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The Famous Five will have to do their homework

The famous Five who quit HBOS will have to undertake meticulous research and preparation if their new lender is to launch successfully, Money Partners CEO Colin Sanders says.

Earlier this month HBOS head of specialist lending Michael Bolton spearheaded a walkout from the group followed by Alan Cleary, sales director at Halifax Intermediaries, John Nixon, director of operations at BM Solutions and The Mortgage Business, and Rob Williams and Mark Smith, head of underwriting and head of support at BM Solutions respectively.

All five joined London-based private equity firm The Oakwood Group and will launch a lender next year.

Sanders says: “These are high profile individuals with proven records. This is proof of the dynamism of the specialist mortgage market. While I have no inside track on their plans I’d be surprised if they are not related to the specialist sector. After all, that’s where their skills and experience can be used to best effect.

“I know from the experience of helping launch Money Partners last year that proper research, planning and preparation are prerequisites of long-term success in this crowded and competitive arena.”

On the basis that his assumption is correct, Sanders says it will be interesting to learn more about the new business’ distribution plans.

He adds: “For instance, will it rely on packagers, networks, brokers or take a direct-to-consumer approach? Or will it be a combination of some or all of these? It will also be interesting to see how its proposition is supported by technology – definitely a battleground of the future.”

Stephen Knight, executive chairman of GMAC-RFC, adds: “In building their business, I hope Michael and Alan focus on their positives and not others’ negatives. If they do, I wish them success.”

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