‘Rarely is a bridge, refurb or development exit loan straight forward or exactly to criteria’


Mark Stephenson Octane Capital

In our latest five minute interview, Tony Sanchez speaks to Mark Stephenson, Business Development Manager at Octane Capital.

Octane provide non-regulated bridging loans from £100K – £15million+.

Their specialist areas of focus are in the refurbishment and development exit arenas.

With market leading rates and products perfectly suited to the current UK property market, 2024 is going to be a big year for Octane.

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

Problem solving. Rarely is a bridge, refurb or development exit loan straight forward or exactly to criteria.

I relish the challenge of working with brokers and their clients to come up with creative solutions.

I implore our introducers, not to package deals up per se, but to present me with the facts and we work the deal together.

What keeps you focused?

I could revert to the old cliché and say my family. But with two toddlers on the rampage, they do more to distract me.

A healthy level of enquiries and interesting deals make the days fly by and delivering for my brokers keeps me honest!

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

You’ve got to be able to have a laugh, this industry is a pressure cooker at times.

It’s essential that there is a bit friction between sales and credit, like tyres on tarmac friction is required to move things forward.

For that reason it’s important that you can have healthy relationship with those that you work closest with and let off steam regularly.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

Ever the optimist!

Always looking up and ahead, usually with a big grin on my face and trying to have a positive impact on anyone I meet.

Sounds annoying but brightens my day!

What did you want to be as a child?

An actor. I was always playing up to the class wanting to be the centre of attention, perfect qualities for a BDM.

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

A realistic understanding of property values.

In 2023 I heard a lot of clients and brokers say that vendors had inflated views on what their property/site was worth, which lead to stagnation.

Making sure a deal works for all parties is essential to market growth.

Who or what makes you laugh?

I consider myself a connoisseur of standup comedy and am really enjoying Tom Segura in recent years as well as classics like Gervais and Chappelle.

Do you dread Monday mornings?

Can’t wait to leave the house most Mondays – I tend to make that my day at head office, a bit of me time on the commute.

Headphones on and a few ripping guitar solos as I approach the office to get me pumped.

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

Wish I was a better golfer, took it up during Covid and don’t think I’ve improved much.

Being addicted to something that causes so much anguish serves my inner masochist.

With whom would you most like to have dinner?

Marcus Waring in the kitchen, Jim Jeffries for the laughs and Rick Rubin for some music chat long into the night.