Quality Apps enable lenders to cherry pick deals
An Interview with the Managing Director, Aidan Tiernan of Creative Commercial Funding.
At a time when we are seeing new faces appear in the industry, there are still a number of existing packagers, and indeed lenders, that are not as well-known to the sector. In light of this, Jason McGee-Abe secured an exclusive chat with one such packager, Creative Commercial Funding, to find out more about the company’s past, its current position in the industry and the business of bridging, from Managing Director Aidan Tiernan…
BCD: So what is Creative Commercial Funding and how was the company set up?
Aidan Tiernan: It’s a dynamic and fast growing master brokerage based in Greater Manchester. I created the company in 2009 and brought with me over 15 years’ experience within the banking, property and finance industry. I have worked independently with high street lenders, private banks, bridging financiers and high net worth individuals, allowing a whole of the market approach to each and every enquiry we receive. We now have a team of five in the office.
BCD: What is your background?
AT: I’ve gained vast knowledge within the residential and commercial finance sector, initially starting my career in the banking industry. I then became an independent mortgage consultant for more than six years and most recently held the position of Finance Director at bridging finance company, The Brooklin Partnership PLC.
BCD: How long were you at Brooklin for?
AT: I set up the company with the Managing Director in 2003 on behalf of a wealthy businessman and my role as Financial Director was for five years.
We arranged funding lines with Bank of Ireland, Arbuthnot Latham (Private Bank) with a gross available fund of £10,000,000.
BCD: OK. What sets Creative Commercial Funding apart from other packagers in the market then?
AT: Our unique approach to sourcing funding enables us to be a market leader and obtain complex funding. We have a profound understanding of each lender’s criteria, which allows us to represent the opportunity in the best possible manner. This has allowed us to source funding where others have failed.
At Creative Commercial Funding, we are pleased to say we have a close working relationship with clients, north to south, and lenders alike. We pride ourselves on the professional approach we take with each and every enquiry without prejudice and the quick feedback/decisions we give our clients.
BCD: What does Creative Commercial Funding specialise in?
AT: Our company specialises in the sourcing of commercial mortgages, bridging finance, development funding, second charge lending, asset finance and factoring (invoice discounting).
BCD: How are you introduced business?
AT: Creative Commercial Funding receives a lot of enquiries from recommendations, solicitors and accountants and, of course, our newly launched website. We have clients based as far south as Southampton and as far north as Scotland. We deal with all types of clients, ranging from the professional property investor who has experience in the market, property developers (from single to multiple units) to newcomers to the buy to let market who are looking to dip their toe in due to low property prices.
BCD: Let’s take a look at products. What does Creative Commercial Funding offer?
AT: We will look at loan amounts from £25,001 upwards with no higher limits. Depending on the loan and client we can, in some cases, offer higher LTVs than others due to the private lenders we deal with.
We always look forward to welcoming new enquiries and to the possibility of working in partnership with new clients on any of the above services that we have expertise in.
BCD: And what about bridging products?
AT: We work with all the bridging lenders in the industry. Our typical bridging loans vary considerably from north to south and we look to accommodate large and small loans. The highest achieved, with a small element of mezzanine funding, was for £10.43 million for an opportunity one of my clients had in Formby, Merseyside, for an ex-Premiership football player’s property and land.
The site, which is situated in one of the most prestigious addresses in Merseyside, currently houses the ex-footballer’s mansion. It will be demolished and six new 6,000 square foot detached houses will be constructed in a gated community. The houses have a GDV in excess of £25 million. I have also acted for one client for 12 years and with the use of bridging finance, arranged by myself, he has a portfolio of 65 properties (residential and commercial) in the North West, valued in excess of £13,500,000, with an average LTV of 53 per cent.
BCD: What are your thoughts on the current state of the bridging market?
AT: There are so many bridging companies in the marketplace offering different criteria; I see this as a good thing for brokers as it allows us to source the most competitive rates and fees for our clients. I do find though that the lenders are certainly cherry-picking the opportunities due to the volume and quality of new enquiries.
BCD: What do you think will change in the next 12 months?
AT: I believe over the next 12 months new bridging companies and funds will enter the market as a result of funding drying up with high street lenders, even though this market has hit an all-time high of £1 billion lending.
BCD: And what does the future hold for Creative Commercial Funding?
AT: We are looking to grow at a reasonable pace, increase enquiries and completions and offer creative solutions for clients’ financial requirements – not forgetting to keep the personal touch that we offer.