The Five Minute Interview with Jack Coombs, Director, Aspen Bridging
By Tony Sanchez
We speak to director, Jack Coombs:
What is the best thing about being in the bridging finance business?
The bridging world is unique in that there are huge characters. We are based in Solihull and operate nationwide so I get to meet people from every part of the UK and it is always good fun.
Moreover each and every deal is different and you always need to have your mind in gear thinking of ways that each deal can be done.
What keeps you focused?
I have a drive to succeed. My father cast a long shadow and I was always set high goals and standards by him.
In this business the way for Aspen to succeed is through service, so I am pushing every day to deliver consistently exceptional service.
What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?
The ability to learn fast, make quality decisions and the willingness to go beyond what is expected.
We have a team of out of the box thinkers who have a sense of what they want to achieve. Essentially they are doers.
Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
Neither – emotive reasoning is unhelpful in lending – better to be a realist with an eye on the bigger commercial picture.
That being said it seems to me that Aspen has a bright future and is building the strong relationships needed to make that a reality.
What did you want to be as a child?
A Roman senator – eating, reclining whilst being fed grapes does not seem so bad, they also had pretty well unlimited travel budgets.
Having grown up I have since discovered time travel is impossible, dangerous and unhygienic.
What will be the greatest challenge facing the bridging finance industry in the coming months?
The overall direction of the UK is going to have the biggest impact on lenders. We should get a sense for the type of exit from the EU in the next 6 months.
Even so the market is currently bullish enough on rates and on LTVs that the expected impact would have to be very significant to make lenders step away from keeping up with their competition.
Who or what makes you laugh?
I have always been a fan of McIntyre although the bizarre with a bit of Python goes down well too.
Do you dread Monday mornings?
I generally feel a sense of excitement as I drive from London to Solihull with my cousin on the laptop next to me.
We have a routine of coffee, croissant, diesel and firing of the first salvo of emails for 2 hours before arriving for 9.
I only dread Mondays after an Aspen social. We had a great one last weekend at Royal Birkdale for the British Open, which included a night on the town in Liverpool…..
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My baby face. I am 30 but look like 12. It’s great getting ID’d but in the board room you need to come looking like a big boy.
With whom would you most like to have dinner?
Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus. Not just for his ridiculous name, but mainly because he changed the course of history. I will leave the explanations to Wikipedia.