The Five Minute Interview with Victor Tang, Senior Underwriter, 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 senior underwriter Victor Tang:
What is the best thing about being in the bridging finance business?
The fast-paced nature of the industry. No two days are the same, which makes every day go very fast!
I also thoroughly enjoy the intellectual stimulus and challenge of structuring and finding solutions for complex transactions that suit both Fiduciam and the borrower.
At Fiduciam we tend to see fewer vanilla transactions. Each deal usually presents different challenges or risks that you have to find a solution for.
What keeps you focused?
The drive to exceed expectations. If I exceed the expectations of all the stakeholders involved in every transaction then I know I am doing a good job.
Wanting to succeed at this is what really keeps me focused.
What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?
Strong work ethics, an ability to think outside the box, and a positive attitude that is also a ‘good fit’ within the team.
You can always teach someone a technical skill but you cannot teach someone to have a good attitude or a sense of humour.
Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
Definitely an optimist. Although, as an underwriter, you definitely need a sense of pessimism to make the right credit decision.
What did you want to be as a child?
Like most Kiwis, I would have loved to be an All Black or a Black Cap growing up. Once I realised that you actually need sporting talent for that (which I sadly lacked) I did also want to be a doctor for quite a long time.
What will be the greatest challenge facing the bridging finance industry in the coming months?
Unsurprisingly, COVID-19 is the greatest challenge that is facing the bridging finance industry. I think it is important however that firms should not be overly pessimistic about the adverse impact it has on their own trading activities.
If companies stop investing or drastically cut costs or staff numbers during this period it may have a detrimental long-term impact on their business.
From what I have seen, property prices have not depressed substantially (albeit liquidity on certain asset types have deteriorated somewhat).
In fact, the Bank of England confirmed last month that the UK economy is still on track for a V-shaped recovery.
Given the above, well-run, well-funded lenders should come out the other side in a stronger position compared to their weaker counterparts, post-pandemic.
Who or what makes you laugh?
Michael McIntyre – he must be one of the funniest men alive! My wife bought me tickets to his show for my birthday, and I was genuinely in tears the whole show.
Do you dread Monday mornings?
I would be lying if I said that I prefer Monday mornings to the weekend! I do however enjoy Monday mornings when I can start to plan the week ahead and see what I could achieve in the week.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Where do I start…?
With whom would you most like to have dinner?
Being a proud Kiwi and avid sports fan, a dinner party with Daniel Vettori, Dan Carter and Stacey Jones would be immense.
Given New Zealand has a relatively small population, which in turn means a smaller talent pool to choose from, these three New Zealand sporting icons have achieved a lot.
They’ve punched well above their weight in their individual careers and in the international arena.