The Five Minute Interview with Neal Skinner, Money Laundering Case Manager, Fiduciam


Neal Skinner Fiduciam

Fiduciam is a pension-fund owned bridging and marketplace lender to entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises.

Granting business bridge loans to provide working capital or to finance expansion plans, standard rental loans to landlords who wish to extend their real estate portfolio and permitted development loans, to contractors and developers for straightforward construction projects.

With its flexible, efficient and competitive approach to lending it helps small and medium sized businesses grow and prosper.

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

The opportunity to work on a diverse range of transactions for a wide variety of customers.

At Fiduciam we get to handle loans from small businesses and developments to more complex cross-border transactions, and this variety brings new and interesting challenges on an almost daily basis.

What keeps you focused?

Black coffee and dark chocolate, not necessarily in that order.

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

Lateral thinking. If someone can apply creativity to problem solving, then everything else follows.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

Neither and both. Hoping for the best should not preclude preparing for the worst and vice versa.

What did you want to be as a child?

A Jedi Knight, because on the one hand people who try to do what is right rather than what is easy are the sort of heroes one should try and emulate, and on the other, who wouldn’t want to play with a lightsaber?

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

Self-fulfilling prophesies of doom. Clearly Covid-19 is a challenge and the economic consequences are not yet (at the time of writing) fully quantifiable.

The forecasts of a recession tell us that there are difficult times to prepare for, but we should not allow it to lead us into action which exacerbates the situation.

The people who will succeed in the coming months will be the innovators who have adapted and kept going through the crisis, and who have scoped out the opportunities as we come out of it.

Who or what makes you laugh?

My sense of humour is eclectic and encompasses everything from old Ealing Studios comedies to Archer.

Do you dread Monday mornings?

Does dreading help? If you cannot stop them, then you might as well make the best of them.

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

Better coordination to improve my fencing. Naturally, as a child it was the closest thing that I could get to a lightsaber, but as an adult I have found that it is a great way to exercise and to practice focus and self-discipline.

With whom would you most like to have dinner?

Gordon Ramsay, because I taught myself to cook from watching his shows (amongst others) and so I think that dinner with him would be both educational and entertaining.