‘I try to do everything with a big smile!’


Tarek Tawil Fiduciam

In our latest Five Minute Interview, Tony Sanchez speaks to Tarek Tawil, Portfolio Manager at Fiduciam.

Fiduciam is an institutionally funded marketplace lender. It provides short-term loans secured over real estate in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Sweden, from £250k to £25m, for loan terms of six months to three years, both in pound sterling and in euro.

With its flexible, efficient and competitive approach to lending it helps small and medium sized businesses grow and prosper.

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

I recall a conversation with my grandfather back in 2012 where he explained to me the importance of investing in property.

Little did I know back then that said conversation would develop into a fond interest in the real estate sector as the years went by.

Working in the lending industry was a perfect fit for me, particularly due to the fast-paced and at certain times volatile nature of the sector.

Communicating and occasionally being a point of reference between both sides of the business (the investor side and the borrower side) is a perfect fit for my extroverted character.

What keeps you focused?

Working on any goals/tasks that emotionally stimulate and interest me.

There are times when I can be overly ambitious with the goals that I set for myself, however I always view this as a positive.

This enables me to focus even harder on achieving said goals by increasing my desire to get things done.

The portfolio management function at Fiduciam is exciting as there can be new, uncorrelated assignments which arise daily.

It is quite essential to approach all these situations with the same drive so that my focus remains intact.

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

The two most important qualities I look for is hard work and respect. Successful teams in all walks of life in my opinion are built on these two qualities.

That is the core foundation behind teams with accomplishments and longevity.

Having difference of opinions, disagreements, or even negative moments with your colleagues in the long run is inevitable.

Being able to communicate thoroughly whilst respecting other people’s point of views is crucial to overcoming adversity and creating a solid team spirit.

A positive environment in the workplace will only inspire others to buy into the culture and work even harder.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

I consider myself to be an optimist. As corny as it sounds, I always look at the positive side of every experience.

Even when it comes to failure or feeling quite low from an emotional standpoint, I try to reflect on those situations and use them as motivation going forward.

With time I have realised that approaching my day-to-day circumstances with positivity is essential when it comes to long term success.

If I were to tackle things with a negative mindset, then my overall efficiency and motivational levels tend to decrease.

I try to do everything with a big smile!

What did you want to be as a child?

I really wanted to become a professional athlete (as broad as the term may sound).

Ever since I was a child my parents made sure that I was involved in sports. At one point I was simultaneously training in football, basketball, kickboxing, swimming, and horseback riding.

I ended up being quite sporty and dreamt of becoming a professional kickboxer or footballer.

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

The volatile state of the market with relation to interest rates and the impact on property valuations.

It is essential for lenders to effectively monitor any potential breaches in covenants on their active loan book during this period.

A price correction in the property market within the next months can potentially also lead to a large amount of LTV breaches signalling events of default.

At Fiduciam we try to analyse these scenarios as early as possible and come up with an efficient contingency plan so that we are always prepared well ahead of time.

The next few months will be a stern test for the industry, but at Fiduciam we always enjoy a stimulating challenge.

Who or what makes you laugh?

Being around my younger brother. We have been quite close since childhood.

Regardless of the situation or setting, we always manage to have a good time filled with hilarious moments.

Do you dread Monday mornings?

Not necessarily, the manner through which my Monday morning starts sets the tone for the rest of the week.

I like to start my Mondays by waking up early at 6am and heading straight to the gym for a morning workout.

That makes me feel fresh and determined to tackle the rest of the week.

It also helps that here at Fiduciam I have a few colleagues who wake up quite early to workout.

We tend to motivate each other so that we all start the week strongly.

I only dislike Monday mornings when I get lazy and skip my morning gym session.

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

Sometimes I can be too extroverted for my own good.

With time I am learning to speak in a more concise fashion and put greater effort into listening to what others also have to say.

With whom would you most like to have dinner?

Kobe Bryant, he was my favourite athlete as a child.

What particularly impressed me about him was his outstanding mentality to continuously work hard and perfect any craft that he approached in life.

This was particularly evident with the successes he had on his various ventures after retiring from basketball which included setting up a Venture Capital fund, creating a production company and writing a series of children’s books.

I would have liked to pick his brain over dinner.