Five things you should know… about mortgages for celebrities

By Peter Izard, business development manager, Investec

1. Celebrities often avoid tying up wealth in property

High net worth clients come in many guises, whether they be property developers, bankers, professional sports people or actors. You might think the latter would have little need for a mortgage. Yet, just like other high net worth clients, many celebrities do not wish to tie up their wealth in property. They may have the collateral to buy outright but choose to invest their money elsewhere.

2. Most celebrities use mortgage brokers

Like most aspiring borrowers, many choose to visit a broker and from there are often referred to a private bank, which can take a holistic view of their finances. One may think celebrities would have lenders queuing at their door, yet the complex nature of their income means they can struggle to find one.

3. Discretion is everything

Faced with ceaseless scrutiny, many choose to purchase their property through a bare trust, using a pseudonym. When it comes to ascertaining a celebrity’s net worth and income, the way in which they are paid can add an extra layer of complexity, with signing fees, bonuses, royalties and payments in a foreign currency having to be taken into account. Careers can be unpredictable, driving the need to assess long-term prospects.

4. Meetings do not happen straight away

We often don’t meet with prospective clients until we are confident we can offer a solution. When it comes to celebrity clients, an initial conversation usually takes place with their agent and accountant, to gain a full picture of their financial situation.

5. Fame is not an advantage

Just because a client may have graced our cinema screens in the latest Hollywood blockbuster, it doesn’t automatically make them a good mortgage candidate. In some instances, a client’s fame may even work against them, if they have received negative press which could impact their future employment prospects. To date, a client may have enjoyed a successful and lucrative career, but it is not always easy to predict the future trajectory of those in the entertainment industry. This is why the tailored and personalised service a private bank provides is typically a natural choice for such clients, whatever the nuances of their situation.

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