The Five Minute Interview with Saam Lowni, Head of Origination, Hilltop Credit Partners
By Tony Sanchez -
Hilltop Credit Partners is a specialist funding partner for proven small and mid-sized residential property developers and housebuilders across the UK.
Hilltop provides attractive funding solutions to SME developers who have track records of delivery but need greater access to capital to effectively grow their businesses and deliver new, more affordable homes that the UK desperately needs.
Providing a tailored one-stop funding solution for up to 90% loan to cost, with loans ranging from £3 million to £20 million, Hilltop can move quickly to offer UK SME developers the funding they need to seize development opportunities, eliminating the uncertainty and costs associated with multiple sets of legal and professional documents.
We speak to head of origination, Saam Lowni:
What is the best thing about being in the bridging & development finance business?
The best part about being in business is providing solutions to problems. The best part about being in the bridging & development finance business is that our products solve problems that involve basic human needs in the form of shelter.
By providing bridging & development finance we are facilitating the increase of housing supply which in turns helps the population have more choice of where to live and at more affordable rates.
What keeps you focused?
Relationships and results. One without the other does not work in a sustainable way.
What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?
We base all our hires of staff based on their attitude, aptitude and aspiration. We have defined values which must be shared within the team.
We want to work with people that have an entrepreneurial and pragmatic mindset finding a solution for every problem.
Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
I am the eternal optimist with enough experience to know when and how to pivot in each situation.
What did you want to be as a child?
Pre 14 years old, a pilot because I wanted to fly like superman….post 14 years old I went on business trips with my Dad and decided I wanted to be like him instead.
What will be the greatest challenge facing the bridging & development finance industry in the coming months?
Slipping GDV’s and weak pound causing increasing build costs. Profits getting squeezed and developers working with wafer thin margins.
The only constant is change and a combination of uncertainty with evolving laws and landscape always provides a challenge…but there also lies opportunity.
Who or what makes you laugh?
Badly put together development appraisals. It’s a shame because we really would like to support the next generation of developers but if the fundamental standards of putting a proposal together on paper is not high, it either make you laugh or cry…I choose laugh of course, stand-up comedy is brilliant when enjoying some down-time.
Do you dread Monday mornings?
Never. I love what I do. Monday is the day of the week that we put to action all the previous weeks hard work and the weekends thoughts.
Often, it’s the most exciting day of the week. If one dreads their Monday mornings, they should really change something. I live by the mantra that every day is the best day of my life, tomorrow will be even better, and the best is yet to come.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Learn to switch off more sometimes, although I do go through periods of doing meditation which helps settle the mind.
Recently I spent the weekend in Rye. Beautiful place with amazing history. Staying on a farm filled with peace and tranquillity surrounded by nature; whilst at the same time visiting micro-breweries and restaurants in buildings over 500 years old.
With whom would you most like to have dinner?
Dead – Steve Jobs, his approach to business, marketing and design was quite revolutionary. It would be interesting to hear his take on how the property market should look on everything from town planning, development, sales and marketing to architecture, interior design and finance.
Alive – Alan Sugar, I like that he’s a rags to riches self-made serial entrepreneur with a keen eye for opportunity. With his experience and straight-talking approach, I think I could learn a lot from having dinner with him.