Wave goodbye to Freedom

Eleven months after Freedom Lending was bought by US investment giant Merrill Lynch the firm has finally unveiled its new name – Wave.

The lender has had 12 months since it was officially sold by former parent Freedom Finance to Merrill on July 26 2006, to come up with a new name and brand.

Colin Snowden, chief executive officer of Wave, says: “It’s a name that very much tunes in with the views of our brokers and distributors.

“We spoke to our distributors about what was different about us, what we did well. The feedback was that we were on the same wave-length. Wave immediately sprung to mind.”

The firm has been tight-lipped about the new name and has been one of the best kept secrets in the industry.

It has been running a teaser campaign over the last month with a pink graffiti-style squiggle obscuring the Freedom Lending logo.

Ironically, this same pink squiggle will also function as Wave’s new logo.

However, the name has drawn a mixed reaction from the industry.

Roger Morris, managing director of em-financial, says: “I actually thought Freedom Lending was a good name with an established reputation.

“The money spent on pre-launch advertisement would have been better spent on attempting to get its stategy and message across to the broker market.”

But Michael Clapper, chief executive officer at Enterprise Group, says: “It’s interesting – an attempt at being risque. I think it’s a pretty good name – though some people may of course wave goodbye!”

Snowden though says: “At the end of the day it’s just a name change and nothing has changed about the company.

“We pride ourselves on developing personal relationships and good service, not a factory approach to mortgage lending. In a marketplace that’s characterised by mediocre service, we think this stands out.”

Wave will continue to focus on providing prime self-cert and prime buy-to-let, let to buy and some adverse, via packagers. It also continues to expand its team and since it was bought has already gone from 60 to 110 and Snowden says the firm will be up 200 by the end of the year.

He adds: “Merrill has given us the resources to expand and grow stronger. It believes in our management team.”