Former Coreco director Rob Gill has co-launched Altura Mortgage Finance, an international mortgage brokerage that he hopes will become the leading UK mortgage provider for UK expats and foreign nationals.
When asked what the inspiration behind forming Altura was, Gill says that his experience within the mortgage industry and without led to his building his proposition with Hong Kong-based business partner James Buchanan.
“Mortgages is how I’ve fed my family for 12 years,” he says, “so this is a return home… when I took a break from the mortgage industry to work in foreign exchange [between 2017 and 2018], I became aware of the many international clients who wanted a route into the UK mortgage market but didn’t have one.”
He adds that Buchanan works with a number of internationally based wealth managers from his office in Hong Kong who have also expressed an interest in forming a UK mortgage referral route, mostly from Asia and the EU.
Both Gill and Hughes have experience in the international equities market too, and it’s this international banking background, along with the contacts this had led them forming, “that is our unique selling point, and will allow us to attract the right sort of introducers and the right sort of clients,” says Gill.
With a company with such a global focus, Brexit is an obvious subject to bring up: “Brexit increases opportunities in a number of different ways. First, many British nationals are moving into Europe because that’s where their jobs are going – Amsterdam seems to be the winning location at the moment – but their interest in UK property remains strong. Perhaps they see themselves moving back to the UK in future.
“Second, in Asia, the market view seems to be that, while it’s happy to avoid the chaos we are seeing, softening property prices and a weakening pound is increasing buying opportunities. For example, the Chinese middle class is especially interesting in properties outside London, such as Manchester and Liverpool.”
There is a strong international flavour to Altura, but Gill does insist that there will be a focus on mainstream UK mortgages as well – “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t focus on too niche a market,” Gill says.
As for his vision of the future, “we want to build a strong system and process with a focus on mainstream UK-based mortgage market,” he says, “with the eventual aim of becoming the leading mortgage provider for UK expats and foreign nationals.”
Altura covers purchase, remortgages and buy-to-let mortgage products.