The Five Minute Interview with Andy Whelan, CEO, The Sancus Group


Andy Whelan The Sancus Group

The Sancus Group is a niche alternative financial services provider, specialising in bridging and development finance from £1m to £15m.

The Group has offices in the UK, Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man, staffed by highly experienced teams capable of handling a wide range of lending proposals, from straight-forward bridging and development finance to lending to more complex structures.

Borrowers include developers, construction specialists, SMEs and entrepreneurs that require fast access to bridging and development finance and secured lending.

We speak to CEO Andy Whelan:

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

Attractive risk-adjusted returns with tangible security that is usually easy to understand and/or comprehend.

The market is deep and wide with the traditional lenders (ie banks) not being able to meet the demand for various reasons, thus opening both sectors to alternative lenders such as ourselves.

What keeps you focused?

Good question – 2 things:

  1. I firmly believe that what we are doing is adding real value to the economy by supporting the SME builders/borrowers who form a significant part of the global economy. We are having a positive impact on the local economies where we have offices.
  2. The desire to offer a simple service that can provide alternative exposure to the usual forms of wealth management to help create solid medium risk-adjusted returns for HNWIs, Family Offices, Institutions, etc.


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

Integrity and honesty with a passion and enthusiasm for supporting the businesses and individuals we work with.

I like to surround myself with dynamic people that have peripheral vision, an innate ability to “think outside the box”, always pushing to find a solution to a challenge.

I also think a good sense of humour in the workplace helps too, we have a fantastic mix of personalities across the Sancus Group, a great team.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

Optimist – my glass is always half full. I am a firm believer in that you will meet your expectations ie if you think you may fail, you will!

What did you want to be as a child?

A lumberjack!

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

Access to capital in a surreal world that is facing a strong economic head wind with the prospect of a global L shaped recession looming.

Who or what makes you laugh?

I think I have a great sense of humour! I love to laugh, though too much at my own jokes, so I’m told.

Do you dread Monday mornings?

No, I am a “lark” I love mornings and usually train most mornings prior to going to work.

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

No deep psychological mumbo jumbo from me.

I would want to regenerate my body parts (knees first), they are all sadly worn down through too many years of physical abuse playing rugby/sport.

With whom would you most like to have dinner?

My mother.  Sadly, we lost her to cancer when I was a teenager and I would love her to meet my wife and our four boys.