The Five Minute Interview with Mike Underwood, Sales Director, Bridging Vat
Bridging Vat is a specialist principal lender advancing short term loans for the VAT due on commercial property purchases. Managed by Chartered Accountants and Debt Advisory professionals with an in depth knowledge of the UK property sector, they are able to provide a unique level of expertise in both the funding and recovery of VAT. Having developed a turnkey finance solution for property developers, owner-occupiers and investors, which provides the funding of the VAT requirement and pro-active management of the recovery with HMRC; this solution provides a hands-off service for clients, allowing them to retain capital and liquidity throughout the purchase process.
We speak to sales director, Mike Underwood:
What is the best thing about being in the bridging finance business?
That every day is different and brings with it new challenges and opportunities. You get to meet some great entrepreneurs and see exciting new projects all over the UK.
What keeps you focused?
I have a very strong motivation to be the best at what I do and be professional at all times. It is also a competitive marketplace out there and as I like to win deals, that keeps me focused on finding new business.
What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?
Honesty, integrity, a drive and passion to be the best they can, while giving the customer excellent service.
Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
Definitely an optimist, I can often find the positives in any situation!
What did you want to be as a child?
Fighter pilot. I used to dream of racing through the sky in my favourite fighter jet which was the Hawker Harrier jump jet.
What will be the greatest challenge facing the bridging finance industry in the coming months?
Brexit aside, one of the greatest challenges the industry will face will be the consolidation of lenders and restriction of capital. We are currently seeing a race to the bottom on headline bridging rates purely for market share which makes the sector less and less appealing for institutional investors. A number of alternative funders have already gone and more are restricting their lending offering, ultimately that is not a great situation for our core clients, property developers.
Who or what makes you laugh?
I quite like surreal comedy ranging from Monty Python through to The Mighty Boosh.
Do you dread Monday mornings?
Not at all! Especially if there is a busy week of property completions coming up.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would be a scratch golfer. Golf is a real passion for me and a great escape from the pressure of work, I just wish I was better at it!
With whom would you most like to have dinner?
Christopher Hitchins. He was witty, intelligent and had traveled most of the world so would be very entertaining.