The Five Minute Interview with Chris Sellars, Chief Executive, Bridge Help
By Tony Sanchez -
Chris Sellars is the Chief Executive of Bridge Help, a bridging loan company based in Chesterfield, Derbyshire.
Former solicitor Chris established Bridge Help in 2018 following a 30 -year career in legal practice. At the time he said: “Leaving the world of law was an incredibly difficult decision to make but Bridge Help represents an exciting new chapter in both my professional and personal life.”
Bridge Help provides loans from £150,000 to £10 million for land, commercial, development and Buy-to-Let properties.
The company has ambitions to lend £100 million per year both direct to individuals and through a broker network.
What is the best thing about being in the bridgingfinance business?
I love the thrill of the deal. Every application has its own story and its fascinating to be involved in the investment ideas we see on a daily basis.
What keeps you focused?
The business! We need to find the best deals and get them over the line in a speedy and professional way.
The work doesn’t stop there though. Once we have done that, we need to stay close to the deal and get repaid on time.
What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?
The ones I don’t have! When you are climbing a ladder you need people climbing ladders next to you; that way the team has all the qualities you need.
The bridging business is a fast-paced environment with lots of twists and turns, which is what makes it so interesting, so I need to surround myself with energisers not energy zappers.
Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
Definitely an optimist; my glass is always half full.
What did you want to be as a child?
In honesty I don’t really remember. I know when I was about eight years old I really wanted a Lamborghini Countach so I guess I wanted to be something that would pay for one.
By the time I was 16 I wanted to be a solicitor, which is probably why I never got a Lambo!
What will be the greatest challenge facing the bridging finance industry in the coming months?
I think valuation and demand, particularly in commercial property will be a big challenge for the industry over the next few months.
The future of office space is extremely uncertain and, in turn, the retail and service units which surround the offices.
Valuers are being understandably cautious, and this is making it difficult to meet borrower’s expectations.
Refinancing a 2019 deal with a 2020 valuation where LTV is high is a particular challenge.
Who or what makes you laugh?
My kids. Plus, I think the new Spitting Image series on Britbox is fantastic.
Dominic Cummings as a baby-eating alien who wants to dominate the world – ‘Can I eat your child?’ – ding dong 😊
Do you dread Monday mornings?
Not at all. When I was as solicitor (for 30 years) I hated Sunday nights.
Now I’m totally invigorated by the thought of what new deals we might see on Monday morning.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’d be younger.
With whom would you most like to have dinner?
My dad who died in 2000. I’d love to tell him about all the things that have happened since I last saw him.