Industry applauds Chilton move

The mortgage industry has welcomed Network Datas decision to appoint Mark Chilton as chief executive of its new lender, Homeowners Mortgages.

Chilton will be chief of the new lender, which Richard Griffiths, managing director of Network Data admits will be at arms length from the distributor, and will market its products through not only Network Datas appointed representatives and through any distributors.

Griffiths says: I have known Mark since the eighties, and know how respected he is in the industry. I did business with him during the dot com boom, and realise he has a good technological appreciation, which is one of the most important things to have in todays mortgage market.

Chilton held previous positions at Savills Private Finance, where he helped try and develop an online proposition, which pre-empted todays technologically based mortgage market.

Most recently, Chilton was chief executive of Purely Mortgages, which last week signed a deal with ITV to launch an online mortgage lender, ITV Local Mortgages. Chilton admitted that he was waiting for this deal to announce his move to Homeowners Mortgages.

Chilton says: I was approached some time ago by Griffiths to take on the role, and when an opportunity like that came up, after 10 years in distribution, I took it as I wanted to go back into lending.

Mark Harris, managing director of SPF, says: This move is not a surprise, it seems Mark has gone full circle in the mortgage industry. He knows his stuff, he has a great technological background and Griffiths has made a good choice appointing him.

We look forward to doing business with Homeowners Mortgages, the more lenders on the market the better.

Kevin Duffy, managing director of Hamptons Mortgages, says: Im not surprised to see mark emerge in the role, he has proved to be a resilient and intellectual mortgage practitioner.

The introduction of Homeowners Mortgages throws up intriguing questions about the depth and the scope of its strategy. Will it be a means to an end for Network Data, or will it become a major player in the market?

Marks a capable guy, he has a good CV and a lot of experience, Im sure thats why they chose him for the role.