The Five Minute Interview with Tony Gilbertson, Interim CEO, Signature Private Finance


Signature Private Finance is a well-funded principal lender offering market leading rates. A flat management structure facilitates quick decisions and certainty of delivery.

We speak to interim CEO, Tony Gilbertson:

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

Flexible hours and an understanding employer. By working hard and hitting our targets, I have the time and resources to pursue my passion for performance art and interpretive dance.

This allows me to tell the story of bridging finance in a totally new and surprising way.

What keeps you focused?

My desire to bring bridging finance to a wider audience through live presentations of my latest dance performance; Bridging with Sole.

It combines dance, music and story-telling to explain the important role bridging finance plays in helping dreams come true. Without focus this story may remain untold.

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

Sense of humour, love of Wales and all things welsh, great general knowledge for the works quiz team and baking ability on a par with the Great British Bake Off contestants, so they can create delicious treats to accompany my morning coffee.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

I’m optimistic; always ready for the challenge and excitement of another day in short-term property finance.

Well, optimistic right up until I get to work that is, then I get pessimistic worrying about how we’ll get through all the applications in time.

What did you want to be as a child?

Unlike many children, I have always known what I wanted to do when I was older.

My dream was to become the CEO of a privately owned and funded Principal Lender, backed by internationally recognised Private Equity funding that would create waves in the short-term property finance market – I’m living the dream.

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

I suspect that how the industry faces up to my performance art presentation, ‘Bridging with Sole’ will be a major challenge.

I expect it will bring a lot of new business our way, change the direction of the industry for ever and perhaps cause some less artistic finance firms to leave the sector.

Who or what makes you laugh?

Bank Managers – always ready with a joke or a funny story to lighten the day. So many now have a secondary career in stand-up comedy, the Edinburgh fringe is more like a banking conference.

Did you hear the one about the young banker being measured for his first tailor-made suit? As he tried it on, he reached down to put his hand in the pocket but to his surprise found there wasn’t one.

He pointed this out to the tailor, who asked him, “You’re a banker, right?” The young man answered, “Yes, that’s right.” To which the tailor replied, “Well, whoever heard of a banker putting his hand in his own pocket?”

Do you dread Monday mornings?

Monday’s are super-awesome. For me they are the new Friday, the gateway to excitement, the day you get to map out your future for at least a week.

I have a close-knit team that make Monday’s a great day to be alive, not just at work, welcoming my arrival with freshly brewed coffee and warm muffins.

The two-hour drive into the office is one of pure anticipation and excitement; roll on Monday is my mantra.

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

I’d like to be a little less handsome, slightly less amusing and definitely less suave.

The constant requests for autographs from middle-aged women who mistake me for George Clooney is tiring and somewhat dispiriting.

However, knowing the pleasure I bring to George when he is mistaken for Tony Gilbertson, keeps me happy.

With whom would you most like to have dinner?

Anyone that likes a big slap-up Michelin-starred feast at one of London’s finest eateries, with plenty of expensive wine, hand-rolled cigars and a chauffeur for the journey home.

I guess they should also have a large expenses account and a generous nature too.