The Five Minute Interview with Natalie Smethurst, Head of Underwriting, Stretton Capital



Stretton Capital are a privately funded short term lender based in Chester covering England, Scotland and Wales.

They provide bridging and development finance up to £10m for projects in the residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural sectors.

We speak to head of underwriting, Natalie Smethurst:

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

I know everyone says that it’s because each day brings something new but it’s true. I can’t imagine working in a role/job where you know that each day will be the same as the last…In this industry that couldn’t be further from the truth.

What keeps you focused?

I am very task orientated and much to the amusement of my colleagues, very organised, so I am always very clear about what I have to do each day to achieve my aims. And yes, I also organise all of the birthday cakes, cards, christmas parties, christenings, bar mistvahs, etc

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

Mutual respect and integrity. I am so lucky because our company has this in spades and in other companies I have worked for this hasn’t always been the case.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

Optimist. That hasn’t always been the case and people who know me will know what I have been through personally in the recent past but now I feel optimistic because tomorrow is a new day and who knows what it will bring?

What did you want to be as a child?

A backing singer for Cliff Richard. If not, a solicitor like my younger sister!

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

The amount of lenders in the market – it simply isn’t sustainable and there will be casualties but because of our funding model, I fully expect Stretton Capital to be at the vanguard of short term lending for many years to come.

Who or what makes you laugh?

My two young nephews (who I adore) never fail to make me laugh

Do you dread Monday mornings?

Not at all, I look forward to getting stuck into a new week, I love my job and we have a lot of fun whilst still working extremely hard. Corny but true.

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

I’d like to get more confident driving because motorway slip roads still fill me with trepidation and fear, much to the amusement of my colleagues!

With whom would you most like to have dinner?

If you had asked me this at 17 it would have been Cliff Richard but as I’m a wee bit older now, it would just be with someone that makes me laugh and doesn’t talk about themselves all the time.