‘I’m always looking to try new things’



Laura Randall Aspen Bridging 2

In our latest Five Minute Interview, Tony Sanchez speaks to Laura Randall, Underwriter at Aspen Bridging.

Aspen Bridging was set-up in 2017, and the business is a 100% subsidiary of S&U PLC, a majority family owned FTSE listed speciality lender with circa £300m in listed equity.

The lender’s focus is on delivering excellent customer service together with a transparent pricing and quoting structure for bridging and light development loans of up to £10m across England and Wales.

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

The fast pace of the bridging world suits my working style and keeps me motivated. Things change day-to-day and new challenges mean you are constantly learning.

What keeps you focused?

Having set goals helps me to concentrate on what needs to be done and what I need to do to get there.

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

Hardworking, approachable, and happy to help. I count myself as extremely lucky to work for the team at Aspen, the dedication to each other and to customers is second-to-none.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

I like to be optimistic but within reason. It’s always good to have balance in life and stay grounded, it allows you to face things head-on and prepares you for any ups and downs.

What did you want to be as a child?

I always wanted to be in the police, and ultimately worked for Warwickshire Police in the child protection department alongside social care in order to protect children and vulnerable people from harm.

It was very rewarding work, but also extremely emotionally taxing.

I enjoy helping others, I think that’s something that just comes naturally, so it was a good fit in terms of job satisfaction but sometimes it was difficult to switch off in the evenings.

But I’m always looking to try new things, so I was excited to take on a new industry and step into the world of finance when I joined Aspen.

Funnily enough, the world of policing has prepared me for a fast-paced environment like bridging, as response times and problem-solving in my previous role meant making arrests within as little as an hour’s window.

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

Each week I hear about a new lender entering the marketplace, which is great for borrowers and intermediaries but there’s a caveat.

As an equity-funded lender, Aspen is in a position to adapt to market conditions without funding uncertainty or the need to get approval from third parties for criteria changes.

This allows quick and immediate action.

Lenders who are debt-funded have more restrictions, at any moment the pipeline could be switched off and the desire to lend, as shown in their lending criteria, can often be restrictive.

Who or what makes you laugh?

Jack Whitehall is my favourite comedian, I’ve really enjoyed his recent Netflix series, Travels With My Father.

Do you dread Monday mornings?

For me, Mondays signify a fresh start and a new week ahead. I like to try and start every week with a positive mindset as it is a new chance to see progress and improve yourself.

Monday morning is a good chance to plan the week and get organised.

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

I would have more confidence in myself and my abilities, as I feel that in life that’s what often holds people back from achieving their full potential.

With whom would you most like to have dinner?

Chris Hemsworth – he’s got an amazing accent, would be useful to get gym tips from and who doesn’t want to spend some time with Thor?