Confirmation last week from Preferred that its joint managing directors, John Webster and George Patellis, have quit the company throws up a few questions.If, as widely rumoured, Webster is in line for the top job at lender Swift Advances, contractual obligations at Lehman Brothers are likely to be just as harsh as for the nine who recently walked out of HBOS, and Webster is likely to have at least nine months twiddling his thumbs before he’ll be able to get down to business. The biggest question is, what will all these people be doing? As one source says: “There will certainly be a lot of well tended gardens out there.” There is no official word from Swift on who will be taking the top job at the firm and it seems bewildered by all the media attention the vacancy has attracted. Patellis on the other hand is due to leave at the end of 2005 to return to the US with his family. At the same time, at Lehman’s bedfellow Southern Pacific Mortgage Limited, managing director Bill Cherry has left to return to the US, leading some to speculate that Lehman could seize this moment to finally fuse the two brands. With senior heads of staff tumbling out of the frame and the back offices already merged it would be the perfect opportunity for a brand rethink, though Lehman stresses that there are no merger plans yet. But the market is changing at a ferocious pace and the emergence of new lenders will give a lot of the established players in the crowded sub-prime market pause for thought. Unity Homeloans – set up by four members of the Professional Mortgage Packagers Alliance and backed by investment bank Investec – starts trading this week, joining fellow packager Beacon Homeloans, headed by the enigmatic Mark Abbott. Meanwhile, industry giant HBOS has suffered a major brain drain in recent months with the loss of Michael Bolton, Alan Cleary, John Nixon, Rob Williams, Mark Smith, Bill Dudgeon, Mark Bergin, David Parry and Paul Graham. The result will be stiff competition in the specialist lending sector. Bolton and Cleary look poised to try and recapture some of the magic that made BM Solutions sparkle. But similarly, the potential of Dudgeon at Deutsche Bank to shake up the market is huge. The industry rumour mill is in overdrive over Deutsche and its recruitment of Dudgeon and his team from The Mortgage Business, as apparently this won’t just be a way for the firm to get into the UK. Despite having a massive retail presence in Germany it has no sub-prime mortgage product there and industry sources say if things go well, it could form a hub to break into Germany. So with all the gardening leave in the industry, will profits rocket at garden centres as bosses sack the help and focus on their own turf and begonias? It’s fair to say gardeners’ jobs are safe for the time being.
- Top trends
The United Group is aiming to make the transition to using Home Information Packs straightforward with its eConveyancer system and with the help of other mortgage-related organisations. The United Group owns technology that facilitates the electronic flow of information between organisations involved in the house buying process. It now plans to develop a proposition for […]
Elephant Loans & Mortgages, the holding company of Elephant Loans, has announced its intention to seek a listing on AIM on November 18 2005. ARM Corporate Finance Limited is acting as the xompanys nominated adviser, with SVS Securities as its broker. Up to 21,666,666 new ordinary shares are being issued at 3p per share. Assuming […]
From Rick Gifford In a buoyant market valuers are only too keen to value properties up and on many occasions actually enhance the valuation. After all, if they can increase the valuation it has a nice knock on indexing effect on their fees. I blame valuers for the gross increases in property prices in the […]
Abbey last week cut the rates on its flexible mortgage range. The Flexible Plus deal for life is now available at 4.99% and Standard Flexible Plus is available at 5.25% with a low fee of 199. The lender says flexible mortgages have been gaining popularity because people want to tailor their mortgage payments to suit […]
The Pension Policy Institute (PPI)’s recent report “Value for money in DC pensions” tries to identify factors by which people can assess whether their pension offers fair value for money (VFM). Fiona Tait provides an overview of the findings. Positive Outcomes It is extremely hard to assess VFM in a pension. Press activity naturally focuses […]
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