The Five Minute Interview with David Barral, Chairman, Vantage Finance


Vantage Finance is one of the UK’s leading specialist packagers. Established in 2004, its expert team offers secured loans, buy-to-let mortgages, commercial finance, short term loans (bridging loans) and development finance for intermediaries.

We speak to Chairman, David Barral:


What is the best thing about being in the bridging finance business?

The buzz we get from helping brokers and their clients to get their deals done and land successful projects.

What keeps you focussed?

Our vision for being the best in the market at what we do, beating the competition and the tremendous opportunity to create value for brokers, their clients and ourselves.  

What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?

Passion, energy, drive, tenacity, ambition and emotional commitment.  I love people who are proactive, positive, solution orientated, commercially minded and results driven.  I hate gloss and no substance, not doing what you say you will and ‘the dog ate my homework’ type!

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

Ermmmmmm, I think you can guess I’m a glass half full person but can play the pessimist quite happily when the need arises!

What did you want to be as a child?

A professional golfer.  I managed to get to down to a 2 handicap, played for my county and won a couple of club championships but not the +4 needed to make professional. Obviously, financial services seemed the next best option – actually my first ever interview was with Commercial Union in 1979 and I got the job.  The rest they say is history!

What will be the greatest challenge facing the bridging finance industry in the coming months?

Managing the uncertainty of Brexit and then handling the pent-up demand that will inevitably follow.

Who or what makes you laugh?

Kevin Bridges, Armstrong & Miller, the idea that Scotland might once again qualify for the Euro Finals and of course Donald Trump – although not intentionally from his point of view.

Do you dread Monday mornings?

I used to, but now I’ve reached a stage in my career where I only work with people I want to work with and with businesses I find interesting and stimulating. So I love Mondays – it’s a chance to get ahead of the game while others are still complaining about it!

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

My age.  I’m 54 and often think …. How the hell did that happen??

With whom would you most like to have dinner?

George Osborne so I could ask him if he’s deliberately trying to systematically destroy every wealth creating opportunity through tax and regulation in this country or whether its just the law of unintended consequences?