The Five Minute Interview with Zoe Claydon, Underwriter, Masthaven


Zoe ClaydonMasthaven Bridging Finance is an FSA regulated multi award winning lender that paid out its first loan in 1983.

In that time Masthaven has become a regular port of call for brokers, intermediaries and IFA’s alike wishing to place first and second charge bridging loans along with renovation and refurbishment deals.

With backing from the William Pears Group and Saffron Building Society amongst others Masthaven is one of the true leading lights in the bridging finance arena.

We speak to underwriter Zoe Claydon:

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

It’s the ability to apply common sense lending. There are no robotics to how we work, no tick box underwriting and no strict criteria to follow.

You look at a deal as a whole and look to get it done. Underwriting means underwriting and requires individual analysis on a case by case basis. No two deals are ever the same and I never have to hear the word ‘vanilla’.

What keeps you focussed?

My eyesight.

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

Efficiency, competency and team work. Not forgetting banter…there has to be some banter!

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity: An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. In this industry it is prudent to be both!

What did you want to be as a child?

The first female Formula One driver.   (enough said)

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

It is still evident that consumer confidence in the finance industry is low. With the European crisis still looming, and 5 years on from the credit crunch – it’s apparent that the return of the old days are still a long way off.

It’s imperative to our industry that lenders still actively lend, and properties still continue to be bought and developed.

Who or what makes you laugh?

Arsenal fans.

Do you dread Monday mornings?

I wouldn’t prejudice a Monday – I hate all mornings.

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

To accept the word No. Unless it’s coming from me, it’s not a word I wish to acknowledge.

With whom would you most like to have dinner?

Boris Johnson. He would be entertaining at the very least…