The Five Minute Interview with Lauren Dolezel, Head of Bridging and Operations, Aldermore Bank



Lauren DolezelAldermore recently announced its launch into the short term finance market with a range of bridging products.

Fixed rates on residential investment bridging loans start at 0.75% with maximum loan sizes of £3m and facilities at up to 75% loan to value available.

Commercial bridging loans start at 1.3% with lending up to £5m and a maximum of 65% LTV*.

We speak to Head of Bridging and Operations, Lauren Dolezel:

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

You get the opportunity to work with a varied group of people and see a range of cases.

As this is a new offering for Aldermore, it is great to be a part of something from the start, and with the economy and property investment market picking up the timing is ideal.

What keeps you focused?

Proving people wrong, surprising them and changing their perceptions.

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

Humour, honesty and openness. It is so much easier working with people when you understand what makes them tick.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

I’m an optimist, keen to try out new ideas. What’s the worst that can happen?

What did you want to be as a child?

It varied from wanting to own cows (not a full farm – just the cows) to being in the police and then to being a journalist.

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

For the lenders:

–             To be at the forefront of bridging lenders with a competitive offering in a rapidly changing marketplace;

–             Interest Rate Competition and rising Base rate/LIBOR; and

–             Credit Policy to match client needs whilst offering acceptable Risk & Reward.

For the customer:

–          Choosing the right lender and broker to manage their deal through to conclusion. A high quality team will perform, while an inexperienced one could cause the transaction to falter.

–          Delays in planned exits can result in cash flow issues and increased costs for a customer, if the lender is not open to working with them. At Aldermore we offer “bridge to term” for customers looking for a more certain exit route from the bridge.

For the broker:

–          Choosing the right lender as more come to market

–          Building partnerships with the right lenders so the lender gets a clearer understanding of their clients’ needs.

Who or what makes you laugh?

The South African comedian Trevor Noah – just hilarious! Spending time with my sister – same silly sense of humour (and so many in-jokes).

Do you dread Monday mornings?

Not in summer, but winter is a different story. It’s just too dark and cold for me!

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

I would love to be able to sing (my grandmother once told me to take my ear phones out as my voice was terrible) or I would like to be naturally sporty (to start with I wouldn’t mind just liking exercise…)

With whom would you most like to have dinner?

Nelson Mandela (dead) – inspirational or Bruce Springsteen (alive)  – just obsessed with him.