Nationwide unveils specialist boss

Nationwide has poached Clive Hodges from Abbey to become head of operations at its specialist lending division.

As Mortgage Strategy exclusively revealed on January 21, the mutual had shortlisted four candidates for the role, with each being subjected to a three-hour psychological assessment as part of the application process.

Hodges, who took up his new role on February 25, was head of card operations at Abbey. Before then he worked in risk development at Morgan Stanley and joined the investment bank from Egg, where he was head of operational strategy and operations.

Hodges will manage around 450 staff and will report to Andy McQueen, managing director of Nationwide Specialist Lending.

McQueen says Hodges has been entrusted with overseeing the migration of UCB Home Loans, one of the society’s specialist lending brands, to Bournemouth – a task due to be completed by March 2009.

His usual responsibilities will see him managing new business, underwriting and completions at the specialist lending division.

McQueen says Hodges will also be tasked with a number of special projects, including improvements to the lender’s technology and processes.

McQueen says: “We have made several process improvements and we’re happy with them but we want to take the next step. It’s about getting better, quicker.”

He adds that around 120 vacancies remain in the specialist lending division, including case owner and underwriting positions.