The Five Minute Interview with Kim Wood, STL Lending Officer, Commercial Mortgages, Shawbrook Bank


Kim Wood 2Shawbrook is a specialist savings and lending bank that offers a straightforward, no-nonsense alternative to the high street.  In August 2012 Shawbrook announced it had broken even less than a year since it launched.

We speak to STL Lending Officer, Kim Wood:

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

I’ve only been on the STL desk for a short time, but I’ve been struck by how much more fast-paced everything is – and I have to say, I love that!

There is a definite buzz on our team as we work together to make sure we hit all the deadlines. I think this also keeps us really close as a unit, which definitely helps us to deliver under pressure.

What keeps you focused?

I’ve always enjoyed working hard and delivering results. I’ve also always been in service-driven roles, so my work ethic is very much centred on providing the best service I can.

I think it’s probably that drive to deliver that really keeps me focused.

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

It’s important to me that the people I work with are team players who are as committed to providing a high level of service as I am.

In that regard I do feel really lucky that the whole team at Shawbrook always pulls together to get the job done. Teamwork is vital if we’re to ensure that we deliver for our brokers and their clients.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist? 

I’m definitely an optimist. I think everything is easier to achieve if you start by believing it’s possible.

Obviously I recognise that not everything turns out perfectly, but a positive attitude makes you work harder to get the best outcome you possibly can – whatever the situation.

What did you want to be as a child? 

With no hesitation whatsoever: an air hostess!  I always wanted to slide down the big emergency slides, and training as an air hostess seemed like a good way to be able to do that…

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

I think we can’t underestimate the potential impact of the FCA’s escalated regulation. Even though we’re not directly affected by the MMR in the bridging market, we need to acknowledge that we can still definitely listen and learn! We also need to recognise that while bridging lenders are not implicated, several of our broker partners work across the resi and commercial markets so they will feel the effect more. At our end we must try to understand that impact on the broker population, support them where we can, and encourage transparency across the board to protect everyone’s interests.

Who or what makes you laugh? 

I don’t have a very grown up sense of humour so lots of very silly things make me laugh!

Such silliness is a great contrast to the high pressure role I do at work. The latter can be quite intense on occasion and requires a degree of seriousness, so it’s a good thing to be a bit silly at other times and let my inner child out!

Do you dread Monday mornings? 

No, not at all. Traditionally in this industry it seems that Fridays are the crazy days, so I’ve always found Mondays to be refreshingly calm in comparison.

Of course this could all change, as on the STL team there’s always the feeling that anything could happen at any time!

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

I’d love to be able to play an instrument. I’ve always imagined that having an accomplishment like that would give you a great sense of personal achievement.

Unfortunately I’m tone deaf so I fear this particular talent will always elude me! Luckily I also love going to see live music, and for me enjoying other people’s music is the next best thing.

With whom would you most like to have dinner? 

Stephen Fry would be a brilliant dinner guest. He knows so many interesting things so would be the perfect dinner party entertainment. I could just listen to him talk for hours and hours…