The Five Minute Interview with Philip Dabbs, Head of Underwriting, Amicus


Philip Dabbs Head of Underwriting - AmicusAmicus is a specialist finance group offering short-term lending solutions to private and corporate borrowers across the UK.

We speak to Head of Underwriting, Philip Dabbs:

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

No day is ever the same, each one brings its new challenges, and the uniqueness of some deals brings its great intrigue to the day.

We are a lender who likes to think outside the box on how we can do a deal and make it work for the broker and client within our own lending parameters but being proactive enough to not say no unless we really have to.

It’s not just the deals themselves that are interesting but also the clients and the different niche schemes some get involved in.

We have had clients who want to create boutique hotels, extensive HMO portfolio’s, purchasing of properties for planning gain and one of the largest development areas permitted development.

What keeps you focused?

Making each day better than the previous and continuing to strive to make Amicus the market leading lending, looking at ways to innovate our current proposition to ensure we provide the best possible service to our stakeholders.

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

Being proactive and not to procrastinate.  Communicating constantly with everyone in the process to get the deal done in a timely fashion is the key to satisfy everyone’s requirements.

If you cannot trust your work colleagues then straight away you are going to have a problem, we want to be able to empower them to make decisions for themselves rather than rely on others to make decisions for them.

Dedication is an essential element what I don’t mean is being at work all hours of the day but to be dedicated when they are here.  Everyone has to remember they are working to one ultimate goal as one team.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

Need to be an optimist, being a pessimist can be negative but it can be an instinct in some instances to naturally move to that side.

What did you want to be as a child?

Well like any young boy growing up a footballer but in reality that was never going to happen, I always had a fascination for being a formula one driver.

My interest in property and the economy was really driven by my degree and inspired me into the mortgage industry at the beginning.

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

Regulation and the MCD changes that are coming will bring quite big changes to our industry.

It will be interesting to see what sort of impact this has on various lenders and how they adapt to the changes, staff will also need to be up to date on the changes.

Who or what makes you laugh?

Well you can’t beat the old classics like Only Fools and Horses “play it nice and cool son, nice and cool, you know what I mean” has to be one of the best comedy scenes ever.

There are some very talented comedians out there like Peter Kay who’s ability to adapt to different characters is unbelievable.  Can’t beat a bit of Al Murray as well.

Do you dread Monday mornings?

It’s just another day.

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

Probably at times I can be too quiet and need to be more vocal voicing my opinion to others, I am quite a relaxed character and make sure nothing fazes me, why get stressed over something that is more than probably out of my hands.

With whom would you most like to have dinner?

Whoever is paying and no non-drinkers.