end up in No Man’s Land when they pick sour deals. I don’t want that to happen on my watch.
What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?
Drive and entrepreneurial spirit, and our team have both in spades. It’s hard to stand out in this industry but we do our best to forge different paths whenever we can. That’s two clichés now…
Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
I’m on the fence… at first. If a situation can go one way or another I like to assess the available information before deciding if it has a higher chance of being a good a or a bad outcome.
Sometimes you need gut instinct but that doesn’t always please the accountants.
What did you want to be as a child?
Name it and I wanted to do it. I didn’t end up in the world of finance until 2015, and I’d been roaming the planet for 24 years by that point.
I distinctly remember wanting to be a cartoonist despite not being able to draw, then a marine biologist even though the ocean depths scare me.
I even dallied with being a professional badminton player at one point…
What’s the greatest challenge facing the bridging finance industry?
The limited market. It’s smaller than people think and every lender wants a book worth £250 million in an industry worth £4 billion which would work if there was a handful of us.
But there are hundreds, with more popping up weekly. The challenge is setting yourself apart from the rest.
Who or what makes you laugh?
People say I’m hard to make laugh, and it’s true. The one thing that’s had me laughing like a drain recently is one of my friend’s cantankerous dads and the lengths he goes to to save the odd penny here and there.
Do you dread Monday mornings?
I think anyone who says they don’t wake up a bit groggy on a Monday morning is lying, unless you work for yourself in which case your work week is seven days long and they all blend into one.
But dread is a strong word. I find a lot happens on Mondays, more than any other day, and I like being busy.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Wouldn’t mind looking like Ryan Reynolds to be honest.
With whom would you most like to have dinner?
My default answer to this question is always Elon Musk who has been my hero for a very long time.
But at the moment he seems to be on a bit of a mad one and I’m not sure he’d be good company so I’d like to have dinner with Dr Brian Cox.
I could listen to him talk about space, time and gravity for hours. He can pay the bill though.