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The Mortgage Mole

Best Foote forward He helps mortgage lenders fight fraudsters by day, but by night he trains for marathons.

Technology guru Mark Blackwell, managing director at xit2, is running his second London marathon on April 22 to raise money for the Joseph Foote Trust, a charity aiming to raise brain tumour survival rates.

Blackwell is halfway to his donation target of £2,500 with mortgage legends John Malone, managing director of PMS, and Richard Sexton, business development director at e.surv, already donating to his campaign.

It’s been six years since his last marathon but Blackwell is aiming to shave 20 minutes off his previous time and romp home in 4 hours and 15 minutes. To sponsor Mark, visit

Take note, george Generous husband and wife team Paul and Paula Carley of First Choice Finance are celebrating their £3,000 windfall from a mortgage competition by splitting it with staff.

The competition, courtesy of Goldsmith Williams’ prize draw, was open to all introducers who instructed on new conveyancing and remortgage applications with the firm.

Cases that completed by the end of February were entered into the draw.

Just Remortgages of Portsmouth clinched the £2,000 runner-up prize and Arron Bardoe of Temple Capital Finance in Dartford picked up £750 for being drawn third.

Daran Pazzaglia of The Right Mortgage Company in Birmingham took £250 in fourth spot.

Mole salutes the Carleys’ spirit of generosity – if only chancellor George Osborne could have heeded their example and included more giveaways in his Budget last week.


Balancing act

In the good times overvaluations were not uncommon, now it’s talk of downvaluations that gets everyone hot under the collar. It’s clear valuers have to juggle a different kind of pressure in today’s sluggish market

Identifying best-in-class UK stocks — Mark Martin, Neptune UK Opportunities Fund

FE Alpha Manager Mark Martin assumed management of the multi-cap UK Opportunities Fund at the beginning of February. As manager of the highly regarded UK Mid Cap Fund, Martin has begun restructuring the new portfolio to focus on our very best UK stock ideas from across the FTSE All-Share Index. In this video, update Martin addresses:

– Themes informing the UK Opportunities Fund
– The multi-cap structure of the fund
– UK equity valuations


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