The Five Minute Interview with Stuart Parfitt, Managing Director, Business Lending Group
We speak to managing director Stuart Parfitt:
What is the best thing about being in the development finance business?
Breaking ground on a new house-building project. In finance you shuffle paper; being part of a construction project you are actually creating something. That’s rewarding.
What keeps you focussed?
Today’s business environment is challenging; we have great developer clients who borrow from our fund and fantastic investors who contribute to the fund.
Balancing the requirements of both to achieve a “win-win” situation takes some work and keeps me focussed.
What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?
Enthusiasm and fun.
Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
What did you want to be as a child?
An engineer, Meccano was my toy!
What will be the greatest challenge facing the development finance industry in the coming months?
I believe that unemployment, or more specifically the fear of unemployment, is stalling house purchasing.
There is substantial pent up demand for new homes, affordability is relatively good and, with little prospect of interest rate hikes any time soon, is likely to remain so.
Although mortgage availability isn’t great, with some rationing it is manageable. What’s holding back buyers is the loss of their jobs or the fear of losing their jobs.
Who or what makes you laugh?
My children mostly, they are at the same time the best and the most infuriating creatures I have ever met but they are never less than engaging and often hilarious.
Do you dread Monday mornings?
No – I normally set my agenda for the week on a Sunday evening so I can approach the week with enthusiasm.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I wish I could ski powder expertly. I watch those extreme skiing videos of somebody carving perfect s-curves in virgin powder; it’s probably the only thing that makes me envious.
With whom would you most like to have dinner?
Albert Einstein, he was probably the cleverest man that ever lived. Leonardo di Vinci would be a very close second but as my Italian language skills are limited, dinner conversation would be a struggle.